We had a very rare weekend with absolutely no set plans. Normally, that would be when we’d go to a movie, but we couldn’t agree on one–Paul initially agreed to go see the Suspiria remake, then changed his mind, then decided he’d go after all, then changed his mind again. But with recycling piling up and no pickup for it here, we were determined to at the very least grab dinner in Pittsburgh and drop off the recycling, and then I had the bright idea to check out the aviary.

It was a short trip, as the place isn’t very big, but they had a lot of neat and super pretty birds. It made for a nice, affordable, chill date. And then we figured we’d try something new for lunch, and I have a mental list of restaurants in the city I want to go to. At last, we tackled one with NOLA on the Square, a New Orleans-inspired place. The food was really good but a bit pricey for what it is, but I am glad we went.

On our walk from the car to the restaurant, I spotted a sign for macarons, and of course, I can’t resist those–I haven’t had any since the ones I bought for our wedding last year. So I loaded up a box of 20 of those, mostly one of each flavor. I think macarons might be my favorite cookie, and if we’re ever back in that part of the city, and we usually aren’t there. Bummer.

We’ve also been wanting to go to a brunch by Dom and Tina’s Black Market Catering, but the timing keeps on not working out–I think twice in a row now it’s been right in the middle of my appointment for my hair dye. But with them doing lunch at a brewery in Mt. Lebanon, we had a decent compromise. Guaranteed good food at a brewery we’ve never been to? Sure. We both ended up really liking it. I had some local cider, which is like my thing now, and Paul downed a couple of their beers. It’s one we’ll have to keep an eye on, especially when we know Dom and Tina are gonna be there to feed us.

Of course, I had to make a pit stop at the mall for Lush bath bombs. I mean, when you’re in town…

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Saturday 9: The Middle

Saturday 9: The Middle (2018)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about compromise. When did you recently give in a little and meet someone halfway? I choose to believe that sharing my macarons with my husband instead of eating them all myself counts here.

2) She sings that the floors are wet. Are there any floors in your home that could use a good scrub today? If you answered “yes,” will those floors get cleaned this weekend? Pretty much all of them need cleaned, with the exception of my office, which got vacuumed last night. But yes, they’re all on the agenda for the weekend, as usual.

3) She also sings that the cabinets are bare. What’s currently on your shopping list? Our weekly grocery staples–yogurt, some produce, some snacks, some things I can make for lunch.

4) You may be familiar with this song from Target’s TV commercials. Do you often shop at Target? Not often, but I love it when I do.

5) The lead vocal is handled by Maren Morris, a Grammy winner for “My Church,” which is all about singing with the car radio. What’s the last song you sang along with? I was very, very quietly singing along to “American Pie” in a restaurant this evening, plus a few other songs before and after.

6) This past April, Maren married singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd and they have performed onstage together. Who is the last person you sang along with? Probably my husband in the car.

7) This song was composed by brothers Kyle and Michael Trewartha. With their bleached hair and sunglasses, they look like a pair of surfer dudes — which they are, having grown up in Huntington Beach, CA. Is there a body of water near your hometown? There are some small ones near my actual house, but the general area has plenty of rivers. I’m close to Pittsburgh, with its three–the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio–and the town where I grew up is close to the Youghiogheny.

8) January 2018, when this song debuted, we had a total lunar eclipse. When things like that happen in the sky, do you go out of your way to watch? I never used to because I lived in an apartment, and the way the building was situated, there was no good view of the sky, plus a good bit of light pollution. But now at my house, yeah, I absolutely will next time we have one. We have a much better view of the sky here, in a slightly more rural area with much less light pollution. Plus a deck and yard to watch from!

9) Random question — They say we’re all young at heart. In what way can you be childlike? My husband teases me about my favorite foods because they’re very childlike.  I eat macaroni and cheese somewhat regularly. That’s not to say I don’t branch out or that I’m a picky eater, it’s just that I have certain go-tos, and they’re very simple.

