Well this was certainly an Epic Weekend we will not be forgetting anytime soon. I always say the other, in every other weekends without Awesome Girlfriend Megan are tough. I'm so lucky to have many friends who help keep me company and make me laugh along the way. This weekend included some wild and new adventures, while maintaining some usual fun routines as well. We will start my Epic Weekend In Pictures with my Friday afternoon.
We started this last year, and it was a huge success. We call it "Warm Wishes," where you tell us about a local family going through some tough times, and they can win a free tank of heating oil fuel from our friends at Hart & Iliff. Last year was my first year attempting to assist and learn how to be an oil delivery person. The results were mixed as expected. I almost wanted to put oil in a wrong tank. Whoops. This year I assisted and it went slightly smoother. It's one of my many favorite things we get to do on our radio station, helping sweet local families stay warm. We did this oil delivery in downtown Newton on a busy street right near the center. Delivering oil after 32 inches of snow last week, you get to see some of the many challenges these folks on a daily basis. Unreal. I'm not going to lie, my blood was pumping a little bit on this one due to the challenges we were facing. By we, I mean Rich of course, who really did all of the hard work on this mission. Thank you to Hart & Iliff for always being patient with me!
By Friday night, after spending 5+ hours shoveling out a parking space for my car throughout the week, then being an oil delivery assistant, I was ready for an ice cold Tito's and Seltzer. I was able to meet up with one of my besties, JG. It was just us at Kite's and we had a wonderful time catching up with each other. We didn't even talk about our careers that much at all, mainly fun life stuff. Of the many fun conversations we had, one of my favorites was regarding The Weeknd. As you may know by now, The Weeknd was The Super Bowl Halftime Performer. At Kite's they had a wonderful solo acoustic performer Friday night named Jared. After he played this song, we applauded and he looked over and said "oh you like that one, cool!" I said "Great job, relevance, he's The Super Bowl Halftime performer Sunday." Jared the performer looked at me and said "Oh The Super Bowl is this Sunday? That's still happening? Is it still a thing?" My goodness I didn't mean to, but laughed out loud immediately. It's one thing to not like football, but to not even know the Super Bowl was happening? He must live under a rock and even avoid all media whatsoever! God bless him.
We started because I confessed to JG that The Weekend's 'Blinding Lights,' song will be stuck in my brain for at least the next 5 years. Between all of the times we play that song on WSUS and Max 106.3, all the times I saw the Pepsi commercial with everyone singing along to the song, all of the times that I was watching NFL Network preview the game and using that song going in and out of commercial breaks. When I'm cashing out at a restaurant, I now catch myself randomly singing the song to myself. Comedy gold. We joked how it's a terrific commercial, but maybe a little bit of an overshoot because while everyone's singing along to all the words, we bet most people don't really know all the words. I admit Thursday of last week I finally googled the lyrics, because as often as I play the song a zillion times, even I don't know many of the words other than "so oooooh and I'm blinded by the light, now I can't sleep until I feel your touch!"
Saturday was a great day to catch up on some errands. I was really low on cash. I've been doing so much cashless the past year, I normally have at least $40 on me just in case minimum in case you need to pay for parking somewhere, etc. I only had $13 on me Friday night in cash. I knew I would need more cash, but the closest Bank Of America to me on Campus in Vernon is at least a half hour away. Solution: this is what I did my first few years here when I had to send money orders / bank checks to my landlord before I was able to send it to him digitally. I went south down 23 to Pompton Plains and went to TJ Maxx. I was able to score a new shirt, go to Stop & Shop and stock up for the game, and the liquor store to get some IPA's for the Super Bowl. Perfect. Successful mission. I was then able to hit the Bank Of America on 23 in Wayne on my way back.
