Why am I not already asleep?

I can feel my brain leaking out through my ears.  I am SO TIRED.  Yesterday, I worked 9 hours.  Then, because we were doing a software upgrade on a production environment, I got back online in the evening to test the upgrade.  It didn’t go well.  Five hours later (nearly 1am my time, nearly 4am eastern), we gave up for the night and went to bed.  I got up five hours after that and got back to work, and I got at least two more hours of sleep than the two guys who were working late with me.  I don’t know how they made it through the work day.  To make matters worse, we still haven’t fixed the issue.

Today was not fun.  Tomorrow is not likely to be, either.  This week is not a great work week.

I’m going to bed.

Not my kind of OM

I am still in the market for a yoga class because last night’s class was not for me.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t terribly challenging, and this is coming from someone who hasn’t been to a yoga class in at LEAST a year and a half.  It wasn’t that relaxing, either.  They did actually say “om”, though.  That’s a first for me.

The gym offers a couple of different yoga classes, so I’ll try one of those soon.  Until then, I’ll ponder the mystery of the font color of my current book.  It’s BLUE.  Aside from kid’s books, I can’t remember ever seeing a printed book with text any color other than black.  It’s weird.

I felt pretty good, but then…

My weekend good mood disappeared in a clap of thunder at about 9am this morning.  I went from pretty patient with work stuff (after my nice relaxing long weekend) to ZERO TOLERANCE FOR IDIOTS, INCOMPETENCE, AND IGNORANCE, with pretty broad definitions for all three.  It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t fun.

My work day is over.  I’m going to sit outside and read, and then I’m going to a zumba class, then a yoga class.

Portland!

We had about three hours to kill in Portland before the Night Vale show Thursday night, so we did pretty much what you’d expect of us:

  1. We did a quick tour of the downtown library.
  2. We spent about 45 minutes in Powell’s.
  3. We had dinner.

The library is pretty impressive-looking from the outside, and the lobby is lovely.  It has a big sweeping staircase, and the steps to the second floor are (or at least look like) black marble etched with animals and lots of swirling patterns.  Very cool.

IMG_20160721_164146[1]

I think these windows were in non-fiction room.  Huge, lots of light, trees outside – beautiful and peaceful.

IMG_20160721_165651[1]

The children’s library is named after Beverly Cleary, who – fun fact I just learned – grew up in Portland.  That tree in there has figures from children’s stories carved into it.
IMG_20160721_164623[1]

We didn’t spend too much time there because a) we couldn’t check anything out, and b) WE HAD TO GO TO POWELL’S.

Last time we were there, I mentioned being overwhelmed, but in a good way.  This time, that feeling was tinged with anxiety.  There are SO many books, and SO many books I want to read.  How will I ever find the time to read them all?  That idea, that abundance of books – it should feel wonderful, exciting, comforting maybe.  I’ll never run out of things to read (as if that were possible).  Thursday, though, it wasn’t a pleasant feeling.  Maybe I just need a vacation.  Yeah, no, I KNOW I need a vacation.

Anyway, we kept that visit pretty short because we were hungry and we had a show to get to.  Dinner was Japanese, shared, really good.  The theater was on the other side of a park from the restaurant, and as we crossed into the park, we saw this sign:

IMG_20160721_191222[1]

Eugene has bike routes everywhere.  Portland has skate routes.  Because Portland.  I think the guy on the right is on rollerblades, but it’s hard to tell.  His other foot might be a giant circular saw.

I might even eat off the floor. Well, I COULD. I probably won’t.

John and I took Friday off work because we knew we’d be out really late Thursday night.  We ended up getting home around midnight, but until the Night Vale show ended, we didn’t know if we’d be spending the night in Portland or driving home.  Either way, work at 6am Friday morning would have been difficult.

You’d think, with a day off like that, that we’d spend it relaxing or doing something fun, but you’d be wrong.  We did sleep in a bit, and then we went to gym, but THEN, oh then – we cleaned.  We cleaned like our parents were coming to visit.  We started upstairs and worked our way down, room by room, windows, surfaces, floors, with a break from cleaning to hang a few pictures (the goat, the sign with our name on it, the comic book posters), and then back to cleaning.  We finished at 5pm, just in time to shower, have dinner, and then send John off to rehearsal tonight (8pm to 11pm – I will be sound asleep when he comes home).

Fun day off!  Still, the house looks great. I always forget how much easier it is for us to relax when everything is clean. I don’t notice the tension of the dirty house until it’s gone.

