The Plan is to Fan This Spark Into a Flame

Friday was a pretty exciting day. Hamilton is coming to Portland for a two-week run March 20-April 8, and tickets went on sale at 10:00 a.m. I had my doubts that I’d be able to snag any, especially when the 6 a.m. news showed people already lined up at the box office, but my good luck with tickets held and I was able to score a pair for me and Tara. Deb and Annie at work are also fans and managed to get tickets too, so we basically spent the next hour lost in a haze of disbelief, talking about the fact that oh-my-god-we-are-going-to-see-Hamilton!! Which admittedly was not great for productivity, but I made up for it in the afternoon. My only mistake was choosing the “best seats available” option when I first logged onto the website, because I found myself with two tickets in my cart that totaled $1,056. I love Hamilton, but you know what I love even more than Hamilton? A roof over my head and food in my belly. So I had to start over, which cost precious minutes and had me convinced I had blown my one opportunity at seeing the Tony-winning Broadway musical, but ended up with a far more reasonable $236 total purchase. Whew!

The day before, by contrast, was super productive. I ended up working from home, because we had ordered some more of the Prairie Berry wine from South Dakota and UPS would not deliver without a signature. I meant to have it shipped to work, but in our excitement over getting more wine I didn’t let Tara, who placed the order, know of my idea until after she had submitted the order. Oh, well; it worked out fine and like I said, I got a lot done. That’s always the case when working from home. I like my coworkers just fine, but there are a ton of distractions and interruptions in the office, especially since it’s an open concept lacking cubicle walls and any sort of privacy whatsoever, so being able to buckle down and just focus on work helps tremendously. At 2:30 there was a knock on the door, and lo and behold, the wine had arrived! 

Working from home on Thursday provided me with a very interesting preview of my probable future. Can’t say I minded it very much; there’s a lot to be said for a commute that is measured in steps rather than miles, and my cat is far less demanding than my coworkers (except when her stomach reminds her it’s feeding time mid-afternoon). Come to think of it, I could say the same thing about my coworkers…

Last weekend my dad mentioned that he thought I might miss the social aspect of working from home full-time, and I will concede that it’s a possibility, though it’ll probably take a while for the novelty to wear off. I also figure I’ll hit up some of the local Rapid City coffee shops with my laptop in tow if I’m craving human companionship (not to mention the excellent macchiato from Harriet & Oak). Either that or I’ll just give in to the solitariness and become a hermit. Because let’s face it, by and large, people suck.

By the way, Tara and I put together a list of places to go/things to do before we leave, and we’re calling it our PNW Farewell Tour. Our list includes the following:

  1. Astoria Wine & Seafood Festival.
  2. Hood River Fruit Loop.
  3. Overnight stay on the Oregon coast.
  4. Afternoon at Powell’s Books.
  5. Visit the Portland Night Market.
  6. Catch a show at the Doug Fir Lounge.

And so forth and so on. We already did the Fruit Loop last month, so that item is crossed off. There are about 30 items on our list, and we probably won’t be able to hit them all, but we’re going to give it a shot! We’ve got 7+ months to go, so we’ll at least be able to check off the majority. The Portland Night Market is happening the day after Thanksgiving, so that’ll be another one down. We even came up with our own custom Instagram hashtag, ’cause that’s how we roll.

#MarTarPNWFarewellTour if you’re in the stalking mood.

There are also separate lists for restaurants and local products. We are nothing if not thorough.

It’s been a pretty chill weekend. We have run lots of errands and played lots of cribbage. Tara cleaned the apartment from top to bottom in preparation for our guests on Thursday, though I talked her out of shampooing the carpet because, really, is anybody going to be scrutinizing our floor that closely? People don’t care. Besides, it makes more sense to clean the carpet after we have a house full of guests, right? We also went grocery shopping, picked up Chinese food, and watched a Netflix movie on the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days before (spoiler alert!) being rescued. Action packed weekend here, folks. Try to reign in your jealousy.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

13 thoughts on “The Plan is to Fan This Spark Into a Flame

  1. I had an awful experience ordering tickets last time online. I might have to blog about it.

    I’d like to know how you found out the exact day of your wine delivery. It’s been a crap shoot here with UPS. My husband’s newest obsession is I’m expecting a delivery any day now.

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving, my friend. I thought of you today when I was watching On Demand. One of those Food Destination travel channel shows. They were in Rapid City for a Happy Hour!


    1. Oh, we had no trouble at all figuring out when the shipment would arrive. UPS gave us a tracking number so we knew exactly where it was at all moments. I even guessed, to within half an hour, when the wine would show up at my door.

      I am going to try to find this Food Destination show – I’d be curious to know where they went! But seeing as how there are a few really good brewpubs there, I have a pretty good idea.


  2. Trying hard to reign in the jealousy. The real question is how your cat will feel about you hanging around his domain all day long. He might want a coffee shop and a laptop of his own just to get away from you for a while.


  3. Mark, I am sooooooooooooo freakin’ happy and excited for you about getting tickets to see HAMILTON in the Spring. Yahooooooooooo!!!!! And the price you paid for TWO tickets is FANTASTIC, considering that currently in New York City they’re going for over $300.00 per seat! I’m hoping that when I finally move back to NY next year, I’ll eventually be able to get tickets I can afford. Perhaps by then they’ll be tad cheaper.
    “I also figure I’ll hit up some of the local Rapid City coffee shops with my laptop in tow if I’m craving human companionship.”
    Exactly! That’s the get thing about laptops, you can take them anywhere there’s Wifi (such as Starbucks) and do your work, yet be surrounded by people at the same time. That’s one of the things I miss about having a laptop.
    Glad to see your wine arrived, just in time for the holiday!
    And speaking of….can you believe that Thanksgiving is in FOUR days?!?
    Have a super week, my friend! And if we don’t speak before then….HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


    1. We are SO EXCITED for Hamilton, Ron!! I have another blogging friend who said the same thing about the price of tickets in New York. I guess we really did get a pretty good deal.

      My Thanksgiving was fantastic! Hope yours was, too. How was your weather? Hopefully cold!


  4. Please add Voodoo Donuts and maybe Pine St Biscuits for me. 🙂 Rapid City will be an awesome move, and more likely Joe and I could visit you at some point. Lots of great breweries, wineries, and coffee shops there!

    That’s all I’ll say. I just remembered you have tickets to Hamilton and I don’t, so we can’t be friends anymore.


    1. Haha. You can join us in spirit. Does that help??

      I do hope we get a chance to meet up in Rapid City someday. That’d be fun! And Voodoo Doughnut is, of course, on the list. Gotta get one last maple bacon bar before we leave!

      Liked by 1 person

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