Here’s hoping everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend. Mine was nice and relaxing. Friday night, Russ and I ventured to a bar in South Portland (on our side of the bridge) called Spring Point Tavern. Not that fanciest bar on the planet, but we had a good time. The owner actually wants to talk to me about the possibility of me DJing there on Sunday afternoons. I may take him up on it once or twice, but it would be ludicrous to leave one DJ gig because I want to enjoy my summer and then pick up another one. After one weekend of no obligations to the bar, I’m already used to it and I think I’ll keep my weekends to myself for the majority of the summer.
Saturday I had to mow the huge yard that surrounds our house. This would have probably gone quickly had the riding mower been working, but that was not the case. Instead I had to use an ancient push mower. It didn’t help that we were having record breaking temperatures that day. I had to break the 3 yards up into 6 sections. This way, it gave me a goal and a sense of completion after each section was done. It took a few hours and I was exhausted when I was finished. Afterwards, I drank a gallon of water and then relaxed on the couch. After doing some apartment cleaning and a load of laundry, it was time to run errands. I had already conjured up my idea for my dinner, I just needed the ingredients.
At the grocery store I purchased some lean ground hamburger, red potatoes, corn and peas. I also bought 2 big ripe oranges, a lemon, a lime, some soda water, Rose’s Grenadine and a big bottle of Pinot Grigio Wine. I was still full from lunch, so when I arrived home, I put all the food in the refrigerator, but left the fruit and wine out. I got a big plastic pitcher from the cupboard. I sliced up all the fruit. Then I poured the wine into the pitcher. I squeezed the fruit slices into the wine and the dropped the left over into the wine as well. I was sure to squeeze it until I got all the juice out that I could. Then put the pitcher into the refrigerator to sit over night. Then next afternoon, I added the grenadine and a little sugar. Then I added some club soda to give it a little kick. I know this resembles sangria and wine spritzers, but it was something I came up with on my own. Let’s just say that it was a big hit!
A few hours later on Saturday, I began to get hungry, so it was time to make the dinner I had concocted in my head. I cooked up the hamburger and seasoned it to my own liking. I used different seasonings like garlic, salt, pepper, herbs, cracked red pepper, etc. I set the cooked meat aside. Then I cut up some red potatoes and placed them on a big piece of tin foil. I added salt and pepper and then a few slabs of butter. Then I put the meat on top of the potatoes. Then I added some corn and peas. Then I wrapped it all up in foil. I added a few layers so there would be no leaking. I then put it on the grill on high for about 30 minutes. The result was butter soaked potatoes, meat and veggies. They were perfectly seasoned and the potatoes were so soft they melted in my mouth. It was so good that I basically ate half of it for dinner and the other half later in the evening. That evening I also watched the Ryan Gosling flick “Half Nelson.” What a phenomenal little film. It was a very character and dialogue driven film with phenomenal performances by Ryan and his co-star Shareek Epps. I foresee a very long career for the young woman, as she could break your heart with just a facial expression. Ryan was rightfully nominated for a Academy Award for his performance.
On Sunday, Russ and I went to Lowe’s to buy plants for our deck. We also bought some plastic white lattice to help dress it up a bit. Though we live in a very nice apartment, the deck is a tiny bit of an eyesore. It looks like it was built by someone about 20 years ago without any carpentry skills whatsoever. We added the white lattice to the outside and it made a HUGE difference. We have a great strand of lights that are actually little crabs. We definitely dressed it up as best we could without actually tearing it down and building a new one. That evening Michele, Damien, Cathy and Crystal came over. We cooked chicken, bratwurst and turkey burgers on the grill. I made the same dish as the night before, only without the hamburger. If you use fat free butter and spices, this is a very healthy and hearty way to eat vegetables at a BBQ. We drank the Sangria I made the night before and it was the perfect drink for a summer day. It got a bit chilly by the end of the day, but it was still nice outside. After Cathy and Crystal left, Michele, Damien and I moved into the living room so Damien could see “Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic.” Both Michele and I had seen it a few times and thoroughly enjoy watching with someone who is seeing it for the first time. Granted, Sarah’s brand of comedy isn’t for everyone, but for those of us who are fans, it is gut busting comedy. I hope she goes on tour soon. I’m hoping she can make the MTV Movie Awards bearable, since she is this year’s host. We’ll see. That’s a tough job. Not hosting the awards, but somehow making them watchable. After Michele and Damien left, I went to bed and managed to sleep until about 10am on Monday, which is pretty rare for me. (Sorry if the deck pix aren’t very clear, I took them at dusk last night.)
The best thing about waking up on Monday was that I had absolutely nothing on my agenda. It was a plan-free day. To make it even better, I woke up to glorious weather. I took my time getting myself moving, but by 1pm, I was sitting outside in the sun playing Tetris on my old-school Game Boy. An old college friend mailed me her old Game Boy and I’m once again addicted to Tetris. After an hour and a half in the sun playing Tetris, it was time to get some food. I ventured into town and went to Rosie’s Bar & Grill (winner of one of the Best Bars in America by Esquire Magazine 2007). It’s a quaint townie bar where the hipsters mingle with the fisherman. The only requirement to get into Rosie’s is to leave your attitude at the door. There is no pretension allowed. I had a hearty meal and then walked around the Old Port for a bit. I headed back home. When I got home, I climbed onto my ultra comfortable bed to do some reading (The Law of Attraction by Esther & Jerry Hicks) and then a few rounds of Tetris. There was a nice cool breeze coming in the window and before I knew it, I had dozed off
I ended the day with dinner from Buffalo Wings N Things and the movie “Night at the Museum.” It was very light fare, but enjoyable. This would be the perfect movie for an elementary school teacher to use to introduce the kids to the importance of history.
It was a great weekend that included plenty of relaxation, which made coming to work today much easier because I was well-rested. Next weekend is the Old Port Fest. Also my Aunt Adelis and Uncle John come for a short. Visit. They’re flying into Manchester on Friday for a Saturday morning wedding. They’ll be with me from Sunday Evening through Tuesday Morning. We’ll take a great walking tour of downtown Portland, as well as an island cruise on Casco Bay. The weekend after, I head up to the Farmington area to see my old friend Keith. He lives out in the woods, so a weekend at his place is always peaceful and relaxing.
This is why I quit DJing for the summer. This is the type of stuff I was missing out on. Here’s to a great summer in Maine!