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I would like a do-over of today.  Can anyone make that happen for me?  I’d really appreciate it.

No?  Fine.  Tomorrow will just have to be my Sunday, plus work.

That sounds awful – all the stress of knowing the work week is about to start, plus it’s actually Monday.  I changed my mind.  Let’s skip straight to Tuesday.

I hurt all over

Moving sucks.  Even when (especially when?) you’re not moving yourself.  We helped Jess move into her new apartment today, and it feels like everything that could go wrong, did.  I know that’s not true – plenty of things went right – but the percentage of bad things was unusually high.

Bad things:

  • We met Jess at the truck rental place first thing in the morning.  John was going to drive it for her, so we had to be there when she picked it up.  Since he’s the driver, he’s basically renting it, and when they asked if we wanted extra insurance, we said no.  The lady said that’s fine, here, fill out this form with your policy number and the coverage you have for 6-wheeled commercial vehicles.  Um, what?  We’ve rented a lot of trucks in the past year, and no one has asked us that.  I called USAA, and no, we don’t have coverage for that.  (So every time we’ve rented a truck, like, EVER, we’ve been tempting fate with the no extra coverage thing.  Oops.)  Okay, so Jess had to pay an extra amount for it, but hey – it’s refundable.  Except…it’ll be higher than previously mentioned and not ALL of it is refundable because she’s changing an existing rental.  Excuse me?  Still, not that much higher, and we can deal with it.
  • Another family came in, renting a 12′ foot truck (ours was 16′), and they were leaving as we were finalizing the insurance stuff.  As they drove out of the lot, the lady said, “Wait!  They took your truck!”  Yeah, they drove out in the 16′ truck with the ramp we needed.  (They eventually came back and we got our truck.)

The lady joked that all the bad things were happening NOW so we’d be all set the rest of the day.  Way to tempt fate, Rental Truck Lady.

  • We loaded up the truck with all of Jess’s stuff without incident, but I’m including it as a bad thing that happened because her furniture is REALLY HEAVY.  It’s like real grown-up furniture weight.

Good things:

  • We were able to get all of her furniture out of her house and into the truck!  (We’ve had bad luck with couches – couldn’t get Emily’s out of their townhouse last year, so she sold it to the new owners.)
  • By the time John and I (in the truck and our car) caught up with Jess at the new apartment, she’d checked in with the leasing office and gotten her new keys and a parking pass so we could start unloading immediately.

Bad things:

  • She overestimated how much of her stuff could fit in the apartment.  She wanted her big leather couch, loveseat, and chair, but we realized that no matter how we arranged the furniture, the couch wasn’t going to make it.  Or the coffee table.  They stayed on the truck.
  • The really $&%^# heavy leather couch could have been left behind in the house.

Good things:

  • Goodwill was still open, we still had the truck, and they took the couch and the coffee table off our hands!  This is getting to be a habit.
  • We were done with the truck early and could fill it up with gas and return it!

Bad thing:

  • Our credit cards were declined at the gas station pump.

Good thing:

  • Apparently that’s just a really sketchy gas station and Navy Federal locks down cards that get used there.  That seems really weird to me, but I suppose I’m glad they’re looking out for us.  Cards are fine.  Crisis averted.

Bad thing:

  • I’m dirty and tired and achy.

Good thing:

  • I’m home.  I can shower and go to bed.

Extra good thing:

  • Jess lives a mile and a half from us now.  Yippee!

I should stop agonizing over not liking a book

I’ve had a physical copy of one of John Hodgman’s books for quite some time (More Information Than You Require).  It’s one of the books I saved out of the original donation pile with the intention of reading it before we move across the country.  I like John Hodgman.  I think he’s funny.  We both like him enough that we bought tickets to see his show at The Birchmere a few years back.  We didn’t go at the last minute, for depressing reasons (still absolutely the right decision), but I’m sure we would have enjoyed the show.

