Monday, March 31, 2008

Dancin' In The Streets Of Hyannis

Back on board the M/V Eagle again - this time heading back to Hyannis after two very relaxing days on Nantucket. Goof and I experienced Nantucket the way the island's earliest settlers must have - namely without Internet access.

Alas, the inn where we took shelter from the bluster of the four winds had just upgraded their computers and "network" and was unable to get their wireless signal working correctly. Some nerve they have... making us rough it like that. I thought about telling them I work in computers for a living, and offering to take a look, but Goof wisely pointed out that this would be a good opportunity to put the laptop away for a bit and enjoy some of the island's more simple pleasures. After all, did I go on vacation just to surf the Internet? Well... yeah, I did. But I wanted to surf it in Nantucket, which was not doable.

We made do, however, and still had a fantastic time. Much of our time was spent idling away the hours during long walks, browsing local bookstores, or hanging out with the vagrants in the local coffee shop. In between, we enjoyed some fantastic food, beautiful scenery, and charming old world atmosphere (we never did get the camera to work, so think cobblestoned streets, lots and lots of weathered grey shingled houses, and a fair bit of gas lantern style streetlights.)

We found out some interesting tidbits about the island, too. For instance, it is FULL of money. Not surprising, of course, but in looking at some of the realtor's listings (there are over 40 realtor's offices on the island) it was almost impossible to find a house for under $1,000,000. Those that did fall below that price were almost certainly fixer uppers. Just insane. This didn't stop one of the locals from telling me to apply for the open IT position for the Nantucket school system. Tempting, I suppose, but I don't want to have to rent for the rest of of my life. They have a beautiful library (they call it an Atheneum) and a pretty neat whaling museum. Or, at least, it looked really neat from the outside. We didn't actually go in. Don't think Goof is all that into hunting sea bound mammals (speaking of which - Can Whales Get Rabies? Seems like they can.)

Now, however, we're heading back to the mainland and our apartment's, situated in the plain of Jamaica. Nantucket was indeed a great little getaway, and t'wont be the last trip for us, methinks. In between now and our next visit, however, I'll be sure to stock up on Internet access, and maybe brush up on a little pirate talk. Arrrr.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yo Ho Ho And a Bottle Of...

...Chocolate Milk. And, actually it was a small little carton, downed by Goof (who has posted again - YAY!), on board a big ass boat that's on it's way to Nantucket.

Yes, indeed. As I write this, Goof and I are on board the M/V Eagle (at least I think that's the name) and are traveling to Nantucket Island for a few days of chillin'. Below us in the car hold are two HUGE Stop & Shop semi's which are, presumably, going to restock the islands food mart. That ought to give you some idea of how big this vessel is.

Anyway, enough about the boat. We're both very excited, never having been to Nantucket before (in fact, neither of us have been to Nantucket OR Martha's Vineyard. That's borderline sacrilege for a born and raised Masshole such as meself.) If anyone reading this has any tips on where to visit on the "Grey Lady" in March, please feel free to share them.

Oh yes, why Nantucket in March? Well, it's cheap, for one, and it's not jam-packed with lots of other people like us, wondering what the hell to do and generally getting in each others way. I've got my copy of Moby Dick, and Goof has my library copy of Nightbirds on Nantucket (yes, I know - we're dorks) and we're good to go. If time permits - and I can remember - I'll keep you posted with updates and photos (if we can get the damn camera to work.) Toodles for now, hepcats.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Can Y'all Dig It? O'Yes.

Just got finished pluggin' a bunch of numbers into TurboTax. You know what happened when the final tally appeared on my computer screen? I came to the stunning realization that I'd just dropped 50 bills for the privilege of finding out that I needed to drop another 250. Don't seem quite right, do it?

Ah, but it matters little. Truth be told, I purposely set it up that way when I started my new job. Figured I might as well earn a little interest on my own cash before dispensing with it, so I had them take out a little less every couple o' weeks. Oh, and I'm getting it all back - and then some. Turns out the federal government sees that 300 and raises it a further three. Economic stimulus, they call it. I call it more money for my emergency fund. Not sure that's what they mean by stimulus, but I'm excited! Although, I can't quite figure out how one stimulates the economy by taking a big hole o' debt and making it larger. But, if they want to send the money my way anyway, I can dig it. Know what else I dig? Lots of stuff. This is what's keepin' me busy these days in the absence of blog posts.

TurboTax: I can't badmouth the product because they charge a fee. Yeah, I ended up having to pay rather then collect, but the process they use to find that out is incredibly simple. Done in just a few hours, and most of that time was me trying to find the necessary paperwork. As good as it is however, it's still a pretty boring link. I mean, taxes? They're never fun.

