I’m usually pretty good about reading my body and listening to it, but I fucked up this week and I’m home sick yet again, just a few weeks after having an ear infection. The good news is at least it’s not another ear infection.

The thing is, I woke up the day after my cousin Casey’s wedding with a bit of a sore throat, but I dismissed it. I was at a wedding, talking over a DJ (which is why when we picked a half-indoor, half-outdoor venue, we opted not to have the music piped outside, and I think this is one of the smartest decisions we made for the day), drinking, dancing, and running all over the place running errands, so I kind of figured I just wore my throat out.

The day after a wedding is not an ideal day for a company picnic at Kennywood, but it’s free, so who cares? While we were getting ready to go, my dad texted to say he and my mom were stopping in town for breakfast on their way home from their post-wedding hotel stay and that we were welcome to join, so we took them up on it, bought Paul new walking shoes since he wore a hole in his current ones, then made it to the park by early afternoon. Getting there when it opens is the better plan, but again, free trip, and my company’s picnic is at the same place next month, so there wasn’t a lot of pressure to cram in a lot.

The thing with me and amusement parks is I’ll gladly go on some low-intensity rollercoasters and can be peer-pressured into riding, like, proper thrill-seeker coasters. But the thing with my husband is he is not the thrill-seeker type, so if one of us says, “I don’t want to ride that,” the other is a little took okay with it. The exception is he wants to go on the Skycoaster, where you go up in a harness and go down with a ripcord, kind of like a bungee-jump-type deal, and…nope. It’s not the height so much as they way people swing a ton after the initial drop, and I already can’t handle rides that swing, like pirate ships or this other ride that’s just a huge swing that puts you parallel to the ground eventually. It’s one of the few things that makes me feel sick. That and excessive spinning.

Weather-wise, it wasn’t the greatest day for an amusement park. We never got a proper rain, but we had some drizzle and skies dark enough that they shut down some rides temporarily, including one just after we’d made it on. Still, though, we were able to ride everything we wanted, and we had a fun time.

Plus I was off Monday–I have three weeks of vacation time now and I’ve barely used any, so whenever I want a day off from here on out, I’ll request a second one, too. So I gave myself an extra long weekend, which was especially nice with a wedding one day and a trip to Kennywood the next. I really need downtime in my weekends, so taking off Monday gave me both that and Sunday to just kind of lounge. And cut grass at the house, and it turns out I kind of enjoy cutting grass. I mean, a fancy, brand-new self-propelled lawnmower helps, but still.


This is probably the most stereotypical first-world thing one could say, but man, it can be hard to use three weeks of vacation time and three floating holidays in a year when you have no travel plans.

I mean, we’ve talked about taking a vacation, but because I’m a genius who decided to plan a wedding and buy a house less than a year later, we’ve just kind of been busy with one thing after another. But when one of your cousins gets married on a Friday, even when it’s minutes away from your work and you could easily only take off an hour or so, you think, “Fuck it, I have the days,” and not only take that day off, but you take the following Monday, too. Because why not give myself a few four-day weeks in a row? I’m probably doing it again next week after a concert.

This is why we didn’t do a Friday wedding, by the way. We didn’t want to deal with the schedule shuffling.

Meri came in for the wedding but was only gonna be around for a few days, so one of the ways opting for that Friday off paid off was that it freed me up to stay out late Thursday night and hit up trivia night out at Bud Murphy’s. It ended up being a small thing–just me, Nolan, Meri, and Emily–but it was nice and fun, although we didn’t win, and at least we got to hang out outside of the wedding.

The downside, as I told those cousins, was I’d said we’d make cookies, and after a few things during the week preventing me from doing the last batch, I ended up doing it the morning of the wedding.

Paul and I both ended up going all over the place Friday morning. He went into work for a half-day, and I stayed at the apartment to do a batch of lemon cookies. Now, I’d gotten a lemon–a whole damn lemon–with Greek food from the farmers’ market the week before and didn’t use it, so I had it for me cookies. Except I left it at the house. The good news is the house is just a 10-minute drive from the apartment, so I was able to go over real quick, but it just made the morning kind of a pain in the ass. I was planning to go over later in the day to do laundry, but since I had a batter started before I realized I didn’t have my lemon, I decided not to bother doing stuff like that and to do it later. So I got my lemon, made my cookies, gathered the laundry, stopped at the house, put the laundry in, pulled other cookies out of the freezer, took all the cookies to the hotel, went to the gym, and in between all that, I hoped Paul could stop at the house to move the laundry to the dyer to save me some time, but he had some mishaps of his own and basically went the wrong way down the highway on two separate trips.

