Monday, August 18, 2008

Capitalizing on... an ad?

I was just asking the google to find me a new laptop sleeve when I came across this, the Steve Sleeve, from Timbuck2. I thought it was the funniest thing I've seen all day (full disclosure, I've only been up for about an hour, since the Keyspan guys came and woke me up wanting to see the meter.) Though it looks just like the manila envelope of Apple Macbook Air advertising, it is actually a recycled plastic case for your Macbook Air (a computer, by the way, which I would never buy, given how sleek and small the average Macbook already is.) Named, of course, for Steve Jobs of Apple fame, who introduced the ultra-thin Macbook by sliding it out of, you guessed it, a manila envelope.

Is this worth the $50 Timbuck2 wants for it? No, not by half. Is it clever and funny? Why yes. Yes it is.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggity jog

After our all-too-short trip to the Outer Banks, all of the members of our household are home. Dave and I got in this morning around ten, but Juno & Jupiter just arrived home about an hour ago. We weren't able to pick them up earlier because their hosts actually have to work for a living, poor souls. (Oh, wait. I'd like to do that. Note to self: Find job.) Our rabbits were apparently good house guests and are welcome back anytime, which is nice to hear, not that we're going anywhere anytime soon. Juno's snout, as expected, is healing quite nicely, though we do need to continue giving her meds through Thursday. They were both thrilled to be home, hopping around like mad to make sure everything was just as they'd left it. After about half an hour though, they had found their usual spots and were quite relaxed. They don't seem to be bearing us any ill will for ditching them for a week, forgiving little critters.

We returned to a note from our former upstairs neighbors, asking would we mind collecting any mail that they received and sending it on to them (in the thoughtfully provided addressed and stamped envelope, of course), and inviting us to come see them any time we happened to be on that side of the world. I know that they will be happy to be home in Ireland, but I'm quite sorry to lose them as neighbors. Aside from my suspicion that her son was actually a small elephant in disguise (or perhaps he simply had more than his fair share of gravity), Karen was a wonderful person to have in the building, always a kind word and a friendly face. The tenants I like never stay. The ones I don't... another story all together. Fortunately, they did come in once more before heading to the airport, so we did get to say goodbye to them properly. (And they were kind enough to give us a great fan!) I wish them all the best, and I'm glad for them to be going home.

I remembered today why it's always best to clean before you leave on a trip - getting out of the car after ten hours to a pigsty is quite disheartening! It's not much better now, but at least the floors are clean and the dishes are mostly done. I did a few hours of the scanning work today, though I was pretty tired and my heart wasn't in it. Or is that my brain? I threw stuff into the bread maker for a loaf of honey wheat as soon as we got home, so now I just need to make some turkey sandwiches for tomorrow so that we don't spend money eating out. Work is more precarious than ever, for both of us, I suspect, and we need to pinch our pennies harder. Make those pennies squeal!

To go with my turkey sandwich I have the most wonderful souvenir from Duck though. No t-shirts or coffee mugs for us, no sir. Before we left yesterday I made a point of going to the farm stand and buying a big bag of South Carolina peaches. What utter bliss. I intended to eat one on some cereal for breakfast in the morning, but I've just realized that we have no milk. Never mind, I'll just make oatmeal and eat the peach anyhow. They're like eating solidified, slightly tart sunshine. The firm but slightly yielding flesh, the rich colors, the smell! Why is the internet not scratch and sniff yet? Oh how I wish I could share this with you. There are peaches here, lots of them, but none of them measure up. The local ones, not through any fault of their own, are from New Jersey, which is simply not as warm or sunny as parts south so the trees haven't any chance to produce such wondrous fruit. The peaches imported (in the usual fashion, not tenderly in the side compartment of the Prius's trunk) from that same land of sun, were all pulled rudely from the tree well before it had time to impart all of that delicious sunlight it had been lapping up, in the interest of travel. You just can't get peaches like this here, and my taste buds will still be at the beach just as long as they last. (Not very, I expect.)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Beach! Beach beach beach!