I had every expectation of enjoying his book.  And then I tried to read it (this was yesterday).  I’ve been talking a lot about the books on my bookshelf and how I feel about reading them.  Some of them are really just not for me (Gormenghast, some of the Kate Atkinson novels), some of them I have REALLY liked, and some I might just not be in the mood for.  I think I’m just not in the mood for John Hodgman.  There are a lot of made-up facts, there’s a lot of ALL CAPS EMPHASIS going on, a lot of absurdity – these are all things I think are funny.  Just not this week, I guess. Or maybe for me, Hodgman’s humor doesn’t translate to the page.  Or maybe I’m just not in the right mood.

I put the book in the donation pile.  I might try again before we actually donate the books.  I might not.  It won’t be hard to get if I change my mind later.

I feel bad about this (hence the hedging and rationalizing).

Not that bad, though.  I picked up Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare book last night and was immediately more interested. I’m much happier when I’m reading something for fun and not because I feel like I have to.

I’m sorry, John Hodgman, that apparently I feel like your book is something I have to read.

AMC makes some good TV

We starting watching Halt and Catch Fire on Netflix the other day, and that’s all we’ve wanted to watch since then.  I was initially…not resistant, exactly, but not terribly enthusiastic about starting it.  Hey, a show about building computers in 1980!  Yay?  Haven’t they made this movie (the Apple/Microsoft/IBM, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and Bill Gates in their garages thing) over and over again?

But, wait!  It’s compelling.  The two married people actually TALK THROUGH THEIR PROBLEMS.  The sales guy is idealistic and an ENORMOUS TOOL.  The people at the company are smart and solve problems.  Everyone is mostly likeable with a little bit of horribleness or mostly horrible with a little bit of likeableness.

It’s GOOD TV.  Also, it has Lee Pace in it (cute) and the other lead actor’s name is Scoot.  How could you not watch that?


This afternoon, I got up from my desk in our front room and headed to the kitchen with the express purpose of checking our tomatoes to still if they’re still edible.  The kitchen is two rooms away.  As I walked through the room in between, I remembered that tomorrow is Thursday and immediately thought, “Yay Thursday!”  I started thinking about how much I like Thursdays.  They’re such nice days, announcing the upcoming weekend but without all the stress of trying to get ALL THE WORK done before the weekend (which is why I’m less in love with Fridays).  They’re friendly days, nonthreatening days.  I did a little Thursday happy dance (premature, but maybe I was practicing for tomorrow), and by the time I was done, I was through the kitchen and standing in our bedroom, with NO memory of why I’d gotten up in the first place.

It came back to me within a few seconds, and yes, the tomatoes are still edible (I know you were wondering), but DUDE.  Am I flaky?  Just old?

Way to ruin breakfast, dude

We are boycotting Graul’s Market (the nearest grocery store) from here on out.  For the second time in less than 6 months, we have opened a brand new sealed gallon of milk with a sell-by date over a week in the future to find it spoiled.  John got a face full of the smell when he opened the new gallon to add milk to his cereal, and it nearly put him off food altogether.  That’s a really awful smell.  Just the thought of it makes me shudder.

Yes, we could return the milk, but it’s not worth the trip.  We just won’t go back there.  It’s the closest store, but it’s far enough that we have to drive, so if we’re going to get in the car anyway, we’ll just go somewhere else.  Annoying, but we’ve got less than two months to go.  We’ll manage.

We have other smell problems this evening.  I’m making salmon (so yum salmon and garlic and olive oil), but our downstairs neighbors are cooking something that clashes unpleasantly.  On its own, I’m sure it would smell delicious (when I can separate it from our dinner, I get something sweet and warm, like cake, but not dessert), but mixed with salmon and garlic?  Not so great.

It’s a habit, but it’s not a HABIT, you know?

I was going to stop drinking coffee, right?  As soon as my creamer ran out?  Yeah, I’ve failed on that one already.  I used the last of the creamer Saturday morning.  Sunday morning, John flew for an hour, so I went with him just to be up and about.  I couldn’t fly with him (he’s not licensed yet), so after he took off, I went looking for a bakery I’d found online.  Got there, ordered a cheese danish.

“Coffee?”  “Yeah, sure.”