The good news is the rest of the day went a lot smoother. We got all dressed up, headed over to the very lovely wedding, and drank and danced most of the night. He kind of crashed and got really tired and I wanted to keep going, but with most of the cousins and my brother gone, I had no one to dance and drink with. Plus it was almost over and we had his company picnic the next day, so we went home.


We had a rare kind of chill weekend–nowhere we needed to be and nothing we needed to do, really, other than run some errands, mostly house-related.

The good thing with the house is the previous owners left the lawnmower for us. The bad news is Paul put a little too much oil in and now the thing won’t run, so until we can get that problem solved, we decided to splurge on a new mower. It’ll have the added bonus of getting the lawn done faster–we can each take a mower and knock it out. Plus the new one has a bag to actually gather the grass clippings. Raking them was too much of a project.

We also picked out carpet for the bedrooms, and we now finally have a timeline for the end of small projects and move-in–as long as the carpet is in by then, it’s being installed next week, and the fake hardwood will follow in the days after. When exactly we’ll move in is a little up in the air, just because we have to coordinate with whoever’s coming to help and ideally plan it over a weekend with nothing else happening and no rain in the forecast, but it seems like it’s rained nearly every day, so that’s not looking promising.

We decided to get gas points and buy gift cards to make all these purchases, which then meant since Paul’s dad is doing the floors, we had to take him said gift card, so we did that Sunday after a trip up to the mountains with my parents and Seger.

One of my cousins is getting married on Friday, so I took the day off. And with three weeks’ vacation time to use and no concrete plans for an actual vacation, I figured to really give myself a nice, long weekend and took next Monday off, too.

Back when we initially ripped out the carpet in the house, it was at the end of April–about a full month before Memorial Day. So we kind of figured that the new floors would easily be put in over the course of that month.

Not so!

I’m frustrated. On one hand, I get that with my father-in-law doing it, we’re not customers and he knows we have two months left on our apartment lease so there’s technically no hurry, but man, has it stalled everything else. We don’t want to move furniture until we have floors in, obviously, and as is very, very typical of me, I hate having to wait for other people to do things.

We decided to go ahead and keep our planned Memorial Day party on and spent a weekend buying some furniture for our nice, big deck. And despite a sectional couch, nice cooler, coffee table, and two chairs with another small table, one whole end of the thing still looks empty. Both sets of parents brought over folding chairs so people could sit inside if they wanted, but a lot of us hung out outside, despite the heat. And that’s the thing–normally, Memorial Day would be nice and sunny and warm, maybe border on hot, but not quite the level we got. It wasn’t unbearable, but it wasn’t ideal, either. We skipped spring and went right into summer scorchers, plus a lot of rain.

That aside, though, I think we threw a good informal party. Plenty of food and alcohol, good stream of people, and it was nice to get everyone over and hanging out, even though it was heavily dominated by my friends and family and not Paul’s. But he chose not to invite them, so…

One of the things we’ve noticed over the years is that everyone’s busy, obviously, and ends up trying to juggle much-needed downtime with wanting to hang out with people, and that a lot of times, someone needs to take initiative. Everyone always says they should get together more and never does, and frankly, I don’t buy that that’s just a thing people say to be nice. Some do, for sure, but when people easily get caught up talking for hours, they really do want to hang out more. So I decided we have decent space–certainly a lot more than we have in our apartment–so we’re gonna be those people. Not everyone has to come every single time, it doesn’t have to be a huge thing every single time, but damn it, if it’s a holiday and people are off from work or cousins and friends are in from out of town, we’re gonna say, “Come over!” We leave things like this saying we had fun and wish we saw so-and-so more, so damn it, we’re gonna make it happen.

Otherwise, the minor work continues. We had a few paint spots to touch up pre-party but ran out of time, so that needs done. New carpet is going into the bedrooms hopefully next Monday, if they can get us in that day, and if I have my way, bedroom furniture will get hauled over soon after and we can at least stay there and be out of the apartment and just haul the rest of the furniture over when the other floors are done, then take our time moving any other little stuff and cleaning the whole apartment before we have to be out. Something went awry with the lawnmower that’s more than likely fixable, but we decided to invest in a new one anyway, party because that way, we can both be out there at once and get it down faster.

Basically, we’ve been spending a lot of time and money at Home Depot, but I think the end is in sight.

And the apartment is slowly being overtaken by boxes.

The last couple of weekends have kind of been packed with plans. First, there was Mother’s Day, which funnily enough, both sides of the family decided to celebrate a day early. We started with lunch with my mom around Belle Vernon, which is about the halfway point between where my parents live and where we live, with my brother and his wife not too far, and then went to said brother’s place to meet their new cat.