Good night, Night Vale. Good night.

We saw a Night Vale live show in Portland last night (Thursday night), and it was GREAT.  There were a ton of people (the show was sold out), some dressed up (I saw Carlos the Scientist a couple of times, at least four glow clouds, and a ton of Night Vale t-shirts), most not, almost all fans of the show.  John’s not crazy about it – he listened to a couple of episodes and didn’t like the narrator’s voice, which I think was also Corey’s problem with it – and the couple sitting next to it were walking in blind, too.  It seems like a strange show to go to cold, but whatever.  It was a lot of fun to see live.  I’d go again if the opportunity arose.

IMG_20160721_191540[1]

IMG_20160721_191445[1]

The show always travels with a musician (or a band), and for our show, they had Erin McKeown, who I had only heard of because she performed the weather on the most recent episode of the show.  I really liked that song, and I really liked the others she played.  She went on first, played 6-8 songs, then the show started, and then she played the song from that last podcast episode as the weather for the show.  During the show, she played alone (electric guitar only), but the recording I’ve heard it has a full band, and it’s awesome.  You know what?  You can hear it for yourself.

Friday afternoons are the greatest, especially when it’s actually Thursday

Beware, all who cross my path: my weekend has begun.  Nothing will get in the way of ultimate relaxation – NOTHING!  Except for a planned work interruption Sunday morning.  Damn.  NOTHING ELSE!

Nothing.  Shhh.

New obsession

Have you heard Frank Turner?  I very much like his music a lot. A lot a lot. John has liked him for a while, but the other day, John played THIS for me, and I can’t get enough.

And THEN he played this one:

So I downloaded a couple of albums and discovered THIS one, that I LOVE LOVE LOVE. Give the beginning a pass – trust me.

And one of John’s favorites (and the first one he ever played me, a couple of years ago):

These are just the best from the two albums I’ve been listening to (plus one song – that first one isn’t on those two albums).  I need the other albums.

So we found out he’s going to be playing Portland on July 31st, we got all excited, and then – THE #$&^% SHOW IS SOLD OUT.

Oh, well.

Wine update

My new favorite red wine is actually one that I have liked for….a year?  Two years?  I don’t remember when I first tried it, but I know it was at Emily’s house, and I know I’ve had it more than once at her house.   So thanks, Emily, for 19 Crimes.

IMG_20160718_180348

They make a cabernet sauvignon, too, but since I rarely like those, I go for the blend.  It’s very good.  You should try it.

Repairs are needed

John’s bike is pretty old.  He’s had it at least since 1998, when he used it to get to his summer job in Connecticut when we were in school, and he probably had had it for a while at that point.  (I’ve only had my bike since 2004, I think.)  Anyway, sometime last week, he noticed that one of his pedals was coming loose.  It was wobbly, and he couldn’t tighten it with any tools he has.  There’s a bike shop right by our gym, so we biked over there after work today, figuring we’d go to the gym once the pedal was fixed.  Of course, the pedal fell off about halfway there, and you just can’t ride a bike with only one pedal (John tried), so we walked the rest of the way (it wasn’t far).  Naturally, fixing it is not as simple as replacing the pedal, so John left the bike at the shop.  I think they have to order some parts – his bike is either old enough or non-standard enough that they just don’t have whatever it is he needs.  Still cheaper to repair than to buy a new bike, though.

This would be necessary if either of us were capable of running….grumble grumble grumble.

Well, yes it would.  We bike to get places around here.  Never mind.

(Grumble).

Crater Lake is SO freakin’ BLUE

IMG_20160716_170617

I usually get annoyed when I skip a day on the ol’ blog here, but I can’t be mad about skipping yesterday.  I didn’t plan to skip – I thought I’d be back home in time to get it done – but it was late because we were out having adventures and doing fun things and taking LOTS of pictures.  I can forgive myself for that.

None of the pictures you’re about to see have been edited, mostly because I don’t really know how to do that, and I’m too lazy to bother with it.  The signs all over Crater Lake National Park say that the water is so blue because it’s all rain and snowmelt and because it’s the deepest freshwater lake in the country. It was incredible.  I didn’t want to look away.  Of course, I did look away because who would believe we were there if we didn’t take pictures?  I love being a tourist.

IMG_20160716_130318

IMG_20160716_130422

IMG_20160716_130551

I can’t help but like this one, even though we could be ANYwhere since you can’t really see the lake.