So yeah, I had regular coffee and a danish for breakfast Sunday morning.  I didn’t even realize what I’d done until we got home.  But it was January 31st, right?  So…maybe we can say I’m starting this in February.  My birthday present to myself – less caffeine, fewer empty calories.  Today (being February 1st), I had decaf tea and instant oatmeal for breakfast.  Much healthier.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch (we’re going to the store as soon as John finishes his Battlefront mission) and nothing but water to drink the rest of the day.

Except for the half-pint of Naptown Brown Ale I had when I met Jess for lunch.  Oops.  Baby steps.

To Do, Part 2, Move 3

We’ve made progress!

  1. We have a trip planned to go to Eugene and try to find a place to live.  I’m starting to get nervous about it (not going, but finding our new place right then), but hopefully we can find what we’re looking for within those few days and start a lease on April 1st.
  2. I called three moving companies and got estimates.  They’re not outrageous, especially when I add up the costs of renting a truck and doing it ourselves.
  3. Getting rid of things.  Well, there are two big paper grocery bags full of books, a trash bag full of clothes, and a box full of random things, all waiting to be given away.  Next step: actually give them away.

I laugh, therefore I am

I amuse myself.  As in, I think I’m funny.  I don’t think I’m FUNNY-funny.  I’m not comedian-funny.  And I fail (like falling down and landing with a thud fail) when I TRY to be funny.  But I think I’m funny.  I make myself laugh.

Is that weird?  I feel like it would be sad if I couldn’t make myself laugh.  I can tell myself a joke, and I’ll laugh at it.  (I don’t do that often.)  It’s comforting.  It’s like I’m company for myself.  It’s enough for me that I’m funny enough for me.  It’s okay if other people don’t find me funny because I’m not trying to be funny for other people.  I’m not asking you if you think I’m funny because that’s not really a question I want to ask – it’s not what I’m about.  I’m not trying to be funny for me, either – I just sometimes find myself very amusing.  Does that sound smug?  I’m afraid it sounds smug.  I’m not trying to be smug.

I will stop with the naval-gazing now.  Sorry.  Not smug, just self-absorbed.  :)


Friday Fun

I don’t know if this is real (it probably isn’t), but it’s hilarious, and I’ll enjoy it anyway.  Read it left to right.

Dueling church signs (from reddit somewhere):


Lots of reasons

I need to relax more.  I don’t mean to say that I’m rushing around like a crazy person (I’m not), but I’m starting to feel stressed again.  Deep breathing isn’t always working for me (I don’t feel like I can breathe deeply enough, which is bad enough on its own, but then adds to the stress), and my brain is racing.  It’s not about the move (although I’m sure the fact that it’s creeping closer and we have a lot to do isn’t helping, but really – that feels under control), and it’s not just about work.  It’s probably a lot about work, but there’s no quick fix for that (not any that don’t involve their own kinds of stress).  Regardless, I just want to handle it better.

This afternoon, John went off to fly, and I turned on the Yoga Radio station on Pandora.  My plan was to listen to it for a while during the end of my work day and then DO some yoga.  I managed half of that…I didn’t make it to the actual yoga part.  But it’s a start!

I think I’m going to drink less coffee, too.  Once I’m out of the creamer I have.  (No reason to let that go bad.)  I drank the last glass of a bottle of wine last night, and I’m thinking about not opening the next bottle for a while.  Part of the reason (for both coffee and wine) is the stress thing.  The rest of it is just that they’re empty calories.  I don’t need them.

And maybe this whole stress thing is coming on right now because I haven’t been exercising regularly this week.  I didn’t feel like this last week, and last week I ran five days in a row.  Then we had a massive snow storm, and I only ran once (Tuesday), and it wasn’t much of a run since I had to keep doubling back when the sidewalks ended in unshoveled snow and I kept stopping to pick my way across slush and ice.  I haven’t been to the gym, and I certainly haven’t done any exercising at home (because lazy).  Instead, I’ve eaten cookies and blueberry muffins and nachos.  Tonight’s dinner is chili, so I’m not really helping myself out there.  Make better choices!  I will.  Soon.


Our permanent someday home might need a heavy punching bag installed in the basement.  I could sure use one to beat up on right now.  I’ve been dealing with Mr. Smug Patronizer Who Thinks He’s More Important Than Everyone Else all day, and I need to let off some steam.  Counting to ten and taking deep breaths isn’t working.  I can’t go for a run (not a very satisfying one, anyway) because the sidewalks are treacherous, and the gym is just too far away.  I guess I’ll have to get over this by eating cookies.  Mmm.  Cookies.