Facebook: I can't really figure out social networking sites. I've always thought they were places where folks could establish a free Internet shrine to themselves in the hopes that other people they're "friends with" will actually pay attention to it. You know... basically serving the same purpose as um... a blog. *cough* Anyway, every year or so a new one becomes all the rage. Last year it was MySpace. The year before that it was Friendster. Actually, Friendster was never really the rage, come to think of it, but in any case Facebook is it, now. I tried to resist for as long as I could. Really, I just couldn't see the point. I'm 32, not 12. Using anagrams such as OMG and lololololol had little appeal. But then Goof (who shall not be linked to until she writes a new post - notice served) started showing me how you could play Scrabulous (Facebook's Scrabble ripoff) against other people and hit your other friends with "the people's elbow" (among other things.) It was all pretty amusing. Plus, you can post videos, befriend other folks you haven't seen in years, and waste tons of time. Currently I have 61 "friends" (low by most people's standards and even that's largely bullshit - most of them are friendly acquaintances who I've begged to be friends with me so I can look more popular) many of whom I'd lost touch with years ago, only to reconnect with them through Facebook and subsequently kick their ass is a game of Scrabulous. Oh, and to see how good they look and how well they're lives have progressed, etc, etc... *yawn*. Facebook is definitely worth some time if you want to reconnect with folks, or are simply bored. Oh, and by the way, 'ZA' is a real word. Good to know in a pinch.

I'm a sucker for these newfangled TV shows that are little more than male soap operas. When it comes to shows like 24, Lost, Alias, The Wire, etc... I'm one of the biggest pushovers there is. But I have a few conditions. Most importantly, the first season of said show has to be available on DVD. I flat out refuse to watch these serials on TV as they air. I'd go nuts having to wait a week to see what happens, and my memory isn't all that good anyway. As it turns out, Heroes was an accidental discovery. Goof and I had finished watching the 1st season of This American Life (yes, they've turned it into a TV show in addition to a radio show and it translates very very well) on the Netflix "Watch Instantly" section, and were looking for something else. We came across Heroes and neither of us had much hope. I, for one, had heard bad things about it and wondered how an X-Men ripoff was going to be worthwhile. That was 20 episodes ago - watched, I might add, over a period of 19 days. Yup, fair to say we're hooked. What's more, they've released TWO seasons, and both of them are available on Netflix to rent or to watch instantly. Note: If you're not a Netflix subscriber, you can watch the first five episodes of Season 2 here. I can't vouch for them as I haven't seen em, yet, and I can't imagine you'd want to start in the middle of the story. But, whatever floats your boat.

Bronchitis: Actually, I don't dig bronchitis one bit, but I've been confined to my house for the past five days while I suffer from it. Just thought it worth mentioning. See? Don't you feel bad for me?

Nantucket Literature: I've kind of been on a reading frenzy lately (notice the book on the sidebar has finally changed?) In fact, you might call me a "voracious reader." Part of that has been me being sick. There's only so much bad TV one can watch. But, as it happens, Goof and I'll be taking a little trip to Nantucket later this month (you won't believe the bargains you can get off-season. Er, well... it remains to be seen if it's a bargain. It is Nantucket in winter after all.) Having never been there I figured I'd get into the spirit of things by reading appropriately themed literature. The first book - Nightbirds on Nantucket - was one my mother forced me to read back when I was 10 years old or so. At the time I remember being pissed (she wanted me to read something - anything - so she took Nightbirds out at the library - seemingly at random - and brought it home.) However, after all my grouching, I ended up loving the book. After reading it a 2nd time I'm not so sure why, but whatever. Like I said, I was 10. (Siblings of mine should take note that Nightbirds on Nantucket is part of 'The Wolves of Willoughby Chase' chronicles. How's THAT for a blast from the past?? And who knew those were a 'chronicles?') The 2nd book, of course, is Moby Dick. Never read that one either (although I know how it ends), and it's not quite the light reading that Nightbirds on Nantucket was. Still, I'm finding I really enjoy the rather observant style with which Melville wrote (a first for me - normally I despise extraneous ramblings in literature) and I'm looking forward to following it up with the film (Gregory Peck version) that used to scare me shitless as a child when it was on T.V.

There's more stuff I'm wasting my time with, but it's either stuff I've written about before or may do so in the future, and...

Jesus, I almost forgot. Today's St. Patrick's Day! Good Lord, there's probably not a sober one among you reading this (if anyone still reads this, that is.) O.K. well, you know what else I dig? Irish accents and prank phone calls. Check this one out. Dublin Castle, me arse!

Sláinte, everyone.

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