IMG_20160716_151048

It was hard to leave, even after our hike.  Oh yes – we hiked.  In our infinite wisdom, we chose one of the strenuous hikes, meant to take 2-3 hours and gain over 1000 feet in elevation.  In our defense, there were only two hiking trails within walking distance of where we parked, and the other one was easy and seemed to follow the road we’d just driven down.  BOR-ing.

If you squint, you can see the Crater Lake Lodge in the upper center part of this picture, which is where we started.  I think we were about halfway when I took this one.

IMG_20160716_155739

The temperature was in the 70s, and we were working hard, so we were plenty warm, but there was SNOW on the ground.  Not everywhere, certainly, but we had to climb through a slippery melting snowbank to get to the top.  That was the scariest part.  Well, coming back down through the snowbank was the scariest part.

IMG_20160716_170452

We did reach the top, though.  Here we are on Garfield Peak, 8000 feet above sea level.  I don’t know how many feet we were above lake level.

IMG_20160716_164514

IMG_20160716_164511

And here’s another terrible selfie (it was really bright out, okay?).

IMG_20160716_165049

I think I might have to make that one my profile picture for ALL of my accounts.

IMG_20160716_152711
John wants to run down this meadow.  I’m willing to bet it’s steeper than it looks.

IMG_20160716_165502

I think I took this next one on the way back down.

IMG_20160716_140806
Here we are, tired and happy and soon to be very hungry.

IMG_20160716_174822

We left about 6pm (we got there around after noon, close to 1, I think), but it’s 2 and a half hours away, so it was nearly 9 before we got back to Cottage Grove, and after 9 before we ate.  Almost midnight when we got home, still had to shower (covered in sweat and sunscreen – totally gross), and we’re only a little bit sore today.  Our gym has a hot tub.  We may be heading there this afternoon.

PUPPIES

I discovered Paw My Gosh today.  Lots of puppy videos, as if the internet needed more of them.  Actually, with the news lately, maybe the internet does need more.  The blog part is somewhat cutesy, but the videos are cute.  Did I really just write that?  That’s terrible.

Enjoy!

Wherein I speak Latin

CNN is not the greatest news source out there, and despite where you might think this sentence is going, I’m not providing an exception here.  The article I’m linking to isn’t news.  It’s helpful, and it’s health-related and general happiness- and stop-hating-the-world-related, but still not news.

How to stop being annoyed by life

My tolerance for petty bullshit is, as you can probably tell by my phrasing, LOW.  So is my tolerance for incompetence, willful stupidity, and intolerance.  I can still be patient with people.  I’m still patient with LOTS of people.  I don’t seem to have as much patience, though…and then I get irritated…and then I get frustrated…and if I’m lucky, I remember to stop and wonder just what I’m so irritated about.  Is it important?  Does it matter?  Can I do something about it?  I’m rarely that lucky (to remember to stop and think), but I think I’m getting better about it.  Things like that article help.  Sitting in a chair in the backyard for a few minutes during the workday helps.  Reading helps.

Why am I not reading?  I’m pretty much always asking that question.

So I was thinking about all that on my bike ride this afternoon, pedaling along the path by the river, enjoying the sunny day and the stiff breeze that made me work a little harder, when BAM!  Something small and sharp and OW PAINFUL IT HURTS hit me in the upper arm.  I never saw it, it was gone immediately, like it bounced right off, but it felt like I’d been stung.  Can you get stung at that speed?  Can a bee or a wasp or some other flying (I assume flying) insect hit you at just the right angle at approximately 15 mph to sting you and then get away?  I shouted a few things, maybe startling a duck, and pulled over to look.  It did kind of look like a bee sting (although the last time I was stung was on my knee in Chesapeake Beach in 1985 or ’86, so how would I know what it looks like?), and there was a tiny dot of red in the middle, and it hurt like crazy.  I considered going home, but I was mostly done (6 miles left!), so I figured I’d keep going unless it started to hurt more or I started to go into anaphylactic shock.  (WordPress doesn’t think “anaphylactic” is a word.  Screw you, WordPress, I spelled it right on my own!)  Would I recognize anaphylactic shock?  If it started, would it be too late at that point to get home?  Why was I worrying about this?  I didn’t die when I got stung when I was 6, so I’m probably not allergic to bee stings now.  Shut up and bike.

So, yeah, I think I got stung.  It stopped hurting as much, the swelling started to go down and spread out, like more of a welt, and now (an hour later), there’s hardly anything to see.  I think I’ll live.