When you’re right, you’re right

Mel has been on a roll lately.  Last fall, she insisted we create a Pandora station seeded only with Electric Light Orchestra, and you know?  It’s my favorite Pandora station.  It’s SO good.  Then last week (just a few days ago?), she told me about a trilogy she’d gotten sucked into that surely I knew about already, but if I didn’t, I had to read it.  Again, she’s on top of it.  I downloaded the first book and read it in about 24 hours.  Couldn’t put it down (Brilliance by Marcus Sakey), and I’ve already started the second book.

What’s next?  I’m all ears.

Some people are artists, some people appreciate them

We went for a walk this morning and saw the BEST snow sculptures.


Everybody run!  Preferably up some stairs!  Oh, wait – daleks fly now.  There’s no hope!


I’m not sure why R2-D2 is hanging out with an Easter Island head (I’m assuming, from the tiki torch, that it’s an Easter Island head and not, say George Washington), but I like that they’re all buddy-buddy.

Just because I had no intention of playing in the snow and getting all cold doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate when others do.

Cozy and warm

I have not been outside today, and at the rate the sun is setting and the rate at which we are moving towards putting layers on for warmth and outsideness (which is backwards, we are moving AWAY from outsideness), I don’t believe I will be going outside today at all.  That is okay.  The sun was shining when we woke up (nice change) and has been all day, but I’m not fooled – I know it’s cold.  I know there’s still over a foot of snow out there and I can’t see the surface of the street yet and we’re still not supposed to park on our street and we’re being urged not to drive yet and you know?  We have food and heat and the internet.  All is well.

Here’s a picture of a neighbor’s car in the lot in the middle of our block.  I don’t know how many inches that is, but when we went for a quick walk yesterday afternoon, the snow came up to just over my boot top on one side of the sidewalk (14 inches) and up to my knees on the other side (over 18 inches).  So….that much snow.  I don’t have to shovel it!  Super happy about that.


John’s parents got over 30 inches of snow, and we’ve been treated to pictures of them shoveling their long driveway throughout the day.  I feel their pain, I sympathize, I empathize even, but I’m not volunteering to drive up and help.

Whoops.  Talked about the weather.

I don’t really want to talk about the weather

Half the country (at least) is dealing with snow right now, and I don’t want to be just one more blogger talking about it.  In fact, the more I think about it, the less I want to talk about it or post pictures.  The pictures aren’t that exciting.  You’ve all seen snow before.

Let’s talk about TV instead!  Specifically, the new Legends of Tomorrow show.  We watch The Flash and Arrow (although we enjoy The Flash more), and they do crossover shows a couple of times a season.  They’re definitely happening in the same universe, which is fun.  There was a pair of crossovers this season meant to introduce a couple of characters who were going to be in Legends of Tomorrow, characters I’ve never heard of and who sound pretty dumb (Hawkgirl and Hawkman).  Legends of Tomorrow premiered recently (this week or last week, maybe?), and we watched it this morning.  I was excited to watch it, and I’m still excited even though the pilot was not that great BECAUSE Arthur Darvill is in it.  Love him from Doctor Who, love him MORE from that panel he was on at Awesome Con last summer, and I will love him as Rip Hunter, another character I’ve never heard of.  But Rip Hunter appears to be a cross between the Doctor and Mal from Firefly, and that’s very cool, and that makes me very willing to give this show some time to get better.  The other characters on the show (at least in the pilot) are a combination of B and C team heroes from The Flash and Arrow (with maybe lots more crossovers?).  I have no idea if they’re permanent cast members, but it’ll be fun to find out.

(I like TV.  I like comic book TV.  I like crossover TV.  I am a nerd.)