Friday 5: Excuses

  1. What was your excuse the last time you had to miss a social gathering? We missed a fall party for a wedding.
  2. What was your excuse the last time you arrived late to something? I mean, at this point, it’s just who I am as a person, but when I can blame something else, it’s usually traffic or my husband. When I worked in an office and not from home, it was just straight up I couldn’t get myself out of bed on time, and I was consistently a couple minutes late every day. For the record, I now clock in precisely on time.
  3. What was someone else’s excuse for recently inconveniencing you? I’m not sure that anyone has, honestly. Not recently enough to remember, clearly.
  4. What’s a true explanation you wish you could have given (but didn’t) when you unintentionally inconvenienced someone else? I can’t think of one of these, either, but my husband and I have joked about doing the, “Sorry we’re late, Bob had diarrhea” line from Bob’s Burgers.
  5. What’s something you wish you could be excused from right now? I’d say work, but I took the day off to use up my vacation days I have left before I lose them at the end of the year.

From Friday 5.

Saturday 9: It Must Be Him

I thought I already did this. Whoops.
Saturday 9: It Must Be Him (1967)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about a woman waiting impatiently for a phone call. Do you consider yourself patient? For the most part, yes, but there are a few things where I’m not so patient. Like waiting for my online orders to come in. Or my paycheck.

2) Other women (most notably Shirley Bassey and Dottie West) have recorded this song. Harry James and Doc Severinson did instrumental versions. But there’s no record of a male singing “Oh dear God! It must be her! Or I shall die!” Do you think that’s because waiting for the phone to ring is more “a chick thing,” and men simply don’t do it? I think men do it but either they want everyone to think they don’t or we’ve all just pretended like it doesn’t happen. I mean, have you ever seen screenshots of dudes when a woman takes too long to reply to his Tinder message?

3) This recording enjoyed a sudden surge of popularity after 20 years when it was included on the soundtrack of Moonstruck, the 1987 film that won Cher an Oscar. Have you seen MoonstruckI haven’t, but I’d like to.

4) This week’s featured artist, Vikki Carr, was born in El Paso, TX. El Paso can proudly proclaim itself one of America’s safest cities. What can your hometown be proud of? I’ll tell you what we are proud of–throwing such a fit over alcohol being taxed that they had to send the damn president here. The Whiskey Rebellion, ladies and gentlemen. We celebrate it every summer.

5) She was a staple on Jerry Lewis’ Labor Day Telethon, raising funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association by performing this song. Is your TV on right now? If so, what are you watching? It is not. In fact, we still haven’t hooked it back up since we moved.

6) In 1971, Vikki fulfilled a dream of hers by establishing the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation. Every year the foundation awards Hispanic American students money to use toward higher education. She says it’s her way of returning “the support and encouragement she received from others” early in her career. If you could establish a charitable foundation, what cause would you like it to benefit? I’ve thought about this before, and to be honest, I sometimes feel like there are so many charitable organizations that I’d rather donate to existing ones.

7)  In 1967, when this song was popular, Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant. Today, one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States is the coronary artery bypass surgery. Have you had any surgeries? Nope.

8)  Also in 1967, the RMS Queen Mary was retired after 31 years of service. Have you ever traveled by cruise ship? Nope. I know I would love all of the perks of a cruise and I know that in the grand scheme of things, the highly publicized stories about cruise mishaps actually happen rarely, but they’re just off-putting enough.

9) Random question: Who is your oldest living relative? I’m not sure! I would think probably some great aunts and uncles, some of whom might either be in their 80s or are very close to it.

I started my week with a fuckton of overtime. I worked a 12-hour day on Monday alone, so by then, I was already totally done with the week. Throw in a Fleetwood Mac concert Thursday night and waiting the whole week to find out if I’d be able to get Friday off, and the whole damn thing was a drag.

