Woohoo! Four Day Weekend!

It’s hard to believe my long weekend still isn’t over yet! Here’s what’s transpired so far.

Thursday Evening

Went with Anthony and Cecilia to Pho Saigon, a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. This was my and Becky’s first stab at Vietnamese food and it was some kind of yummy. We’d passed by this place millions of times and meant to try it but never got around to it. The food was really good and inexpensive, and what’s better is, Anthony says there’s an even better place just down the road. So now we’re added Vietnamese to our eating repertoire, which is good because our favorite Chinese place, Mandarin House, just closed down. (Though there’s a new place called Jack Chen’s that just opened that we should try. It’s already referred to as “Jackie Chan’s”.)

We then came back here for cookies and a couple rounds of my newest game, Ingenious. It was a nice way to kick off the long weekend.


We were planning on going to Rhode Island on Friday, but the weather report warned of rain, wind gusts, hail, frogs, volcanoes, and sandworms, so we decided to stay close to home instead. We went up to Northampton, which we usually go to on weekends. However, it seemed like most people didn’t also have Friday off, so the town wasn’t overly crowded. We hit the used book store first, and then went to Modern Myths. I picked up the new Previews and Scott Pilgrim 3, and somehow decided that if I didn’t get The Lost Colony from First Second publishing and instead got The Fate of the artist and Deogratias, it evened out. I also picked up the third volume of Eden. We browsed the new cookery store and hit Ten Thousand Villages in search of good fair trade coffee, since our grocery has raised the price on what we were drinking. (With success. We found a breakfast blend we like, and in addition to it being slightly cheaper, 10KV has a coffee club that lets us get a free bag after we buy ten. Score!) Then we stopped in Broadside Books, which was unloading some graphic novels at deep discount. I picked up the first Love and Rockets collection strictly for the story “Bem”, not collected in Palomar or Locas. I also got a Rick Geary book and a David Collier book. My comics reading pile is huge!

I also stopped in the Hospice Shop and found a 1976 edition of Twixt which seems to be complete and in good condition. Four bucks.

We came back and did some yardwork, played some games, and watched some Arrested Development. Eventually the rain came, but I think we probably could have gone to Rhode Island and got back without incident. Stupid meteorologists.


What was Saturday morning? I think Becky was in the yard while I goofed around inside. At any rate, towards the afternoon we headed over to Mike and Nancy’s to help celebrate Maggie’s first birthday. Mike was grilling stuff up, Maggie was toddling around, and it was a nice bit of hanging out. On the way back we hit a few tag sales, but didn’t manage to score much of interest (except a $10 shop-vac.)

The rest of the day was spent relaxing, reading, and then watching the newest episode of Doctor Who.


The theoretical Rhode Island trip became a reality on this day. We headed out to Portsmouth around ten in the morning, passing by Seekonk, Woonsocket, and Chocalog Road. After a couple hours we rolled into the Green Animals Topiary Garden, one of the famed Newport Mansions. (We took a pass on the other Newport Mansions. Shrines to Opulence just aren’t our cup of tea.) We wandered the grounds admiring the flowers and plants grown in the shapes of all kinds of animals. Some were still filling in from the winter, but there was a lot of impressive work. The house had a nice collection of period furniture, including some turn of the century toys and games.

We’ve now seen a little of Rhode Island and know that getting there and back is no big deal at all, so that’s something we’ll have to do more of! We even got back in time for me to still get a nap in!


Which brings us to this morning. Geocaching was on the agenda, but the clouds rolled in first, and the GPS can’t seem to find its satellites, so that will have to be postponed. Fortunately the caches are close by and it stays light much later now, so that can be an after-work activity. Instead we took a brisk walk, have more relaxing planned for the day, and later this afternoon I may be doing some boardgaming.

There are photos in the gallery of much of our activities.

The down side to all of this is that my Dad just called and my cousin Dorothy has passed away. She had had kidney problems all her life and had even had three unsuccessful transplants. The newest kidney was failing again, the medication she was on was also destroying her liver, and she chose to not continue on dialysis but to go her own way. That’s a very difficult and brave decision to make, and our thoughts go out to my Uncle Dale, her husband Brian, and her immediate family.

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3 Responses to Woohoo! Four Day Weekend!

  1. pronoblem says:

    Re: Green Animals Topiary Garden

    Have you seen this film?


  2. While I also had a great weekend, yours sounds wonderful. Sounds like a great blend of relaxation and getting out to fun places. We didn’t travel for the first time in a decade over Memorial Day, and I liked it. Watched LotR and played a lot of Culdcept with Ruthie & the kids, did a BBQ, and some yard work. Looks good if I do say so myself.

  3. pronoblem says:

    Yeah… Vietnamese in Springfield. Pho Saigon is great food. I think that the place directly across the street is better, also slightly cheaper with a larger menu. Next thing you should check out is Talk of the Town. East Indie food on Wilbraham Road near the Indian Motorcycle building. Call ahead and check to see if the have akee and cod on the menu, that is the only reason I go there and they don’t always have the akee.

    I had a good weekend too. Had fun with my kids, did some tag sales and found a few things including the worst album ever, The Fabulous Whistling Nun does the Sound of Music, a 1960’s mod plastic lampshade & fixture that looks like something from Logan’s Run, a Nvidia Gforce 440 video card (better than what I have in my box, still sells for $50), and a copy of the Dune Encyclopedia… total cost: $5.50. I mounted the lamp on top of a stand and got it functional, lighting for the game room.

    Played games… Java, Alhambra, Arkitechtron. Played six online poker tournaments. Came in 3rd in a 1200 seat, 1st 2X in 30 seat, and 4th in a 30 seat… made some cash.

    I installed a stereo in my new car, in anticipation of a road trip with passengers, I want some good sound.

    On Monday I was not in a good shape to drive and my friend Dana called me that he booked a show at the Elevens last minute, so I road my Pee Wee Herman bicycle up to Northampton at 9pm. I saw:

    Heathen Shame – two guitars from Major Stars and an amplified Greg Kelly on trumpet. It was fucking loud. To avoid hearing loss it would have been best to be wearing ear plugs and accross the street. Major Stars have been around for a long while 20 years or so. They are from Boston, lead guitar and vocals is a dude that owns a record label and a great record store in Boston called Twisted Village. This show was great, would prefer to see Major Stars (two drummers, three guitars, bass, harp, and moog – theremin last time I saw them). At one point Wayne Rogers put his guitar on the ground (already screaming with feedback because it was so loud and it was next to the amp) he climbed on top of his Marshal stack (about 5 feet) and did a belly-flop onto his guitar. The club has its own soundman, he actually looked pissed and threw his hands in the are leaving his post at the board. It was rock and roll: http://twistedvillage.com/label.asp

    Thurston Moore & Kim Gordon – minimalist stuff a la DNA. Hot / cold.

    I forget the name – two members of Hair Police doing “Jazz Plus”. It was quiet and pretty. Reeds switched between a soprano and an alto sax. The drummer played mostly with felt mallets, very rolling and meandering arabesque sounds… a few fiery moments. This was really good.

    Hair Police – loud free rock