Hunkered down

The snow has begun.  We live on a snow emergency route, so we had to move our cars.  Our regular garage (because it’s always free on weekends) doesn’t open until 6pm, and 1) we had to be moved by 4, and 2) the snow might be pretty bad by then, so we headed for the city garages that were opened at 1pm to residents for just this purpose.  We got to the closest garage at 1:15 – already full.  We found plenty of parking at the next closest garage, but we parked next to an outside wall, which is open to the outside.  We were about to walk back home, but I had visions of having to dig our cars out from under two feet of snow that would DEFINITELY drift in….so we moved the cars to a couple of inner spaces.  Well, I moved my car.   John’s car wouldn’t start.  Even though it was JUST running.  I moved mine back and we jumped his and moved both cars again, but by then the snow had started.  And we were farther away from the apartment than planned.  And it was colder.  Well, it felt colder – we’d been out in it FOR AN HOUR.  Parking wasn’t supposed to take this long.

We’re back, warm again (the apartment, generally so cold, feels REALLY good right now), and catching up on work (since we didn’t anticipate being gone that long).  I went to the store Thursday morning, so we’re all stocked up and ready to be stuck inside for several days.  As long as the power doesn’t go out.  That’s my new nightmare, since the winds are supposed to be so high.  We have electric heat, electric hot water, electric stove…we’ll be very very unhappy if the power goes out.

Manly men at the gym

When we go to the gym (which I haven’t done even once this week – stupid, considering how cold it’s been), I usually spend 20-25 minutes with dumbbells in the weight room, and then I run away to the boxing side for half an hour or so.  I like to go at lunchtime because the gym is usually fairly empty then.  The boxing side is ALWAYS empty then.  The few times we’ve gone early in the morning, the place has been packed.  There’s a class in the boxing room (but not necessarily a boxing class), there are people running back and forth, and the weight room is full of personal trainers and their trainees.  I feel crowded out.  Hate that.  They’re not unwelcoming, but there are so MANY of them.

Anyway, I prefer to go in the middle of the day.  There are usually no more than a couple to three guys in the weight room, and we all ignore each other.  This one day last week, they got all boisterous, while still totally ignoring me (which is good).  I was flat on my back on a weight bench (chest press, fly, and skull crushers – love the name of that one), eyes focused on the weights and the ceiling, and all I could hear was macho positive reinforcement.  The air was thick with testosterone and “you GOT this” and “YEAH” and “way to go, bro!” (I didn’t make that one up) and “just one more!”  It was…sweet.

Then my arms gave out (with my measly little dumbbells), and I hightailed it to the boxing room so I could beat up on a bag.  Alone.

The invasion was inevitable

These last few days have been the coldest days of the winter so far.  Before New Year’s Eve, that wouldn’t have been saying much, but this week has been actually, objectively cold.  I wouldn’t keep harping on that – oh, who am I kidding?  Of course I’ll keep harping on that – but I’m bringing it up this time because I keep seeing people out in this frigid weather who are NOT dressed appropriately and who don’t seem to be particularly cold.  The other evening, I was driving back from the grocery store, and I noticed a woman standing outside a Dunkin Donuts on her cell phone in a short-sleeved t-shirt.  Does she not feel cold the way us mortals do?  She wasn’t shivering.  She was just standing there.  Maybe she was angry with the person on the phone, and her anger was keeping her warm.  Then yesterday, I was running (and freezing) at lunchtime, and I saw a woman out walking wearing just a thin cardigan.  She didn’t appear to be cold or uncomfortable.  Maybe she’s from Canada and sneers at the puny humans who shiver in single-digit temperatures.

Maybe I’m just a wimp who gets cold easily, but I’m not alone!  Everyone else stuck outside was either dressed for it (I saw one enviable person wearing a parka with a fur-trimmed hood) or clearly in a hurry to get someplace warm.  Maybe they’ve evolved.  Maybe they’re aliens.

Too many anthologies

It seems I’ve been reading a lot of short story collections lately (over the last year), and I’ve noticed a common thread – I put a lot of them down without finishing all the stories. It happens more with collections from different authors – just when I find a story I like, it’s over, and I have to shift gears for a new voice and a new story. When I read an anthology by the same author, I don’t have this problem. Same voice, I guess? Maybe the next time I pick up a collection, I should space the stories out. Read a story, switch to a novel, read another story, read another novel. That’s an actual plan that I will follow. Good idea, me!