Ohio Sucks…Except for Cleveland. I heart Cleveland.

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Jul 1st, 2010
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Vacation Day 1. Better known as the day we get the hell outta Dodge. Both The Man and I are suffering from serious burnout by the time vacation comes around every year. We are cranky-pants and short-tempered. I was not my usual ray of sunshine. *snort* But Joy! Elation! Happy-happy! Vacation has arrived.

The plan was to roll out at seven a.m., bound for parts unknown. Or Ohio. But what happens when we make plans? Chaos and mayhem, that’s what. I was awakened at 4 a.m. by a horrific thunderstorm. And I’m pretty sure I could hear laughing in the background somewhere. We both laid awake until 6 o’clock listening to the storm, until we could bear it no longer and turned to the weather channel to see how bad it was going to be. We got lucky and the rain quit by 8:30 and we were able to hit the road by 9. Freedom was ours. With a wary eye on the gray clouds, we proceeded to Cincinnati. Which I believe is also known as the armpit of the Midwest. From Cincinnati we turned north and made our way through Ohio.

A little background for you. My dad used to pave roads for a living. He was an asphalt man. I understand the concept of road repair and construction. But Ohio, you shouldn’t really tear the fresh hell out of a road and leave the speed limit at 70. It causes people to believe that they can drive at least seventy. Or ninety. Crimeny, there were Nascar wannabes racing for the finish line all over the goddamn state. And near me. Which made me feel stabby. I don’t want to feel stabby on

I don’t have many pictures from that first day because as I said before, Ohio sucks. But rolling into Cleveland that evening was divine. The architecture is amazing and the peoples are friendly to a fault. Lake Erie and the pier were a refreshing sight and we took an enjoyable stroll down the pier on our first evening away.

After a wonderful walk, we went in search of lodging for the evening. We got a reasonable room with all the normal amenities and cleanliness. I trotted down the the restaurant and ordered a pizza to munch on while Dave unpacked our gear and found his favorite channels on the tv. I thought a barbecued chicken pizza with some monterrey cheddar and red onions sounded nice, but the smallish Vietnamese gentleman has trouble understanding what I wanted. After pointing my way through the menu, and determining that I did not want a smalleeeee, but a lahgeeee, he kindly offered to bring up my food to the room when it was ready. Wonderful!

Thirty minutes later, our food arrived. Now, most everyone I know has eaten at at least one Chinese buffet in their lives. You know that very red-colored barbequed chicken they serve? The one with the unnatural color? Imagine that laying on a puddle of pizza sauce and sprinkled with some cheese. Run that through an Easy Bake oven and throw some raw onions on top. Kinda reminds me of the crap we invented in our kitchen in college from things leftover in everyone’s fridge. Either we were really tired and hungry, or just didn’t care becuase we were on vacation. Yup, we ate it. And didn’t care. This was about the time that I noticed something about our room. Something different. Something out of place. Something that didn’t belong.

In case you didn’t spot it, here’s a closer look.

I promise this was a nice place. Marble floors in the lobby and leather club chairs. And pine tree air fresheners.

Spoiler alert: Day 2 was so cool, that we are now way cooler just by default. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Vacation Totals Day One: Miles ridden- 373
Condition of ass from riding on a 1-10 scale – 9
Number of times I lost, misplaced, or forgot something – 2
Number of times I cared that I lost, or forgot something – 0

Stay tuned, it gets way better.

The Reason for the Season.

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Dec 26th, 2009
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Ok, I take it back. I was being entirely too Grinch-y and bitchy and such. Despite the crap-tastic circumstances of late, there was a Festivus miracle. Christmas went off without a hitch. There was joy and merriment all over the place. I was particularly pleased with the gifts I had purchased to bestow upon the loved ones.

You know who every now and then you find the perfect gift? Well, I did that alot this season. I am truly grateful that I was able to provide these things to my family. Here are a few sof the things that make me believe in the magic of the season.

One of the joys of having older children is that there is no one to wake you at 4:30 AM. For this I am truly grateful.

Food. Nom,nom,nom, yum. It was abundant and delicious. And I didn’t even have to cook most of it! (My favorite kind of food is the kind that someone else slaves over.)

The fam was delightful, including the extended ones. The man’s family descended upon us Christmas evening and a goood time was had by all. (I always wanted to write those words. Sounds just like the small town newspaper, right?) My own children seem to have left their ability to bicker in their pockets for a few hours.

The laughter, oh my the laughter. I love the sound of my kids laughing. It makes my heart clench just a little and reminds me that these are good days. My new motto will from now on be : Any moment spent laughing is a moment to be treasured.

And once again…The man has managed to shock the pants off of me. (Literally, but that is a story for another time.) After all the unexpected expenses of late, I felt that we were struggling to make Christmas happen. Or at least to the standards that we are used to. But the man had other plans. Or he actually does plan, something I rarely do. I knew he had set aside money for Christmas. I even had a rough idea how much. Boy was I wrong. After spending weeks telling me that he hoped I wasn’t disappointed, and that there wouldn’t be much this year, and that the bills were taking most of the available cash, he once again managed to buy me the perfect present. I am now the proud owner of a brand new Nikon DSLR and I couldn’t be happier. My old camera (which he also bought for me several years ago) was very outdated and incapable of doing what I wanted. The new camera however is way smarter that me and is clearly embarassed to be owned by such a dumbass. I continually press random buttons for no good reason and take great joy in blinding my family with the flash in my quest to become Olan Mills.

I hope everyone had as good a Christmas as I did. I’m now ready to finish out the year with a smile on my face and a full heart. Expect many pictures to including here soon, so that I can have a visual reference for the world to see all the ways in which I embarrass myself on a regular basis.