Joe called me Friday afternoon while I was still at work and told me that his boss had given him the entire weekend off and did I have any problem with him going to Cortland for the weekend?

“Why do you think you need my permission to go?” I asked.

“I didn’t feel like I needed your permission, I just wanted to make sure you didn’t have anything special planned.” Such a great kid — very conscientious. Boy, I tell ya, if I could figure out what I did with that young man, I’d package it and sell it and make bazillions of dollars. He and his buddy, Josh, left just as I got home from work. Josh was stowing a 30-pack of something in the back of Joe’s Blazer, and Joe was protesting the quality of the beer. “Can’t we pick up a 30-pack of Blue to show that we’ve got class?” my son asked. “Joe, you’re going to a college town, you have to live with what’s cheap” Josh admonished.

Sleeping bags and pillows get tossed into the back of the Blazer and Joe tells me that the house they’re staying at is where they’ll be partying, so there will be no need to drive anywhere. All appearances are that Joe is very particular about driving and drinking — I hope that’s the case.

And so, Lisa and I are left, alone, for Friday and Saturday night. Cold wine in abundance. “Videos to watch.” All the privacy in the world.

So, this is what an empty nest is like. Nice. Very nice. I’m not sure I’m ready for my son to leave home yet, but I sure did enjoy the time alone that Lisa and I had.

Saturday morning I went to Curves first thing and worked out. After I got home, I kept whining “I’m ready for a nap.” I was completely wiped out! But then I made some macaroni and cheese for lunch, and perked right up. Lisa and I went out and collected up all the garden ornaments and packed the shed for the winter. Such a depressing task, really, but it was a gorgeous day. Sunny and warm — we were in t-shirts!

Joe got home around 1:30, looking tired, but said he had a good time. He described himself as “…drank so much I was retarded” on Friday night. I asked him (as I always do, jokingly) if he’d gotten arrested. He said “No, but I did end up at the police station Saturday morning.”

Joe (like all my kids) is half Hispanic. Some of his buddies used to call him “Mex” but then, when the movie Joe Dirt came out, his buddies took to calling him Joe Dirt, or Mex Joe Dirt or Joe, the Dirty Mexican. He ended up getting vanity plates for his Blazer that say JOEDIRTE (pronounced deer-tay, like in the movie). Someone stole his rear license plate over the weekend. College party area, vanity plates, no big surprise. If you see him on AOL IM under the pseudonym “Gale Gribble,” you’ll see that his away message addresses the theft. He’s mystified as to why someone would steal a license plate. I figure it was someone else who liked the movie as much as he did.

I’m guessing it’s all the working out and walking, but I couldn’t just sit still and watch football yesterday. I was up more than I sat, and I fixed homemade soup for dinner as well as a meatloaf to put in the crockpot today. I even baked brownies! I never sat down for an extended period of time until Cold Case came on. Then we watched the second half of Category 7 and called it a night.

I’m down 8 lbs. now since October 1st — 6 weeks. Boy does that feel good! Last year I got down to 153.5 so I’m shooting to pass that by this time. I figure that, with a year membership at Curves, I’m more likely to stick to it. But I’m only looking at one 10 lb. increment at a time, too.

It’s Monday. Yuck. But, the upside is that the sun is brilliant today, and it’s almost 50 degrees. Works for me!