Solo Week Liveblog (sorta)

July 31, 2013

Note: Scroll down for August 4 update!

July 30 -- 23:12

Once upon a time, Mrs. theskinnyonbenny used to go to Las Vegas with the girls every year. Before kids, I would have the house to myself, and I would stay up late every night watching Chevy Chase movies that I had seen 100 times before. If anyone asked, I always reported that I sat on the couch naked as a jaybird, eating nonstop potato chips. If my listener didn't look suitably disgusted, I would add that I filled my belly button with French Onion dip, so as not to have to wash a bowl.

This year, she went during a week that coincides with the kids' week up at Granny's farm. It's the first time I've had the house to myself for several days straight since -- I think since we adopted V. Christ, that's a long time.

Unfortunately for my leisure time -- but fortunately for our empty bank account -- I have a couple of extra projects that will keep me busy with work. Today, I had the most productive work day in a long time. I started at 5:00 this morning, and kept at it through early evening. Even during lunch, I picked up a sandwich and ran some tests for a part-time project.

After I signed off for the day, I went on the longest run I've done in a long time. And by long, I mean amount of time exercising -- not a long distance. RunKeeper got confused, and had me running in odd zig-zag circles for a mile or more, so when I looked at my results, I about ripped off my shirt to strut about. Then, I looked at the map, I saw that my stats were bogus, and that I'm still fat and slow. But then again, it was scorching hot, and I feel good about how I did all the same.

Since I was so healthy there, I went by the tobacco store and loaded up with cigars for the week. If I knew I had only one pour of Edradour left, I might have gone to the liquor store too. Strange as it may seem, I've never bought my own liquor without explicit instruction.

I'm intimidated by our liquor cabinet.

I often hear, "We need Mount Gay and BT [Buffalo Trace] too," as I walk out the door to head to the grocery for a radish or a loaf of french bread. For my second glass, I had to search the liquor cabinet, which is honestly a daunting task. But I did find a bottle of Aberlour, which I hadn't previously liked all that much. On examination of the bottle, I saw that it isn't diluted between barrel and bottle, so I added more water than usual, and I found that it was much improved.

Anyway, by the time I got home, cooled off, and ate a few bites, it was 9:00. I got the exact same amount of TV time as I would have when the family was home.

I started Moonrise Kingdom, which has been on my must-watch list since it was in theaters. Wes Anderson, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand -- I'm in if you give me any of the three on a movie poster. This one is a masterpiece. It's available in HBOGo just through tomorrow -- probably today, since you're likely seeing this on Wednesday -- so catch it tonight if you get Wes Anderson movies and haven't seen it. It's nothing short of a masterpiece.

Please let me know what your favorite grown-up movies have been over the past six years. Besides MK, I've seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Cloverfield (which I also love).

(Don't go overboard, though. I've got to find time to watch Funny Farm somewhere in here too.)

My Facebook update sums up my evening well, I think:

Had some hummus, a cigar, and scotch for dinner. If you equivocate hummus -> cheese ball, cigar -> cigarette, and scotch -> wine from a box, I truly have turned into my mother.

Don't get me wrong. I love my family like crazy. But I really, really, treasure alone time. It usually comes as little snips, an hour here, two hours there. I couldn't be more ticked to have 5 days of alone time in front of me. What, oh what, shall I do with myself? Please don't offer to come hang out this weekend. I love you, but I'm not interested.

My intention is to keep updating this post through the week (thus the date up top), so check back on me from time to time, if you're so inclined.

July 31 -- 22:40

Since we last met in this space, I've found several Easter eggs, strategically hidden throughout the house to remind me to think of my kids. A ukelele under my desk. A collection of hats on the patio table. And not one, but two -- two -- toilets that needed to be flushed. So, dear family, I am thinking of you.

After a full work day, I took advantage of my chance to be alone by doing something you would never guess. I watched someone else's kids.

I really had a quick chat with two kids and read while they went off to swim. I caught a couple of glimpses of them during the 90 minutes or so that I was there with them, but mainly, I was just a ride to the Emergency Room, should that become necessary. Fortunately for us all, it didn't become necessary.

It was Eddie and Carmel's anniversary. It's an occasion that I like to celebrate by finding a priest and picking a fight. Those of you who attended the wedding will no doubt understand why.

