Today is a holiday (Happy Labor Day! Sorry I didn't send any cards.) and I decided last week that a three day weekend just wasn't enough, so I put in for Thursday and Friday off, too. I didn't have any exciting plans or anything, but it suddenly seemed like I just needed a few days to read and watch TV ("Law and Order" and "Chopped!" are tied for most episodes seen in the five day stretch), so I asked for them. As the days off got closer, it looked like I wouldn't be taking Thursday after all because someone was sick and I was worried the office would be short staffed, but my boss called while I was driving in and told me to take it anyway.
He really had to twist my arm on that one, let me tell you. I considered my options for an entire two and a half seconds before I said, "OK" and sped off in the opposite direction.
Here's what I did with my five days off:
Thursday: I lied. I didn't actually speed off in the opposite direction because I was already almost to campus when my boss called. Since I was already up and dressed and out of the house, I decided to swing by the university gardens since they were right there, and I got to watch the sun come up over the plants:
Since no one else was there, I took my time walking around and enjoying the quiet of the morning. I stopped to examine some tiny flowers:
and then the bugs started waking up, too:
so I decided to head out before the bees really came out in force. On my way home, I stopped by the office to pick up my two boxes of picture frames, which were packed in an absurd amount of material:
Those twelve plastic frames came in a box half the size of my couch, and there were two boxes! I drive a Bug! My couch doesn't fit in my car! Not only do I have to feel bad about ordering frames from Wal-Mart, allowing them to continue squeezing out Mom and Pop stores and outsourcing jobs to foreign countries and not paying their employees health insurance by making them work 39.5 hours a week, but I feel like they also cut down a forest and a half just to get the frames to me. People with kids, I'm sorry that they will be both unemployed and shadeless in the barren future I have helped to create, but Wal-Mart was the only company that came in under my budget.
Friday: On Friday morning I slept in a little, and then got up to go downtown to the Museum of East Tennessee History. It was smaller than it looked from the outside (it turns out that there is a whole floor devoted to geneological archives), but filled with interesting things:
I saw one of Dolly Parton's dresses:
and flags celebrating Oak Ridge's revelation to the world:
and I got to leave my comments on the wall of Post-It's:
The highlight of the day, though, was my lunch downtown at The French Market. My coworker, Angie, has mentioned for months (mostly because she had a couple months of maternity leave between the first mention and the more recent one) that she ate there and it was wonderful and that I should try it, but it always managed to stay off of my radar until I walked out of the museum and it was directly across the street.
The French Market only serves one kind of food: crepes. My experience with crepes is mostly of this variety:
They're always filled with fruit and/or chocolate, and there's something sweet drizzled or, more often, gushed across the top. I've never had a crepe that's intended as a meal, rather than as a dessert or a replacement for a pastry, so I was a little dubious. I trust Angie, though, so I ordered the turkey and cheese crepe:
It was so good I want to go back and get another one right now. The inside was stuffed with shredded smoked turkey, Swiss cheese, and Gruyere cheese. That's it. No mustard, sauce, vegetables, or anything, and it was still so good that I practically inhaled it. I hope and pray they're open for the last Roller Derby home bout, because I'm pretty sure I don't want to eat anywhere else downtown again, ever.
God, it was so good.
Saturday: Football came to Tennessee again, and the carpool and I had to work at Gate 23. On our way across campus, since we have to park a bit of a hike away from the stadium, we stopped so that Anna could grab breakfast at Chik-Fil-A and found ourselves in a sea of orange:
If you're not dressed for football, it's best that you not leave the house on game days. Someone might cut you.
Sunday: I slept in, and when I woke up I suddenly felt like the idea of leaving the house to do anything was more than I could cope with, so I stayed in and read, watched more TV, and played games on the computer.
Monday: Today I framed my pictures and took them to work to hang on my walls. Using a yardstick and a level, I think I got them pretty even, and I'm happy now to have some color on all four walls instead of on just one:
I also swapped out the frames from the pictures I had up already, so everything matches. I know that my pictures aren't always good, but I like having them on my walls instead of random school art or posters. It makes the office feel more like it's mine, and the cleaning people probably won't steal my pictures like they did the Superman figure I used to have in there.