Wow. Today has been horribly unproductive. Of course what does blogging do to help my career? Yeah, nothing, but here I am blogging away nevertheless.
Anyways, last Thursday afternoon I left for the annual "shop at New Hampshire's tax-free outlets and shove the family in a condo and see how long they can go without killing each other" weekend. Jamaal did not join in the festivities and wondered aloud how he'd get on next year when we are a married couple and actually doing things together in the same state. "I don't think I'd like it" he says. "Oh it's not as bad as it sounds" I always reassure him. Tee hee.
I have to say Thursday started on a high as amidst the absolute madness of the day, in which I was blamed entirely for the delay of a huge data submission (BLOW ME IT DEPT) we received news that all hospital employees who had worked here for the past 1040 work hours would be receiving a $1,000 bonus in our Thanksgiving paycheck. Shut the front door! I do not work in the world of perks and bonuses (unless, GOD forbid, I get cancer. Then I'll be at one of the world's premiere cancer institutions for treatment. But that's sort of the bonus you never want to have to get/use), so an extra grand getting tossed my way = EPIC. I practically skipped to my parent's car, which was waiting for me at the door to my building, another epic bonus. After our requisite stop at the New Hampshire State Liquor store to buy cheap, tax-free booze, we went to the outlets in Tilton, where I bought red patent leather heels. Yum.
Finally, we headed to our favorite restaurant in the entire state: The Common Man Ashland. I swear to you, if I moved to New Hampshire, probably about 50% of the reason would be because I needed to be closer to The Common Man. We headed up to the lounge to wait for a table where we learned that they have an extensive grog menu. It seems as though the C-M's interpretation of "grog" is somewhat loose, but I will not fight that. NO way. I ordered the "Fever Reliever" grog - or as I said it "Fevah Relievah" - hot cider with maple whisky and a cinnamon and sugar rim. Oh tastiness. It burned going down but was an excellent base for the bread, salad, baked scallops and white chocolate bread pudding that would follow. I think I gained at least 6 pounds there.
Friday consisted of shopping and my once-yearly dark ale consumption and once-yearly round-trip traverse across the Kanc. We drove from Lincoln to North Conway through the snow-dusted mountains - positively gorgeous. Unfortunately my father drove about 20 mph a majority of the trip as he relieved our traumatic but not too serious car accident. Even though this occured on a frozen overpass on Rt 93 above the Pemigewasset, apparently the Kanc brought back memories. Fortunately we arrived in NC in one piece with my mother promising to drive back. I hit up the usual JCrew and various shoe outlets, actually enjoyed the kitchen store this year and added to my dowry (ha ha ha), and suffered through the Talbots outlet. My parentals and I hit up the Muddy Moose for lunch. I figure this is my last year to live off their generosity so I ordered my Magic Hat and a huge-ass Rueben and enjoyed the scenery. Hells yeah. The victory of the day actually came at Old Navy. I wandered around the store buying reliable Old Navy yoga pants, a sparkle tank, long sleeved T's, a puffy vest and some stocking stuffers for Jamaal, not even looking at prices (this is the one weekend I through consumer caution to the wind and whip out that credit card!). I even grabbed some bag for .99 that said "get 10% off everytime you stuff this bag in December." Sounds good. I got to the register and the total came to $131. Yikes! "Hang on" said the girl at the register, "this doesn't take off for sale items till the end. She pressed a button and the total went to $85. I whipped out my Old Navy card "ooohhhh" said register chick "yeah you get an additional 30% off for using your card, so that's.....$60.50" My reaction went something like this "heeaaahhhnnnnnhhh?" "You spend $61 and saved $71!!!!" said register girl. I skipped out of the store and into the car after paying, then promptly fell asleep for our ride over the Kanc.
My sister and I had great plans for Saturday - we planned a several hundred mile loop through NH and Vermont to hit up our favorite crafting locations. We started in Meredith, where we had breakfast at a favorite local diner/restaurant. Next up was a bead store we discovered over the summer. While Amy chose clasps and beads for a necklace, I asked about stringing pearls. I wanted to make a necklace I had seen on Martha Stewart's website, and had chosen a strand of light grey freshwater pearls for my necklace. The owner of the bead shop pointed out the fact that making a single knot on either side of the pearl would be really hard. While I pondered this difficulty, she said "well what the insiders don't want you to know is that it's just as simple to use TWO silk cords to string pearls, that way you can knot the two strands together and have more control over knot placement." GENIUS! I decided to buy additional silk cord so I could repair three broken pearl strands from my cousin, great aunt and grandma kitty. Rockin'
After the bead store we were off to Grantham, a bit of a drive. We were pleased that the GPS was not sending us all the way south to Concord, only to pick up 89 to go north again. Backroad cutthrough! Our excitement was only heightened when we found ourselves thrust into very rural New Hampshire...which looks like very rural Massachusetts, only BETTER.
We stopped to take a picture of this:
Now some people who saw this were all up in arms, yelling "what's wrong with Mitt Romney?!" Of course Amy said "everything," and not that I disagree, but I explained our motivation for snapping the picture: had the news reached this outpost yet that we have a new president and it's not Mitt Romney? I DON'T KNOW. As Amy and I marveled at the seclusion of this "town" I mentioned that had I grown up there, I probably never would have left the woods. I would've hiked and made lean-to's and sh*t. I wasn't saying that that would've been a bad thing, but then Amy just comes out and says "Yeah. If I had grown up here, I would've been feral. I would be speaking in grunts right now."
So so so bad (and if anyone from NH is reading this I apologize. I love your state. Hard. And I am sure you make fun of us "flatlanders" all the time. ha ha).
Of course the word "feral" became this hilarious endless joke for the rest of the ride.
When we weren't joking about feral children, we were on the lookout for moose while enjoying the gorgeous scenery. We did not find any moose this last weekend, which was disappointing, though we did see a rather large Border Patrol checkpoint on the southbound side of 89 in NH/VT, deer carnage spread liberally across the road (it was grotesquely fresh), and many speeding drivers, leaving us in the dust, despite the precipitously placed highway (we got out of the car to admire the dropoff).
The crowning point of our journey was Chutter's in Littleton. It features the world's longest candy counter. I thank the heavens above or whatever producer at channel 5 decided to make Chutter's Chronicle-worthy. Anywho, I bought $30 worth of candy. While this is slightly embarrassing, how is a girl supposed to resist the world's largest candy counter featuring an entire section of gummy/sour things? Practically impossible! Of course I failed to bring my bag of loot to work this morning. Sadness.
So all in all the weekend was fab. We kind of rushed off on Sunday in order to be home in time for the football game. This was probably good because I think family time was getting to a few of us :)
Now I'm back at work trying to get sh*t done and it's practically impossible. I have a HUGE call on Friday, and I haven't prepared for it at all....and I should, since I am the one who is in charge of the agenda. Um. Yeah. Epic fail. I think I might have to show at work at like 7am tomorrow. Boo. It probably rules out a talk I wanted to go to also. This is why I should not be so bad at planning my day and productivity. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.