labor day weekend

big grinsWhat a gorgeous weekend! Totally makes up for the fact that last week was so unbearably hot. I say it every year, but summer is fast out-staying its welcome. I’m ready for a cool breeze and an excuse to wear fleece, and this weekend delivered on that promise.

On Saturday we drove to Freeport to see one of my absolute favorite musicians in concert. Now, I’m not what you’d call an “audiophile.” I don’t have an extensive collection of music, and my taste has been called into question on more than one occasion by an embarrassing number of people, including my parents, my brother, several roommates, and even my husband. I don’t make a concentrated effort to seek out new music. There are very few songs that move me to tears. In short, music is nice, but it’s not one of my “things” like it is for some people.

That said, there are a select few musicians who I get ridiculously excited about, whose albums I will always buy without hesitation, and who I’d happily pay good money to see in concert multiple times. Joshua Radin is one of those people. I’ve had a total crush on his music since I first heard “Winter.” When I heard he was coming to Freeport as part of L.L. Bean’s Summer in the Park concert series, I literally squealed like a schoolgirl.

The concert itself was wonderful. The weather was perfect, we had excellent seats, and the atmosphere was friendly and low-key. We got to the park several hours in advance so we could reserve our spot, did a little shopping at Bean’s, then just hung out. We watched the band set up and play a couple songs for sound check (if I hadn’t forgotten my camera, I could have gotten a picture with Josh at that point–so bummed! But he did wave and smile at me, so that was neat.) Ellie was so well-behaved, charming everyone around us. She didn’t make a peep throughout the whole concert… just laid her head on my chest and snuggled up. I cannot think of a more perfect way to spend an evening than with my family, listening to my favorite music and cuddling with my kiddo.

Yesterday we were treated to this beautiful sight for a few moments, and I’m glad I had the presence of mind to grab my camera before it faded. I did very little to enhance the photo, just a slight contrast bump and white balance adjustment.

rainbow

In celebration of our extra day off, we decided to take a little road trip to a local orchard for u-pick apples. Ellie had fun toddling between the trees and helping us throw the fruit into our grocery bag. I got a short video of her first apple-picking experience (she was more interested in eating the apples than picking them), then it was back home to make the first crisp of the season; so delicious!

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because everyone else is doing it?

I will preface this by saying that I’ve already received the Christmas gift that was at the top of my list, which was for the S.O. to find a new, permanent job.  He’d been a temp at his last department for over a year and half, and when we got a positive call regarding the new job last week, we were, as they say, totally stoked.  All that finger-crossing really paid off.  So it’s already a happy holiday for us, and I couldn’t truthfully ask for anything more.

Regardless, t’is the season to spend money, and if I had a rich benefactor (I’m taking applications!) who wanted nothing but to shower me with gifts on Christmas Day, this is what I would ask for:

  • A laptop lunch box.  I want to try the bento thing for myself.  Having individual compartments for each of my lunch items appeals to my obsessively organized side, and this Lean Cuisine crap needs to stop.

  • A series of Sims 2 expansion packs.  I own the Sims 2 game, but I’m way behind on my expansions.  Currently I’m missing Nightlife, Pets, Open for Business, and the various “Stuff” sets. One cannot live on World of Warcraft alone, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I still love playing doll-house.
  • Subscriptions to various photography magazines.  I was going to include  JPG in that list, but it appears they’re already sending a free subscription for my being a former contributor.  Yay, free stuff!
  • An Apple iPod Nano, in pink, with companion Klipsch iGroove iPod shelf.  Let no one accuse me of having cheap taste.
  • Copious quantities of Stretch Island Fruit Leather.  I think I could give up chocolate if I had enough of these. Well, maybe not, but this fruit leather is still pretty tasty.
  • Anything from Philosophy that smells like yum.  The Candy Cane Suitcase set would do, or possibly the God Child set.
  • Chocolate Whipstick lip balm from Lush.  Chocolate and lip balm, two of my favorite addictions rolled into one.  ‘Nuf said.

Now that I’ve had my greedy moment for the day, it’s time to shop for everyone else.  What a pain… shopping for myself is so much easier!

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random things

A while ago I signed up to participate in an art project of sorts sponsored by Coca-Cola and Look-Look Magazine.  The idea was that you’d send in a sample of work for approval, and if you were accepted, you’d get to participate in a bunch of random creative challenges that might get published or might not.  Chance to win prizes and all that.  I submitted work, was accepted into the program, and promptly forgot about it because a) I haven’t felt very creative recently and b) the full-time job started.

Well, apparently I didn’t read the fine print carefully enough, because yesterday I received an envelope in the mail from Coca-Cola.  In it was a note that said, “Thanks for participating in our project!  Here’s your gift card, as promised.”

Gift card?  Eh?

Sure enough, after digging around in the envelope a little, I find a $25 iTunes Music card.

Now, the problem is that I have absolutely no idea what to download.  I’m not exactly “hip” to the music scene these days.  I pretty much like what I like, and I listen to what I like, and that’s that.  My iPod gets updated with new music, oh, once every six months.  Most of what’s on the radio is obnoxious (not necessarily because it’s bad music, but because it’s overplayed), and I’m not really the type to go searching out new music.  So tell me – what are you listening to these days?

Unexpected free stuff made up for the fact that my guild’s first attempt at Onyxia wasn’t as successful as we’d hoped.  The good news is, we’re pretty darn sure that it was lag that killed us repeatedly, and not just inexperience.  A 1.5 second heal should not take 5 seconds to cast, if you get my drift, and it’s much harder to stay alive when you think you’re standing in a safe spot, but on server time you’ve actually run into a mob of angry whelps.

Phase 1: OK
Phase 2: OK
Phase 3: Lag!  Death!  Destruction!  You lose!

I’m confident our next attempt will be successful if the servers are stable by then.  Hopefully at that time I’ll have some decent screenshots to show as well.  This round I was too busy crying for my mother from the floor of Onyxia’s Lair to take pictures.  That is One. Big. Dragon.

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