After work on Friday I stopped by the library to return Anathem (best book ever: read it) and pick up a new audiobook. I managed to find The Audacity of Hope on the shelf! Read by the author! Score! I also picked up a few books on birdwatching, because I decided a little while ago that this will be my new hobby.
I eventually made it over to the Manse to hang out with Chris and Dave and Kevin and Drew and Teege. I told Chris about the birdwatching books and said, "now all I need are a good pair of binoculars!"
"Oh, remind me later, I got you something," he said. And later, it turned out that he had bought me a nice pair of binoculars for my new birdwatching hobby! Hooray for Chris! They are really nice but not too big and bulky. I can see through them a lot better than I can through other binoculars I have known. Excitement!
Saturday, Chris and I got to sleep in together for the first time in what feels like forever. But we still got up at a decent hour, and drove to Silver Lake Park. This is a place that is about a mile from my house, and yet I have never visited it.
I watched the HELL out of some birds, let me tell you what. First I saw a Canada goose. "Canada goose!" I said. I noted that it was odd to see just ONE goose; he was swimming around in a small body of water. Then Chris spotted his partner "sleeping"; I soon determined that the second goose was on a nest! I don't know if Canada geese take turns sitting on the eggs, but for simplicity's sake, we'll assume that they do not, and that the sleeper was Mrs. Goose, and the swimmer was Mr. Goose. It was cool to see an actual nest, but you know, Canada geese are a dime a dozen, so we proceeded through the park. There's no place in it that you can't hear traffic, but it is of pretty decent size, and we saw deer rubs! Chris pointed them out to me and gave me the low down. It's where deer rub their antlers when they're all soft and velvety. We didn't see any deer, though.
I like to think that I'm pretty observant of some things, and I try to pay attention when I'm outside. But being out on my first official Birdwatching Trip, it was amazing how many birds I heard. I only spotted some dark boring thing, like a raven, at first. But then I spotted a couple of woodpeckers! I have to look them up when I get home. They were pretty big! I like woodpeckers, they're cool.
After a little bit of wandering around we headed out again. We stopped a moment to watch the geese again (oh also I saw three drake mallards floating down the stream) and I tried to convince Chris that the goose was indeed sitting on a nest and not just "sleeping." He wasn't convinced until a great blue heron descended from the sky right near the nest, presumably hungry for eggs. Drama! Mr. Goose came over to honk the heron off, who flew fifteen feet away and lurked, pretending to be a reed. We watched for a while as Mr. Goose would float a little ways away, and the heron would creep close to the nest. Creep. Creep. Creep. It was windy and a few times he almost fell over (HILARIOUS.) Finally he got too close and the missus was like "seriously, can you make this dude go away?" and Mr. Goose gave him what for. But dude, the whole thing was awesome. I mean, species that I see all the time, but doing shit! What a successful bird watching experience.
(If I keep this up I'll need a nice camera. But I am going to wait to see if I keep it up. I have had a short attention span, historically.)
On the way back to the Manse we stopped at the new Asian supermarket (called FLK Grocery) near my house. It smells like fish in there, but it is amazing. Their produce section is ridic. We hadn't even seen half of these things before. And they had durian fruit! Just like in Super Mario Sunshine! Also they have fresh fish -- like, whole fish, and also live fish. Carp! Just swimmin' around! We bought wasabi peas and frozen gyoza and noodles.
Then we went back to the Manse and I prepared lunch (leftover Chinese, coupled with the lo mein noodles we had just bought) whilst Chris readied the guns. Yes guns!
After lunch, Chris and Kevin and I went shooting! This is my third time shooting, my second time at an outdoor range, and I am kind of loving it. I had always have a very liberal, guns-are-mostly-bad, why-do-you-need-them-anyway attitude, until Chris took me shooting, and now I think they are neat. I didn't know this before a month ago, but at wildlife refuges in New Jersey, there are shotgun and rifle ranges set up. They're just . . . there, and you can use them for free. (They're paid for with money raised from taxes on gun and ammunition purchases.) Chris has a hunting license and so can shoot there along with a couple guests. There was no one else there, and we tried out Chris's .22 rifle. We shot at spinny targets, and paper targets, and clay pigeons stuck to the back wall. It was fun! I am a pretty good shot!
After shooting, Chris and I stopped by Tesa and Travis's new house, which is pretty cool (and on a whole lotta land.) It was good to see them -- also Tesa likes Star Trek almost as much as I do, so it's nice to talk about Star Trek with someone who isn't Mitch, without feeling vaguely embarrassed.
We went back to the Manse and . . . did we eat dinner? We must have. I can't remember what it was though. Oh it was dumb salad from Pine Hill Pizza. We turned on the 'Nova game and during the first half, Chris fell asleep on the couch and I tried to figure out computer stuff. Then I joined him on the couch for the second half. Then we went to bed. We had had a long day!
On Sunday we woke up and I helped Chris make breakfast. Then we all went bowling, and I did pretty horribly, but it didn't make me all cranky like that sometimes does, so hooray for that! Then Chris and I drove to Wildwood. He's working on a construction site there, and the dudes said he could have broken cinder blocks and whatnot (he had a better term for them. Building blocks, maybe? That makes it sound like legos) so we loaded up Chris's Outback. I didn't complain (out loud) (much)! Actually it wasn't terrible work, it just seemed ridiculous. Also I was afraid someone was going to come by and accuse us of stealing construction material.
I slept pretty much the whole way home, and finished up the nap in bed at the Manse when we got there. Then I ran to the food store (FLK grocery again FTW!) and came back for the Phillies home opener. Flapjack came over! I am always excited to see Flapjack. Chris made homemade crab rangoon, which was pretty damn good, and hamburgers. The stupid Phillies lost. Then I should have gone home because it was past my bedtime, but I stayed and watched Oldboy instead since I have always heard such good things about it. I slept through bits and pieces, but I saw most of it, and it was pretty good! I thought the protagonist looked like a Korean Wayne Coyne.
When the movie was over I kissed Chris and went home to a cat that had missed me so much. No one wanted to see my condo this weekend, which was disappointing. But man, look at that awesome weekend I had! Life is good. Hooray for Spring!