Sunday, July 08, 2007

Blogging takes a back seat when you're working hard to be the best tour guide in South Philly. My parents spent an enjoyable stint here from the 23rd to the 30th of June, and in the course of the week, ate cheese steaks, hoagies and real steaks; saw the Liberty Bell, the Empire State Building, Chinatown, lots of street garbage and crazy people and went on a brewery tour. Oh yeah, they also painted and fixed our house, and spent a whole day slaving away in 95 degree heat while I sat in air conditioned comfort at my office. It was good.

My parents were even able to watch one of my bike races in scenic suburban New Jersey. I attempted to be entertaining, but it was a tall order on a flat race with 45 other guys who had the same idea. I ended up finishing about 15th but might have done better had I not been slapped in the face by a tree branch on the last lap. That was a little distracting.

My dad and I also did a fabulous "father-son bike ride" through some of the nicer roads in the wealthy Philly suburbs. It worked out well as we were able to stop by and climb the famous Manyunk Wall, a 1 kilometer long 17% grade climb that is featured every year in the professional bike race that runs through town. It's a gut buster, but we persevered and finally did once what the pros do 14 times in the race, twice as fast. Oh well. I guess we need to start doping.

For their anniversary, we cooked up a beef tenderloin that Jennifer scored at the local supermarket. $6 a pound for delicious super tasty beef was a hell of a deal. Dad decided that he would add some of his personal flair to the salt crust that we baked it in.

Sadly, I don't think I've got any pictures of Mom, she was always behind the camera and if I did get a shot of her, it would probably have been of her painting the back bedroom, or the bathroom, or cleaning, or potting some plants or other housework that I told her not to do, but dammit, she did anyway. That was sure TERRIBLE.


In other news, the prayers to Saint Felicula must have worked, either that or the Philly Water Department actually did their job. Due to the fact that our house is on a private (read old and decrepit) sewer, they were reluctant to fix the problem as it is "not part of the Philly water system" and was created before the official lines were installed. At any rate they came out just before my parents arrived and were able to fix the "choke" in the line that was flooding our basement with sewage. The upshot: no more water leaking into the basement!! It's fabulous. I no longer have to wear galoshes to go to the washing machine, the mold has stopped proliferating and life is good.

Also good, Jennifer recently was promoted to the post of Assistant Research Associate from the lowly rank of Research Assistant. This means that she is now the highest ranking person on her staff without an advanced degree and has received a hefty pay raise to boot. She's my sugar-mama for sure!

Getting back to the working world was rough last week, thank god for the Fourth of July which nicely broke up my grueling schedule of 9-5 with half hour lunch break. Such a life.

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