Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekend Update

Another weekend come and gone. And what a weekend it was, weather wise. it's a real gift as we drift into the fall. The good news is we've entered the sign of Libra and, unfortunately we've also officially entered the fall season.

Ready for the Harvest Dance!
 Annalisse continues to enjoy her job at Otto Tomottos, and they enjoy her. She worked Friday night, but took Saturday night off to go to the Harvest Dance with her girlfriends. We took a quick trip to the outlet mall on Saturday morning in a last ditch effort to find a dress as she had searched at the mall last week with no success (panic is rising!). We found a really cute black number that was reasonably priced (it's all relative...) and looked super sweet on her. On Friday night while she was working Mark and I went to Label 7 for our official 24th anniversary celebration. They have great food there, and a nice atmosphere - I would highly recommend it.

On Sunday Mark and I were helping out at Fairport Crew Club's Liftbridge Regatta, so I had to be at the boathouse by 7:30am (ON A SUNDAY!) and work until 1:30pm. Mark was scheduled to drive one of the small boats (a "launch") at noon, so he would be tied up until around 3pm. Since he didn't need to come right away he picked Cam up at RIT so he could hook up with some of his FCC friends for a couple of hours. After my shifts were done, I took Cam to get his hair cut then we waited for Mark to come home before going to McCardle's for dinner (apparently Cam has been dreaming about loaded fries).

After dropping him off at school, we headed home and Annalisse and I watched Bridesmaids, which was cute but not as super funny as everyone has said, and even a little sad. Now, after a busy weekend and weekend, a quiet moment on a Sunday night as I get ready to take on another week that includes a quick overnight to Philadelphia for a NAGAP reception, topped off with (hopefully) a nice visit with my friend Derb, of 30th reunion fame.

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

You know things are really busy when...

...there's a lot to blog about but no time.

Here are just couple of quick updates from "the road" - I'm on my North Country grad fair tour and enjoying a light day as I head to Utica later today for tomorrow's fair. Since last Thursday I've driven over 1,000 miles with more to go until I reach home on Thursday. Let's just say I don't think I could drive for a living.

Girls Weekend, 2011: Last Thursday around noon I headed down to Gettysburg for my girls weekend with Sue, Lorie, Gina and Heather. Sue and I decided to meet on Thursday night since it's such a long trip, and the other girls decided to do that, too. It made for a great Friday since, after a good night's sleep, we could start seeing all the historic sites right away.

I arrived at the historic Cashtown Inn around 6pm, checked in, and went into the quaint tavern for a glass of wine before Sue arrived. I must say, I felt myself melt away into relaxation with the low lights, beautiful setting and great acoustic music piping in. Ahhhhh....wonderful! The Cashtown Inn is about eight miles out of Gettysburg, and is rife with history, having served as a makeshift confederate hospital during the three days of the Battle at Gettysburg (July 1, 2 & 3, 1863). And the best part...IT'S HAUNTED! It was featured on the TV show Ghost Hunters (which Annalisse and I LOVE). That being said, I didn't experience anything paranormal, although Sue said she heard what sounded like furniture being dragged on the third floor (there was no one staying upstairs). Since there was "no room at the Inn," the other girls stayed in town and we met up Friday morning.

On Friday, we got the lay of the land and decided what we wanted to do for the next couple of days. We checked into the Gettysburg Inn right at Lincoln Square, in the heart of Gettysburg, and that was really lovely. After a bit of wandering, we drove around to the battlefields, and then headed back into on town for dinner. The day was certainly punctuated with a lot of laughs!!

On Saturday, we Gina decided to get her hair cut, and "we" decided Heather needed new (hair) color, so a bit of the day was taken up with those shenanigans. In between appointments, Sue, Heather and I headed to a wax museum, and saw a bunch of shriveled up, dusty and decaying wax figures depicting various scenes leading up to, and after, the Civil War. Hokey, but fun nonetheless. Then, we booked a ghost walk. After the ghost walk (which was mostly compelling storytelling), we got into the car and drove back up to the battlefields (it was 9pm by then). Spooky, creepy, FUN!

Until next year, enjoy some pix from this year's adventure:

The Blue and the Gray duke it out.

The battlefields at night...orbs??

The Girls

What the heck?

The Cashtown Inn

Sue and Heather receive words of wisdom from Lincoln and some green guy who looks like Andy Williams

Roger, our Ghost Tour guide

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The News from Southwest Rochester

I'm sure you're all wondering how Cam is doing at RIT...probably losing sleep wondering! Wondering! Wondering! Wondering!

As far as I can tell, he's doing well so far. I've seen him twice: once when he wanted to come home to pick up some gaming stuff (and sign his athletic paperwork for crew), and last Sunday when we picked him and his roommate, Michael, up for dinner at Zebb's. Both boys are VERY quiet, so it's a little tough to get information without dragging it out of them. Truly, I couldn't tell you how his schoolwork is going because every answer, when asked, is "good" (although I don't believe he's actually gotten any grades back yet), but his social life seems to be on track.

