It’s somewhat embarrassing that I am so bad at this relaxing stuff, but this year it’s really going okay. I am now back in Vermont where me and my landlady try to out-yankee each other by seeing how long we can go without putting the furnace on. I have electric sheets and I think I may win. But she has a woodstove. We each had a recent birthday. Some recent events have included
– Having a lousy cold – taking care of sick Jim gave me a small bout of the low-level crud. I am better now.
– Labor Day hangout in Westport – good times, good food and a lot of friends from various parts of my life. I am lucky.
– Birthday weekend – which included a nice long visit with Kate, a lot of short visits with Jim, a lot of random food and beachwalking, and many amusing photo ops because my friend GJ wants people to send him photos of people flipping him off. You know me and Kate… hilarity ensues.
– Shopping – as most of you know, I hate to shop but it was time to get rid of my 20+ year old mattress, a mattress so old I don’t even know where I got it. Second-hand something. So I went mattress-shopping, for the first time ever, with Kate there to run interference if things got dicey. The mattress guys just dropped off my new-to-me mattress and as I was making the bed, thinking about consumer choices I have made and not made, I was thinking that may have been a good Virgo Month of Leisure move. There’s a longer discursive ramble about my bizarre (to me) habit of usually immediately disliking any new item I have purchased, including haircuts but I’ll save it for a less leisurely month. This mattress looks nice.
Yeah I’m shouting. This is my annual me-festival, one of the made-up holidays that I celebrate because I find the standard palette of holidays uninspiring, though I do enjoy many of them.
The idea, which started sometime before my blog, is that Virgos are uptight and overly analytical and so they need to take some time off and chill out, regularly. I think my friend Anne and I thought this up, or maybe it was her idea alone. In any case, I’ve run with it and made some sort of mention of it online every year. I also attempt to unwind and pay special attention to my stress levels and try to moderate them as best I can. The punch line is that the Virgo month is also the beginning of school and all sorts of crazy things happen [9/11 happened, Jet Blue does a special sale that I’m always tempted to buy in to, I’m frequently in transit, school is starting, this month there is a lot of paperwork that I’m dying to be done with] and it’s usually the very opposite of relaxing and haw haw, the stereotype is correct after all.
So, to recap, the Virgo Month of Leisure started today. It’s been slow going so far–I was interviewed in the Montpelier ACLU office for a cable access project about privacy and then I had a delicious dinner with pie–but I expect it to ramp up. Here, because it’s funny, is a linked list of the last fourteen years of Month of Leisure failures.
I’ve also created an event on facebook. If you’re a facebooker, you can sign up to “attend” over there. My birthday is on September 5th. I’m hoping it’s a good one.
I just got back from Montreal where I was in an all day meeting that had no internet access where I tried to tell people who were hoping to sell people a web portal that people don’t really buy web portals anymore. I guess I am now a “social media consultant” so you can tell your friends.
I spent one night at the Omni and one night on my friends’ couch and as you can probably guess, preferred the couch. Not that there isn’t something nice about a fancy hotel room on the 20th floor with a view of the actual Mount Royal but the room was cold [and unwarmupable – usually my hotel strategy is to set the heat to “stun” which is good for sleeping] and the tub didn’t drain and the bidet was offputting and there were no cats.
I live vicariously through other people’s pets since the only thing I seem to be able to keep alive at home is a cactus and I think maybe it’s just dying too slowly for me to notice. It’s been so damp here that one of my birdfeeders had sprouted which was a glucky cleaning job for me when I got home. Also the trees outside are full of peeping baby cardinals and their parents giving them birdseed (and bugs!) so that’s been a nifty thing to get to spy on up in the trees here.
I’ll be gone the next two weekends, one in NH doing some hiking and friend visiting and one in the Northeast Kingdom having a little R&R with Jim over my birthday. Last year I did a big huge birthday weekend thing which was a lot of fun. This year a lot of people are going to be out of town so I’m doing something a little less planning-intensive and a little more relaxation oriented. As per usual, the Virgo Month of Leisure kicked off while I was busy doing other things and this MoL will be like all the other ones, gone in a flash. I fail every year; at least I’m consistent.
And ground cherries? They are like twinkies in a fruit, totally delicious.
The pool is going to be open until 10 pm. This is great news. This means there will be something to DO at 9 pm around here during the week.
I went to the movies again, this time with Rick and Sarah. We saw Ratatouille and then it started to pour rain so we skipped out on Pirates of the Carribean 3 which is okay by me. Then a bunch of social stuff fell through (mixed signals plannign a lake trip, too many clouds for flying) and I knew I was back to my old self again when I shrugged and thought “oh, well I guess I’ll have some free time to do a bunch of stuff around here” And I did.
I took all the recycling out. I cleaned up the kitchen. I took the hanging baskets with the fake plants on them off the kitchen ceiling (you’d have to see it to really get it) and put them out on the porch where they look nice and are more easily dusted. I mopped the floors. I paid the bills. I did the laundry. I unpacked some stemware that I’d brought home from my Mom’s place months ago and put the box out in the garage. I planned the Nova Scotia trip. I updated my blog software (well, I’m in the process now). I finished a blog project for a friend. I started another blog project. I downloaded some music. I changed lightbulbs. I did a little dusting. I threw out a bunch of bottlecaps with pithy sayings because I didn’t have anything to do with them. I wrote a few letters. I made plans to move my 401K from the random people who were managing it to Fidelity who has the rest of my investment-type money. I called the fuel oil people.
You get the idea. It felt GREAT. It’s been getting cold here and tonight I had tomoato basil soup and a two-cheese grilled cheese sandwich to welcome the Autumn. The Virgo Month of Leisure begins on Thursday and I think I’ve gotten a lot of picky nonsense done that I will NOT have to do while I’m trying hard (and failing, as usual) to relax.
Plus I’m training to be a lifeguard. More on that in a few days.