After that, I decided to continue my trend of grown up movies in an actual theater. I saw Pacific Rim, and I wish I hadn't. Too much people discussing what they think and not enough monsters crushing buildings and bridges. And really, when the monsters do eventually rise from the ocean and start crushing our cities, I think we humans can do better than giant Rock-em Sock-em robots.

8/2/2013 10:37

I posted nothing yesterday, because there is truly nothing to tell. I worked a long day -- even through lunch, and then crashed on the couch. By the time I work up, it was almost dark. I did some DVR catch-up and was back asleep at some fairly reasonable hour.

I have much higher hopes for an active, entertaining day today. I have plans to meet a friend for dinner who I haven't seen in a really long time. Hopefully, I'll come away from that with a good story or two.

8/2/2013 23:36

Fun night.

After work, I intended to go for a paddle. I've been driving around with my kayak on top of the Jeep since Wednesday, and I haven't put it in the water yet. Of course, it clouded up and started thundering as soon as I left the office. I drove home, opened a book, and napped to a really nice thunderstorm.

Good thing. Ligtning struck a Cypress right in the lake where I was headed. The tree shed a layer of bark and wood all the way down one side. I doubt it will survive, but I'm glad we're talking about a tree and not a kayaker.

This left me in ideal nap weather. I can't believe how much sleep I've gotten in the last 36 hours.

My college friend Jared was passing through town this evening, so I met him, his daughter, his dad, his dad's wife, and his daughter at The Chimes. It was so much fun to catch up, but way too short.

After that, I came home, turned on the music, poured a gin and tonic, and lit a cigar. Sharples came by for a minute to share the boys-only atmosphere. I've laughed my ass off for the past few hours.

I've also really enjoyed the music tonight. The music -- unshackled from Mrs. theskinnyonbenny's playlists has entertained me with Prince, Tina Turner, Van Halen, and Guns N Roses. Our music in the 80s was the best.

On the other hand, I'm really missing my kids. Can't wait for them to get home.

8/4/3013 19:51

kayak panorama I have to go back a little bit to catch up now. Friday, I started work early, and then left the office early to try to go for a quick paddle at the LSU lakes. As soon as I got two blocks from the office, the sky got suddenly dark and started thundering. I made the choice to go home and catch a nap instead, and it was a very wise decision. A tree took a direct lightning strike right there in the lake where I would have been. Scary. When evening arrived, my friend Jared rolled into town, so I met him and a couple of his family members for drinks and dinner. I had to break the promise I had made to myself to not get fully dressed at any point during the weekend, but it was worth it for the laughs. After that, Sharples came by for a drink and a cigar. We cut it off reasonably early, and I was out for the night an hour or two after that. Saturday morning arrived along with a little hangover. That's really unusual for me, but it chased away with OJ and coffee. I finally got out and got the kayak wet. All week I had considered places to go, and one place I never considered was < href="" target="_blank">Cypremort Point. It just popped into my head as I headed off my street, so off I went.
Bayou up in Shark Island, Vermillion Bay, LA.
From the park, I paddled North, and went up into a couple of little bayous in the marsh. I don't know when, if ever, I've padded in a prettier spot. The marsh was alive with purple flowers and colorful birds, and fish danced and splashed around ever corner. What the fish didn't do was take a fly. The water was shallow, and at the right angle, I could see some smallish redfish swimming at the surface. I dropped some flies right in front of their nose, but they weren't fooled at all. I might have stuck around and tried some smaller floating flies with some success, but casting was boring compared to paddling up into the marshes. When I returned to land, I read a little and tried to take a nap, without success. I came back to Baton Rouge, grabbed a bite, and watched another grown-up movie. It was a really nice day. This morning, I cleaned the floors but good. I've been wanting to clean them up and put on a coat of polish, but there are always kids and animals hanging around and messing things up. So I hit it hard this morning. To celebrate my productivity, I went to our normal Sunday brunch spot to suck down a big plate of food and three mimosas. A nap was called for after that excess, and since then -- well I can't really put my finger on what I've done since then. Some photo org on the computer, some getting through DVR'd shows that I didn't think I'd bother with -- nothing real. The noisy, bossy family should be home tomorrow!