That Was The Week That Was.... w/e 5.5.18

Got a message from a regular blog reader who said they like these week recaps so here's the next one.

Little Andy back in grade school where I was considering career choices.  Note that I didn't know it was picture day-- I dressed like this all the time.

Little Andy back in grade school where I was considering career choices.  Note that I didn't know it was picture day-- I dressed like this all the time.

Sunday 29th
It was nice to sleep in my own bed again.  I’ve never enjoyed hotels.  Veronica had cleaned the house from top to bottom, it was sparkling, and she’d washed and changed all the sheets so it was a great night’s sleep.
We went to 9am church and then had coffee with friends before heading over to Jed’s Hardware to pick up some more birdseed.

We had originally planned to spend the day out but the weather was cold and rainy so we decided to stay in and work, such is the magic of setting your own schedules.   We did take a break to run to the Worcester Public Library because they had a few Japanese films that we’d been looking for.  What a sad place that is.  All of the equipment is brand new and state of the art, but the people are sad.  There was a woman and man in pajamas trying to explain how whatever they had taken out had been stolen when they were at the front desk.  The staff was nice to them but I couldn’t help but imagine WPL staff have to deal with a lot of issues.  I know from my time listening to the police scanner that there are overdoses that occur there a few times a day.  Not the same place I used to spend my Summers at.

We worked until dinner then watched OUR LITTLE SISTER, which was a nice little Japanese film from one of our favorite directors.  That went until about 1230— I’ve got to stop these late evening movies because it causes me to oversleep.


Monday 30th
Today would have been my step-Dad’s birthday.  He passed away a few years ago.  It’s odd to write Step anything because he used to tell me steps are for climbing not for families.  But I’ve been spending some time on for a project so the term is imbedded in my brain.

The weather was damp and cool, but we’re on the edge of a real heat up.  Our good friend Kate called it a few weeks ago when she said we were probably not going to have a Spring and go instead from Winter right to Summer.  Brimfield is another week away and I’m psyched for it.  I love getting the 10 mile walk in while having a lot of great stuff to look at.
Over the years we’ve gotten some amazing things there including a great Cowhide Ottoman and a vintage Leather chair, along with a great bookshelf, all of which are in our living room.  Sometimes we take the dog but we end up carrying him after a while so I’m not sure we will this year.

Around mid-day I got an email from Fritz’s Bike Shop that my vintage 1981 Peugeot was ready to be picked up.  I brought it in last week for an overhaul— I thought it was going to be a $300 bill but it was only ⅓ of that so I was happy.  It’s tight and clean and looks almost like new.  I strapped it onto my bike rack and drove it home.  

Since it was lunch time I headed up West Boylston Street and was going to stop and get something from Wraps and Bowls which had taken the place of Golden Pita.  I love Mediterranean Food— especially Chicken Shwarma and Falafel but just as I was getting to it the sky opened up and it was so bad I didn’t want to get out of the car.

I had brought Austin with me to pick it up since he loves going for rides in the car but I forgot he’s got a hysterical fear of bikes.  I guess if you’re a 9” tall 11lb Yorkie bikes can look pretty threatening.  But he calmed down as I walked it from my driveway up the hill to my house.  The rain was brief but my bike was soaked so I brought it inside the house rather than the shed to dry it off.

Our friends Bill and Kate had recommended Pizza from Ciao Bella which isn’t that far from us so I ordered a Large Cheese with Ricotta and Carmelized Onions for dinner— the pizza was a nice soft crust which I like but it definitely needed something salty like ham or bacon to offset the Ricotta so I’ll be back and give them another shot.

We had a small family gathering to help us finish the pizza so dinner lasted until about 9— I still had some work to do so I went back upstairs to my studio to get some files sent in.  By the time I wrapped up at 1030 it was too late to read any of the pile of books I’ve been accumulating so I put on an episode of The First 48 — which is a pretty entertaining cop show following homicide detectives.  It’s sad really, I’ve seen probably 100 episodes and it’s ALWAYS low income low educated people who are involved in these violent crimes.  How do I know they are low income low education?  Simple,  by the way they live and speak.  The victims are an equal mix of white, black and hispanic.  I’ve yet to see an Asian family involved.  That’ says something doesn’t it?  Asian Families tend to put the biggest emphasis on education.  It seems so simple to me.  Stop coddling people and fix our school systems to actually teach kids.  Stop promoting those that don’t meet standards, stop worrying that a kid is going to feel bad if he’s last in his class— and instill a desire to improve themselves because when they get out into the real world they aren’t going to have a lot of options.

Tuesday May 1st
Wow— finally the end of winter but even though the sun was shining the rain the night before had kept the temps to the low 40s.   We had a glass guy coming to give us a quote on replacing the last of our windows as well as our patio door.  He came right on time but once he left the sky darkened and it started raining again.  Oh well, I’d hoped to get a short ride in today but it looks like that’s not the case.  I just got over a small cold and the last thing I want to do is bring it back.
For lunch I convinced Veronica to go with me to Wraps and Bowls which I’d almost gone to yesterday.  It’s a new place that took over Golden Pita which itself offered Wraps and Bowls (as well as breakfast and salads).  The place is small— at least the seating area is— and it’s setup a little bit like Subway but that’s not a negative thing.  You choose your start— i.e. a wrap or a bowl or salad and then your filling which is either Rice Pilaf, CousCous, or Lentels, then a protein(s) and then your veggies, then your spread i.e hummus, avocado, chickpea spread, etc and then your dressing.