Fleetwood Mac was fucking fantastic. I’ve been lucky enough to see them three times now–and of course a different lineup each time–and they’ve solidified themselves as one  of my favorite bands. I went from being a casual fan of my mom’s favorite songs to falling in love with the songs my mom never played. I anxiously await the day they worked things out with Lindsey Buckingham, because unless this lawsuit really fucks things up, which it very well might, we all know this is just how the band works.

But I did not get Friday off. I functioned just fine, but man, I was really hoping to sleep in and chill out. On the plus side, if I’d gotten the day off, I wouldn’t have actually gotten overtime pay if I’d had the day off, and I believe that for the rest of the year, I’m only working two full weeks. I have two floating holidays left to use, too, so if I plan it right, I can probably get that down to short weeks for the rest of the year. Sure, we still haven’t taken a real vacation, but short weeks for two months isn’t a bad tradeoff.

On Friday, we ended up out on a quest for a card for Nolan and Brett’s wedding because I didn’t like any of the cards here in Washington, and as much as I really didn’t feel like driving into the South Hills, I’m glad we did because I’m pretty happy with what we found. And when my mother found out we were out, I had to look for a Snoopy Christmas blanket and pillow set for her, and throw in a few other stops I wanted to make plus dinner, it ended up being a whole trip out. We’d intended to go to the gym and had the time to make it, but that’s a terrible idea right after eating at Mad Mex.

The goal was to hit the gym Friday night then again Saturday morning before we left for the wedding because I wasn’t feeling great with how my dress I wanted to wear was fitting, and even though two gym sessions is definitely not going to make a noticeable difference, it at least made me feel like I was doing something. Sometimes that’s all that counts. Honestly, I probably should’ve scrapped the Saturday trip because we slept really, really late and the timing wasn’t great, but I thought I could squeeze it in. I ended up getting back home super close to when I wanted to leave, but us being us, we hadn’t actually packed yet, so by the time we did that, we were an hour behind with a pit stop or two we needed to make. But we made it just in time for me to get ready.

The wedding was nice and we had a good time, particularly with super drunk friends and some time hanging out in Meri and Erio’s room. The time change was a nice perk, too, since we didn’t wander back to the room we shared with my parents until 2 a.m. And true to form, I slept like trash. You’d think being up so late would’ve worn me out enough, but it didn’t. And I never sleep well when I travel on top of that, so although I felt fine in the morning–or rather, like five hours later–I’m exhausted now. But almost all of us made it to breakfast, and from there, Paul and I headed back to my parents’ house to kill a few hours before going out to dinner with his family for his mom’s birthday. I’d originally wanted to try and host some friends since people were home for the wedding, but clearly, we had no time for that.

Dinner was a nice end to a fun, busy weekend, but we’re definitely glad to be back home. The cat’s glad to have us back, too, and has been very dramatic and restless since we got in. I expect to spend my workday tomorrow having my feet bitten and toys dropped under my chair.

So what’s next? Nothin’. This marks the end of a string of busy weekends. Emily has a play at school in two weeks and we’re thinking of hosting a small shindig Thanksgiving weekend, but next weekend, we’re free to take it easy. We probably owe the cat a weekend of playtime and scritches.

Friday 5: After ‘Im

  1. What improbable feat did you pull off this week? I worked a lot of overtime. Like, a 12-hour day on Monday.
  2. What will you do immediately following your completion of this post? Put in a load of laundry, then go to bed.
  3. In what way is your life lately imbalanced? Because of all the overtime, I didn’t feel like I had a great work-life balance this week, plus the long hours were tiring and left me kind of struggling at the gym.
  4. What recent impulse purchases have you made? Make-up I definitely do not need, but damn sales got me.
  5. What immature behavior have you displayed recently? I am a Grade A nosy bitch. Like, a friend is complaining about someone being a dick? Look at their social media. Someone’s name pops up somewhere and I don’t like them? Go to their profile. It’s not something I do often, but I’ve been checking some people out this week.

From Friday 5.