In addition to his plan to join crew (the interest meetings are this Thursday and Friday), he informed me last night (at 10pm) that he joined the debate team and will be traveling to Binghamton this weekend for his first debate (I wonder how the floodwaters are doing down there...poor people!). Only a little hint of irony there since he never talks much...

Of course, in the back of my mind I'm still a little nervous about his academics and look forward to getting feedback on that sometime soon. In the meantime, though, we text back and forth when needed (mostly for issues regarding $$ and requests to transfer more of it from his savings to his checking account), and exchange the occasional phone call. We're all settling into our new routine, and Annalisse claims to miss her brother and says she doesn't like being an "only child" (plus Jasper!). Hmmm...I'm not so sure about that one.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you when the world changed?

September 11, 2011

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on NYC and Washington. It's a solemn day of reflection and remembrance for all of us, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who could not tell you where they were when the world changed.

It was an incredibily beautiful, blue-sky day, and I was taking our cat Prudence, who was in the throws of treatment for feline diabetes, back home from a trip to the vet for a check up. As with most mornings, I was listening to WHAM1180, Rochester's most- listened-to AM station, when the coverage began. Listening closely, I tried to piece together what was going on. By the time I reached work, my coworkers were huddled around the computer and we were all in shock, trying to make sense of the events as they unfolded.

The 10 years following the attacks have been so bad for many aspects of American life: lives lost to war, a plunging economy, high levels of joblessness, increased (and many times, in my opinion, absurd) levels of airline security. Sometimes it's hard to keep our chins up. I think there have been a lot of governmental mistakes made over the last decade by an administration that used the terrorist attacks to further personal agendas borne of paranoia and arrogant desire. But that's a topic for another day.

For today, we remember. We will move on, but we will never forget. September 11, 2001

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Would-Be Runner

I would love to be a runner. I've tried to become a runner several times in my life, and most recently through the "Couch to 5K" training program, which has an app that I recently downloaded onto my iPhone. I learned about the program from my friend Kristen who a started it a year ago and is now running marathons (my idol!).

Why running? A couple of reasons:
  • People describe the joy in running and how they really get into their own heads while doing it
  • It's obviously great exercise
  • What a great sense of accomplishment when you finish a marathon!
  • It can benefit the runner (weight loss) and her overweight (or super fluffy looking) dog
Last week, after buying new sneakers for the first time in 10 years, plus an arm holder for my iPhone, I resolved to start the program. The first two sessions went pretty well. I was EXTREMELY SORE after the first night, and was ready again for the second session a couple days later, but had not had a chance to go again until tonight.

So, out I went this evening, and almost immediately I felt a pull in my groin (TMI?) and stopped running, fearing I would do some kind of damage if I kept going (not to mention that it was getting increasingly uncomfortable). I tried a couple more times to jog, and had to stop again.

HOW PATHETIC IS THAT? I can't even succeed at a running program. Walking has always been my favorite activity and maybe I'm just meant to walk. I suppose if I try to walk two miles a day (an activity always made better with my favorite pup) that's better than nothing.

Still, I wish I could run. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fly, Little Bird, Fly

Our first little bird has flown the nest for his new life at RIT. Wednesday was a great and busy day of moving Cam into his little little room and, ironically, not getting a chance to say formally "goodbye."

Since Cam's scheduled move in time wasn't until 3pm, we arrived on campus around 11:30 and had lunch at RIT's Global Village, which features a beautiful courtyard, some great ethnic food, and a couple of cute international stores. After lunch we made our way up the "quarter mile" (which is actually 1/3 mile), a brick walkway that cuts through the center of campus, which took a little while to get down since we kept running into people we knew. We spent some time checking-in and visiting the services tables at the field house, then got back into the car and drove over to his dorm's unloading zone.

Finally, the big moment was here! We unloaded the car and made a couple of trips up to his room. Within a 45 minutes we had unpacked his stuff and made his bed - that tells you how much stuff he didn't bring. The room looked so bare!! His roommate Michael had been there, as evidenced by his duffel bags all around, but was not around while we were getting Cam set up.

After unpacking, Mark, Annalisse and I decided to head back over to to the fieldhouse to see if we could catch the crew coach* as I had a couple of questions. We intended to go back to Cam's room when we were done, but then he texted me to say he was heading to where we were to meet his friend from Mike from Fairport. SO, as it turns out we never got a chance to formally say "goodbye." It's probably just as well that we could avoid that scene all together...

I've talked to Cam once over the last couple of days, and we've texted a bit. In general, though, I'm trying to leave him alone so he can focus on the fun at hand and settling into his new life. It is a little weird, and definitely a different feeling than when he was in camp, where I knew he was safe and staying out of trouble. It does help to know he's only a 1/2 hour away, and I remain very excited for him!

*As it turns out, Cam decided to join the Division III crew team at RIT, a decision we're really happy about that. I'm not sure what the process is, and if he's automatically on the team by just exhibiting interest. We'll know more after he goes to the informational meeting in mid-September.