I got a Wrap with Chicken Shwarma and Falafel along with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, onions, hummus and a Tahini sauce.  They also serve Bai Coconut Water which is a favorite of mine.

It was OUTstanding.  Veronica ordered a predetermined Cauliflower wrap which she also enjoyed— I wouldn’t eat Cauliflower if it was doused in buffalo wing sauce so I can’t comment.

We took a walk once we got back— the weather was sunny and in the low 60s but it was very cool, there was a stiff breeze blowing but we spent as much time outside as we could.

After working for a few more hours we made dinner out of a bunch of leftovers we had on top of salad greens and I had one of my legendary Cranberry/Orange Gin Cocktails and finished working while she watched some of the Italian films she had rented.  I came downstairs a little before ten and watched 1/2 of a Kurosawa film with her called DREAMS, it’s a series of short stories so I was able to jump out to head to bed without missing much.

I watched a few minutes of TARZAN AND THE VALLEY OF GOLD from 1966— it was one of the long running Tarzan film series that introduced yet another Tarzan in the form of former LA Rams linebacker Mike Henry.  It was rumored that Henry was initially signed to play Batman in a TV series that would have been more serious than the Adam West version that was eventually made, but he made for an interesting Tarzan who was more James Bond than Ape man.  

I switched over to a classic BULLWINKLE episode, the Jay Ward cartoon series was so quick and witty it really has to be seen to be appreciated.  If you’ve not watched it since you were a kid give it another go.

Wednesday May 2nd. SUMMER IS HERE
Intense sunshine started the day and the humidity was non-existent, its rumored to get into the mid 80s today and it certainly seems likely.  I broke out my linen pants which are a godsend in hot weather since I don’t wear shorts.

Mid-day we made BLT’s and enjoyed having all the windows and the patio door open.  I used up the last of the Gin the night before so I headed to a package store near a fruit stand we like.  I picked up some pears and oranges and then walked over and got a bottle of New Amsterdam Gin.  The prices there are comparable to Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge.

I had to get things ready for the last class of my Advanced Graphic Novel studies class tonight.  It’s a great group with some really talented students.
We wrapped up class and I had a quick dinner before taking the dog for a really long walk.  The night sky was really bright and the temp was mid 70s— what a change from just a few days ago!   I had a morning bike ride planned and wondered if it was going to be warmer than I’d planned.

Thursday May 3rd-
Got up at 645 loaded the bike and met #2 son at a bike trail.  It was overcast but warm.  Too warm for the sweatpants I was wearing but I figured I would tough it out.  We started out pretty good— when we got to the lot there were no cars but as I took the bikes off the rack a few pulled in— but NO other bikes.  Everyone was walking!  WTF?  Walk on the road people.  This is a BIKE path.

About ¼ of the way in and going down a pretty steep incline at a good clip I suddenly started to slow down, slow down to the point I had to peddle DOWNHILL.   Rear flat tire.  I knew that tube was no good.  I’m not faulting the bike shop because it held air for about 10 minutes before it went flat but I’m going to take it back in and have them put a heavy duty tube— maybe even get some thicker tires.   I can also have them install the water bottle holder I’ve been meaning to put on.

Trouble is, EVERY bike shop in the city opens at 10am.  I think it’s a conspiracy.  I grabbed a quick breakfast at Dippin’ Donuts (no donuts for me I just rode a dang bike uphill with a flat tire) but I was really hungry so I grabbed a sandwich and a coffee and then headed home to shower.  Boy I felt gross.

I decided to get a couple of pages done before I took the bike back to the shop and we had lunch plans at a place nearby (Wraps and Bowls again) so I figured I’d do it all in one swoop.  Davidian Farms opened up this week, and they have the absolute BEST chocolate cream pie you’ve ever seen, but then again I could barely walk after my bike ride so do I really want the extra calories?

Our 13 year old neighbor asked if she could do anything for us to complete her community service so we came up with a few things for her to fill her time which would really help us out.  She’s a great kid and a great neighbor so we’re happy to help, but this meant Veronica was behind work wise so I opted to get take out at Wraps and Bowls after I dropped the bike of at Fritz’s.

Well, Fritz’s outperformed as usual and got the flat changed in record time and then they even put on a bottle holder for me.  I hung out at the shop while they got it done, love looking around.  Then I loaded up the bike on the rack again and headed over to get lunch.

The breeze coming in from our patio doors was intense but it made for a nice cool lunch in this unusually warm Spring day.  It was about 85 outside and now there was clearly a big storm brewing.

Friday The 4th
May the 4th Be With You is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen marketing wise.  It’s also our friends birthday so we swung by to drop of a little something for him.
Veronica has been working around the clock so she decided to take the day off but I kept working on Blackwood to keep us on schedule.  I’m glad she is willing and able to take days off— she used to be really bad about it.
Friday night we watched a Woody Allen movie (Broadway Danny Rose) which was really great, then we decided to run our movies back to both Westboro and Worcester Libraries despite the fact that it was close to midnight— the stormy winds were really picking up but I figured with the lateness of the hour we’d hit zero traffic and it was still balmy outside so we made the trip with our windows down.

Saturday the 5th
We walked Moore State Park but we had to interrupt the rest of our plans when we spotted a tick on Austin— so we raced him back home and bathed and combed him.  We also called the groomer to get him buzzed down but the only openings any of them had was the following Thursday so we went ahead with booking it and just checked him very closely.

It was Free Comic Book Day today but we opted to not participate at all despite several invitations.  We kind of like to consider our working in comics a job and not our lives so anything we can do to eliminate outside events really helps us to feel like it’s just work.