Monday, October 29, 2007

What I call home

This time of year does it to me.. I don't know what it is.

I spent a wonderful 4 days back in Michigan and just relaxed. Okay, and drank. I flew in Thursday (the 18th) morning so my older sister and nephew could greet me at the airport. It was wonderful walking down the ramp and having him run towards me for a hug. We watched a few more planes land (or go "bam! into the ground", as he put it) before enjoying some fine dining at IHOP. It's tradition. We drove back to her place and hung out. I played with my nephew while she did some work and napped. I chased him around the house with a dog on a string and built towers out of wood blocks that he promptly knocked over. I amazed myself with my construction and architectural abilities and I think my sister was, too. I would have taken pictures of my modern wonders, but my nephew knocked everything down before I could get my camera. All this playing wore him out, so he took a nap while I uploaded a few of my sisters cds onto my GF's laptop, which she so generously let me borrow for the trip, and onto her ipod. I did this for as long as I could keep my eyes open before joining my sister and nephew on the sofa after their naps for some "Bob the Builder". This was a bad idea as I, tired from lack of sleep the night before and weary from traveling, proceeding to get some shut eye. I felt like I was sleeping for hours but was woken up by my sister, gently tapping my shoulder. I dosed off again and this time was woken up from my slumber by my nephew, who was mocking my sister and gently tapping me on the shoulder and whispering "Aunt Jenny.. aunt Jenny, wake up". It was very cute. After he whispered grace over our Jimmy John's subs and applesauce and shouted "amen!" we ate before playing a little bit more. I dosed off and on during the baseball game before finally calling it a night.

The next two days were spent boozing it up. I was out drinking at a "bombfire" and listening to Neil Diamond from 9:30pm until 4am before getting up at 7:30am and driving back home to shower and prep for the Homecoming 5K that morning. It's the fourth year that I've participated in this event hungover and hurting, and each year my time had improved. I ran a 25:26, which was 20 seconds faster than last year, and good enough for 1st in the 30-39 age group where only 3 others competed against me. I was more than happy to give the medal to my nephew who was happy to wear it and couldn't wait to show it to his dad and tell him about how fast he ran.

The rest of the boozing started mid afternoon on Saturday when I joined the rest of the gang to tailgate. Still hurting.. from the night before, the 3.5 hrs of sleep, and the run, I waited until about 2:30-3pm to start drinking while throwing horse shoes. I can't throw. I only got us a few points, but it was still a close game. Afterwards we went to another bar for pizza, more beer, and football, and then to the new bowling alley/bar/arcade place called The Gate. I played a few games then sat at the bar watching football and baseball while feeding singles into an addictive trivia game. I do have the high score on one of the trivia games and my goal is to go back next year and see my name on the machine. We moved to the last bar around 11:30pm and closed it. I was in bed around 3am and surprisingly more sober than usual after 12 hours of drinking.

Sunday started at 930 am with pancakes and SportsCenter before donning my RimRunner Camelbak (stuffed with some of my stinky clothes from the night before) and heading out for a 15 mile run. Crazy? Yes. I had it planned and it worked well with the execution good weather, good logistics, and not getting too drunk. I planned to crash at a place along the White Pine Trail

I covered the 10 miles between Howard City (just off 46) and Sand Lake, before running an additional 4 miles or so to get to my parents cottage. I timed it right, too, as we then hopped in the car and drove over to Hill Brothers Orchard to get some apples, cider, and other goodies. They are relatives of my father and make some pretty darn good cider that has won numerous awards. We usually get a couple gallons shipped out east for Thanksgiving. My grandfather would show up for dinner with a couple gallons as "his contribution". Thanksgiving just wasn't, and still isn't, the same without it.

After spending time at the orchard and playing with some kittens they had there, and were encouraging me to take back to DC with me, my father couldn't wait to show off his new toy that he got for a steal of a price for $800. We took it for a slow spin around the lake and I took a few pictures. My father and I don't talk much, but I know he so enjoys quiet time with me. I'm very much like my father with my enjoyment of quiet time and just being around people minus all the rah-rah interaction. Besides, when I come home, I just want to relax and do nothing. From the sound of it I did do a lot, but it's what I do when I come home.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Light Reading

I found out last week before going on vacation that my company is switching to a Health Savings Account (H.S.A.) for the 2007-2008 year. I sat through a 90 minute presentation that made little sense to me and was giving a small binder full of additional information to read. I took it with me to Michigan.

At that time, I basically had 10 days to decide what to do with my insurance.

I have 5 more days to decide and I still don't know what to do. It goes into effect November 1st.

Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

That time of the year

Every Fall I make my annual trek back to my hometown for homecoming. It's a chance to see my parents, my older sister and nephew, my old college softball mates, and a chance to get my hair cut. Hey.. I've been going to the same place/same person for the last 15 years, at least. I just can't up and drop her just because I now live out east. Besides, it's a reason for me to come home and catch up on the latest gossip at the hair salon and an chance for her to brag that one of her clients comes all the way from DC to see her. I will admit that it makes me feel old walking in there when the other clients this particular weekend will be sorority girls with their small yippy dogs (yes, even in the MON (middle of nowhere) Michigan) wearing their valour tracksuits with 'juicy' and 'hot' written on the backside talking about the upcoming social that night, the parade, and the social after the homecoming football game. I'm so disconnected as I sit in my chair wearing whatever jeans I packed, whatever tshirt I put on that morning, and whatever fleece I wore home with remnants of cat and dog hair. It's the closest I'll ever get to being cool.

There are some sacrifices to coming home, though. This weekend is the D2 MARFU Rugby Playoffs in Norfolk, VA, which we are participating in for the second year in a row. It sucks to miss out on it after all the practices, sprints, fat lips, bruised noses, bruised arms/legs/knees/elbows, constantly split open knee, sore rotator cuffs, bum ankle and thumb, sore necks, and overall achiness. You wake up the day after a match and realize you're feeling the effects of a try-saving tackle or even just a practice versus our hard hitting D1 side. What sucks is that if we lose, we won't go to Elite 8's in Orlando, FL the weekend of November 9th. If that happens, I'll have all those missed tackles and "I could've hit her lower" thoughts in my mind.

But then again, there's my 2.5 yr old nephew I haven't seen since May 31st; there's my parents and (pregnant again) sister and BIL I haven't seen since then; and there are my softball friends, some I haven't seen since January, February, or December, and some I haven't seen since last homecoming. It's the people and the stories and the ties that keep me coming back to Michigan, back home, every October. It sucks that such an important match falls on the same weekend, but there won't be anything more important than my family and friends. Rugby is fun and I like being part of the team, but my ties back home are deeper and tighter and will draw me home every time this time of year.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Re: Watch your ass


DATE: October, 5th 2007

TO: All Tenants

FR: Property Management Office


It has come to our attention that there were several incidents of exhaust systems being stolen from vehicles in the parking lot of 8200 and 8201 XXxxxx Drive. The Prince George’s County Police Department and Crown Security were notified of these incidents.


One less thing for me to worry about..