To make the trip even more efficient and productive, I accomplished my most important mission. I bought a pint of Spicy Garlic sauce from Jimmy Geez. The bartender remembered me the second I walked in, over 6 months later. She immediately said "I knew you were going to order this!" I intentionally bought plain air fried wings or Tyson chicken tenders last week with this game plan in mind. I originally was going to put them in my beloved crockpot, but remembered last year when I attempted this the wings came out way too soft and mushy, the breading and sauce fell off. Whether it was because Meg and I accidentally let it cook for 2 hours and 20 minutes as opposed to our goal of 2 hours, or whether it was merely because of the crockpot, it was a chance I didn't want to take again. Besides, I would prefer my wings to be crispier anyway.
Saturday night I saw my friends Sandy and Steve for a round at Kite's, then I was happy to have a rare quiet Saturday night in.
Sunday morning I woke up and of course turned on the Super Bowl pregame show on NFL Network, even though through the past two weeks I'm sure I've seen every possible factoid regarding the game. I was quickly bored and distracted by it. Then I started reading a book. "The Patriot Reign," by Michael Holley. My bestie Benvie lent it to me after I bragged to him about The Dynasty book on my Patriots. It was a fun throwback. I spent all morning and early afternoon just sitting on my couch reading it. I don't read books often, but apparently I'm a binge reader when I do read? Terrific book. I texted Benvie that The Dynasty book wouldn't have been as amazing, if he wasn't able to reference The Patriot Reign book from the early 2000s.
Sunday later morning, I went over to besty Jasen and Brendan's to feed my niece Ally Cat. She was more mellow Sunday morning than Saturday night when I fed her. Saturday night she jumped up on the kitchen counter, which I had never seen her do and I'm over there often. I looked at her and said "Ally, I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to be up there." I then took her down. It was right after I fed her too. Isn't it fun and humbling when you realize that you're getting tested by a cat? LOL.
Sunday afternoon, it was time to make the wings. I figured I would rather put them together hours before the game and merely reheat them so I can focus on the game. Last year I was blasted because of my claim that I made buffalo wings. I merely dumped a bag of Tyson frozen buffalo wings in my crockpot and cooked them for 2 hours. It was later explained to me that I didn't "make" the wings, but merely cooked them. Fine. This year, I got Tyson plain but breaded wings that had been previously air fried. I then dipped each of the wings in the Spicy Garlic sauce I bought from Jimmy Geez. Steve Andrews claims this still doesn't count as making wings, because they were prebreaded for me already. Many of my friends I ran into gave me kudos for my Year Over Year growth. Baby steps. LOL.
After I made my wings, we had a very important mission. Unfortunately Meg couldn't make it because her windshield wipers broke and it was snowing here at the time. I represented us like I always do. Our dear friends Penny and Vince Bell are amazing people. They invited us to a farewell beer at The Irish Cottage Inn in Franklin. Penny and Vince are two of the most wonderful people you'll ever meet. They moved here in 2004 due to a work transfer, originally from South Africa then England. Every summer, Vince hosts what we call the VBO, The Vince Bell Open. He hosts a golf outing for a charity every summer. Recently, because they're animal lovers and support my Pet Of The Week, Penny and Vince raised money for my friends at Father John's Animal House.
I was so blown away, we had them be guests during one of my Pet Of The Weeks. Penny and Vince went on a tour of Father John's Animal House, coming away so impressed with their organization. They would sometimes even volunteer at Father John's Animal House after going to church on Sunday mornings.
Even though I've only been here 7 years, it's easy to say that everyone here in Jersey was lucky to have these friends in person as long as we did. During a typical year, Vince would travel for work 25 times per year. I would only see him probably once a month. I told them one of the few silver linings from this past year, was that we were able to see each other in person much more than usual and grow closer. We wish them well in their move to Saint Augustine, Florida.
I was so happy to see Tommy Brady win his 7th Super Bowl. I don't understand how some Patriot fans weren't rooting for him. How can you not root for the guy who gave us 20 of the best years, EVER? Commercials were decent. The first half lived up to the hype, even if the second half didn't. I actually went to bed right before the end of the game for the first time in many years.
Overall we had a great weekend. Wow, looking at my word count, it ended up being kinda Epic after all. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my Weekend In Pictures. Time to start planning next weekend!