There’s really no explanation for the “!”-style excitement in the post title… just as there’s really no explanation for my month-long hiatus from posting on a regular basis. Of course, the blog has not been the only thing to suffer, as I’ve taken far fewer photos in the past few weeks. But I have been working a completely ridiculous number of hours the past three weeks, so I guess maybe that has something to do with it. Yeah, that’s it.
Anyway, I’m back for a regularly scheduled edition of the Ten on Tuesday which will hopefully get me back on track. So let’s jump right in with a recap of the last month:
1. Nicole and I were in Boston for a long weekend back at the beginning of the month. A great trip overall, with some quality time spent with my parents as well as a half-day each with my cousins Andrew and Julie. We saw the Red Sox lose to the Mariners (yay!), as well as the fireworks over the Charles River later that night and a sunset cruise in Boston harbor Sunday evening. I’ve got some film from the trip (will link to those as soon as they are up), but here are the digitals in slideshow format, which can be found on my Flickr page: Boston | Mariners @ Red Sox
2. Nicole and I went to see Wilco at Wolf Trap on July 8 with Caroline and Drew (Wilco is Drew’s favorite band). What a great venue and a great show (our first time for both!)… a slideshow of some of my photos from the show can be found here.
3. Starting with the second week of July, Nicole and I visited 8 different potential locations for our wedding reception. Yes, planning has begun and we are moving at full speed. Our goal was to lock up the church and reception location before she returns to law school at the end of this month, and I’m happy to say that we chose the amazing Park Hyatt hotel at 24th and M Streets NW. The church is the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. The date is November 13, 2010.
4. I made a major blunder on Friday, July 24… I was supposed to head up to Baltimore on a MARC train to see the Chelsea FC v. AC Milan football match at M&T Bank Stadium with my brother and a bunch of his friends. However, I boarded the wrong MARC train and was informed of such at the Silver Spring MARC station (I was on a train that was heading to West Virginia… awesome!). I took the Metro out to Greenbelt in hopes of catching the proper train, only to find out the next scheduled departure from Union Station wasn’t stopping there. With my phone dying and knowing I wasn’t going to get to the stadium until well after the match started, I decided to scratch the trip and head home. Whooops! So, wallowing in my own self pity, I sat in solitude at the rear of the train back into town and shot some video. They can be found here, and here.
5. That following Sunday, July 26, I played in an APA-sanctioned tournament at Fast Eddie’s in Alexandria, VA. It was an invite-only tournament for the 2 Spring session MVP players (skill levels 5 through 7 only) from each APA division in the region. I think 151 players were invited and 71 appeared. Cash and assorted prizes were awarded for the top 8 finishers, but unfortunately, I finished in a tie for ninth place (not bad though!). Surprisingly, I played very, very well, and some of the other players that watched me commented about how I am “not a 5″ (skill level). All that says to me is that I played above myself, but the 7 foot tables helped as well. Nonetheless, I hope to be back there some day soon… Oh, and props to Cole, Lori, and Cash, for coming out to support me!
6. Sheesh, and then on the next Tuesday, July 28, Nicole and I and some friends headed out to Nissan Pavilion to see Depeche Mode. This was my first DM concert and I was seriously impressed. They are Dave’s favorite band, so he made sure that he got seats that were good and close to the stage… orchestra row 6, stage left. Not that bad! A few of my photos from the show are in slideshow format here. Also, props to Nissan Pavilion for getting us in and out of the parking lots smoothly. This was my first visit where it didn’t take an hour to park after getting off the highway, and it didn’t take an hour to get out of the lots to the highway after the show.
7. Take the current work environment (slow and worrisome for my boss, though super busy for me the last three weeks), add how busy Nicole and I have been the last few weeks, and for good measure, toss in the fact that the Red Sox had been playing like absolute crap for most of July, and you’ve got a Swifty that finds himself in a bit of a funk. I don’t slide into these kinds of phases too often and I’m pretty good at putting a happy face on most of the time, but still, it’s been tough. Thankfully, starting this week, Nicole and I have a much lighter schedule ahead; the Red Sox are finally playing well (despite my initial skepticism, the Victor Martinez trade is starting look like a good move); and work has leveled out a bit.
8. Nicole and I have been using Betty Crocker’s instant mashed potatoes for a long time… ever since we’ve been cooking together. A few years ago, however, my mother had given me an old Foley Food Mill that (I think) belonged to my grandmother. I was always the one in charge of making the mashed potatoes during holiday gatherings, mostly because they’re usually my absolute favorite thing on the table during dinner, so Nicole and I decided to put the food mill to work and make our own last week. Well damn, I had forgotten how good homemade potatoes can be! Goodbye, Betty Crocker!
9. The story lately has been how much rain we’ve had and how mild this summer has been so far. As I look out the window right now, it looks as though the trend shall continue. It seems like it’s rained just about every day for the last two months! But at least it’s not as hot as it could be or has been in the past.
10. Annnd, finally, Nicole and I get back to seeing some baseball games starting tomorrow. Though the Nationals are still stinking up the basement of the National League East, it’ll be nice to head to the ballpark for some of our nation’s pasttime. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll only get to about 15 games this year. Oh well.
That about wraps it up. I’m sure that after I click “Post Entry”, I’ll remember something that I meant to post. But this is it for now… it’s enough typing (and for you, reading!) for one day!