Jacob and Katie are officially back from a few years living in California and Julie and Michael came down from Erie, so Saturday afternoon was kind of all the kids/siblings over at my in-laws’. And in the evening, the over-21 couples of the group went to a bar in the middle of nowhere that Michael’s gone to a few times for more food and drinks, which was nice. We hung out with Julie and Michael up in Erie before, but it’s been awhile since we’ve been with Jacob and Katie, so it was nice to have a little bit of time for us three adult couple to go off on our own.

Sunday, we headed back into town to give my godmother her gift, and we squeezed in plenty more, too. First, coffee at the place near our apartment, then a brief mountain trip with my parents and the dog, then straight down to my godmother’s house, where we hung out for about an hour or so before she and her husband went to eat with their own mothers. Then we stopped at the mall, since I still buy CDs, only to be let down by the selection and general state of the mall.

In an effort to get as much done at the house as possible so we’re ready as soon as Paul’s dad can install our new floors, we’ve been there almost every night for about a week or so, doing coats of paint and primer here and there and returning the next night when it’s dry and we can do another coat. We’re almost done–we can easily be done with the painting by the end of this week, but we’re not sure about the floors. We may not have them in for Memorial Day, despite planning a cookout, but we’re gonna go ahead with that plan and just hang out outside, since we have a nice deck.

This past Friday night, we picked up Paul’s sister Emily and took her with us to see Jukebox the Ghost in Pittsburgh. We took her to lunch Saturday, then left her to nap while we met my parents (and Seger, again) to pick out furniture for the aforementioned deck. We got a small set of chairs and a table that’s sitting out there now, then a bigger sectional sofa set to be delivered tomorrow. When we got back, Emily decided she wanted to head out to the South Hills for trips to Lush and Sephora, despite originally saying she didn’t need to spend the money, and when we were done shopping and after I had spent entirely too much money, we took her home and hung out there for a little bit.

Somehow, in the day or so since, I’ve managed to not feel so great–I have a bit of a sore throat right now, so I called in sick and slept in. I’m hoping I’ll be fine by tomorrow.

Friday 5: How About a Knuckle Sandwich?

  1. When did you last punch someone?  Alternate question: When did someone last punch you? The answer to both is probably very similar: probably as a kid, probably involving my brother.
  2. How many of those frequent (whatever) stampcards/punchcards do you have, and which are you most likely to fill and redeem? Maybe about 10? Not a ton, but not a tiny amount, either. Most likely to be redeemed, at least in the near future, is one for frozen custard. It’s only a seasonal thing, but of the ones I have, I probably go there the most.
  3. When have you had a really good fruit punch? The restaurant where one of my cousins had her bridal shower back in March served a really good punch. It was some sort of delicious peach Bellini concoction.
  4. What are your thoughts on boxing? I kind of enjoy watching it–there’s a side of me that likes that kind of roughness and grit. It’s like it satisfies something violent in a kind of acceptable, organized way, which is odd because otherwise, I don’t condone or enjoy violence at all. I think that fact that it’s taking place in a designated sporting event is why. That said, I don’t think the damage it does to the boxers is worth the entertainment factor or worth them making that their career. I think we have a few sports/recreational things we as a society ought to reevaluate and stop prioritizing the entertainment over health and wellbeing.
  5. When do you usually punch in and punch out? Well, I’m late pretty much every day, so a few minutes after I’m supposed to start. 7 a.m. on a normal weekday, 6 if I’m going in early. Typically, I punch out a little after 3, but I’ve been known to stay until close to 4 to finish up something.

As always, from Friday 5.

I feel like time is getting away from me, like last week was an endless succession of intending to tackle certain parts of the to-do list and never getting to any of it. Things just kept coming up or taking up more time or attention than I expected or wanted.

But Saturday, we got to enjoy a wedding. Paul’s work friend Andrew and his now wife have been together about as long as we have–about eight years for us–but also like us, waited a while to get married. We started hanging out with them after our wedding but during the course of their planning, and it was enough to get us and a couple other familiar faces from their work group on the guest list. It was a tiny wedding down in West Virginia, and we had a good time, as we always do at weddings. And I was smart enough to realize a week or so prior that we were not gonna feel like driving back home, even though it’s less than an hour, so I decided the smart thing to do would be get a hotel room. It turned out that the wedding did not last as long as we expected, and therefore we were not as drunk and tired as we expected, but still, a night in a nice, big king-sized bed away from home was nice. I feel like most people need a long, far-off vacation to recharge; I just need an overnight stay in a place that’s not mine.