We're happily ensconced in our usual Duck House (yeah, not the most creative name ever, but we just rent it, don't blame us) and I'm only sorry that we can't stay here all next week as well. My parents have taken to renting the house for two weeks, rather than the old one, and that makes for a delightful vacation. The first week is largely spent visiting with lots of my maternal extended family, and then the second is the laid back immediate family week. It was a stroke of brilliance on their part, I must say. This year the extended family portion was more intense than usual, as my mom's middle sister, Susan, rented a house just up the street with her husband and their two kids (plus my cousins' significant others.) I hear that it was especially nice because mom's younger sister and her family (husband, three youngish boys!) stayed at that house while my grandmother, three uncles and one other cousin (with boyfriend) stayed here. The Duck House isn't really that large, two queen rooms, a bunk room (sleeps four) and a two twin room. All of those people used to stay here for a few days! One year Dave and I were on the porch on an air mattress on the first night we arrived! That was actually quite lovely, and if I'd been smart enough to bring the aerobed with us, I might try it again this year. As long as there isn't rain, it's really peaceful to sleep under the stars.

Our poor bunnies are not happy with us, I'm afraid. They knew something was up when we started dismantling their house before we left, and they were not best pleased when I scooped them up and tucked them back into one of the boxes they'd come in from the pound. The car ride was surprisingly calm though, I expected them to be extremely unhappy, and while Juno cowered a bit at first, Jupiter had his head up at the first opportunity, trying to see where we were going. By the time we reached Brooklyn they both seemed fine with the situation. While we would have to come up with a better solution for any long trips, I'm encouraged by their placid reaction to car travel.

We set them up in Angela & Zach's living room, and once the cage was assembled we pulled them out of the carrier. Dave said that Jupiter was clinging to his shirt, as though he knew we were leaving them, and I've never seen Juno so happy to be picked up, and so reluctant to be put down. Rabbits typically do not like being picked up at all, so this was odd behaviour for them. I suspect they are being spoiled terribly and won't even want to come home with us on Monday!

Poor Juno did get into a bit of a scuffle with the resident rabbit, Greta. Greta had plenty of time to get used to being the sole rabbit in her multi-animal household, and efforts to bond her with the newer rabbit there, Artie, have been less than successful. I can't imagine she's happy with the current situation at all, so I can't say I was all that surprised to hear that she and Juno had come to blows. Somehow they managed to get at one another through two spaced out pens, being persistent animals, and I suspect Juno was shoving her nose through the bars for all she was worth, since she did that to us all the time before she became an outside-the-cage rabbit. Evidently Greta took exception and took a good nip at Juno's lip. Our good bunny sitters took her off to the vet, and say that she seems fine now, no trouble eating or anything. Jupiter has been quite solicitous towards her, Angela says whenever she's gone to medicate the cut she's had to move Jupe out of the way first. He's a good little guy, and fairly unflappable. I'm not worried, and I'm sure she's being spoiled even more than she was before! I will be terribly glad to see them both when we return though.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Vacation Time!

The bunnies get to have a new adventure this week. Dave and I are going on our annual trip to Duck, NC to vacation with my family, and Juno and Jupiter get to go visit our friends Angela and Zach. And the rest of their menagerie. They share their apartment with two humans, two dogs, a maniacal cat and two rabbits. Our pair are going to be beside themselves, but we're very thankful that Ang and Zach are so kind as to bunny-sit for us.

There was a great deal of uncertainty about whether we were even going to go on vacation this summer, as work has been slimmer than usual, especially for Dave, who got far less hours than he was given to expect in July, putting us both behind. Mom & Dad, of course, offered assistance in getting to the beach, but since they already foot the not-inconsiderable expense of the beach house rental itself, nevermind the mountain of food that the clan consumes, we were extremely reluctant to take them up on their offer. However, we did feel obliged to GO after they made the offer, and so we planned to leave for a week and a half.

For the second year straight, our friend Reid has rescued the long, dark teatime of our summer. Last year it was the crazy barge gig, a desperately needed week of work. (And a very odd show. On, as I mentioned, a barge. With the audience and half the sound system on a pier.) This year, he's head audio on a big off-Broadway show, and he's already hired me quite a bit for it, starting with the shop build back in May/June. (I do love a good shop build. All that titchy little stuff...) He's asked me to join the show as the A2 when the current guy leaves, and in the meantime he's been getting me on as many of the work calls as I can take. I had to turn him down there for a while because I was busy at LCI for summer session, and didn't feel right ditching them, but now we're in the true doldrums, and there is no such impediment. Lucky for Dave and I, they've just realized that they need two sound crew persons every day for the next three weeks. Which gets me right up until the time I would take over as A2. Good stuff.

Of course, this prompted some discussion about skipping the beach trip in favor of the work, and while that is probably the practical decision, I really wasn't about to cancel on my family with three days notice. Fortunately, Dave decided that he would come too, so the beach trip is abbreviated, but not abandoned. We were leaving earlier and returning later initially, but we're still getting our beach (and more importantly, family) time in, and that's what counts to me. The bunnies may feel differently...