Moral of the story: I didn’t get angry or irritated or frustrated by it.  No, that’s a TERRIBLE moral and has nothing to do with anything.  Getting stung by a mystery insect on a bike ride is not in the same category as the things that annoy me.  What’s to get annoyed about?  Nope, this story only barely escapes being a non sequitur, and it’s only a sequitur because the bee sting literally followed my thoughts on that article.  It’s a LITERAL SEQUITUR.

Tardy

I’m running late today.  I thought I had all the time in the world, but I just finished working, and I need to shower, and I only have 40 minutes before I need to leave for my massage this afternoon (yes, I have a massage scheduled).  I don’t like the thought of being all rushed and tense when I show up for my massage, but I suppose when you’re rushed and tense, a massage is a good thing to have.  Of course, I’m only tense because I’m rushed – why am I still typing?  Gotta run!

Totally useless

I’ve known for a long time that I can’t listen to music with words when I’m working because I end up typing what I’m hearing (or singing along to) instead of, you know, work stuff.  Apparently, this is also a problem when blogging.  Or it could just be that I don’t have anything specific to say today, so I’m easily sidetracked.  I was going to write something about Pokémon Go (I saw teenagers playing in the park today, I think), but that went nowhere, mostly because “I saw people playing it” is all I have to say, and then there was something about boiling eggs and having one explode in the pot every time, but really – where was I going with that?  Nowhere, according to Regina Spektor, who was determined to have me type about breaking her heart instead of exploding eggs.  It’s not all about you, Regina!  Sometimes it’s about being unable to boil eggs correctly.  I gotta go talk to Julia Child.

Pictures of athletes, not much of substance. Heh, like I ever say anything of substance.

Ignore the random people in this picture.  I think it’s a cool sign.

IMG_20160709_125223

We were THIS close to the track….

IMG_20160709_125927

IMG_20160709_125932

IMG_20160709_125937

…and it was a beautiful day.

IMG_20160709_143117

And look!  The women competing in the heptathlon getting ready for their 200m race.  Butts in the air…

IMG_20160709_165128

Pushing off the blocks…

IMG_20160709_165129

Burst of energy at the beginning of a short, fast race.

IMG_20160709_165130

Check it out!  It’s Maggie Malone, she of the cool name and the world-class javelin-throwing arm.

IMG_20160709_170817

IMG_20160709_170820
And HERE is a picture that shows all three of the men who will be running the 5000m race for the US in Rio.  You can see Lagat (check his bib) and the other two are in Chelimo (in the Army shirt in front) and Mead, in the green shirt behind.  took that picture because I was that close.  Such a cool day.

IMG_20160709_171936

Olympians

Yesterday was the coolest day.  We went to the next to last day of the US Track and Field Olympic Trials at Hayward Field (home of Prefontaine and Bill Bowerman), and it was INCREDIBLE.  It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever watch the actual Olympic Games in person, but yesterday, we got to watch the best track and field athletes in the US compete for a spot on the US Olympic team – those were actual Olympians, and it was unbelievable to watch.  I mean, I’m saying this even about sports I don’t care about and know nothing about, like the high jump and the javelin throw.  Those were neat to see (and the woman who won the javelin throw has the best name – Maggie Malone), but we were really there for the running events.  Us and everyone else, really.  The place was packed by the time the men’s 5000m final started.  Watching an Olympic (near-Olympic 5K) is NOTHING like watching a neighborhood 5K.  There were 16 men competing, and since we didn’t know anything about any of them, we decided to cheer for the oldest guy, Bernard Lagat, who is 41 years old and holds the American record at this distance.  I got video of them coming around during the first lap.

I forgot to mention that we had AMAZING SEATS.  We were right in the center of the long straight stretch of the track, on the starting line side (behind them – we could see butts in the air at the start), IN THE FIFTH ROW.  We were on the wrong side for the finish, but we could see plenty.

My plan was to get that video (accomplished), then conserve my battery (I was down to 13%) and get another short video as they came around for the final lap.  That first lap was relatively slow, and I wanted to be able to contrast that to the effort they’d be putting in on the final lap.  On a track, a 5K is 12 and a half laps long, so I had plenty of time to watch a few laps and then get ready to record again.  The race was crazy exciting.  Two guys were out front at first, but they tired out and didn’t end up staying in front.  Then there were another two in front (way out front), and then, right at the end, everyone else started catching up.  The guy we were cheering for, Lagat, was in the middle of the pack the whole time…right up until that last half-lap, when he SURGED AHEAD AND WON.  The 41-year-old won the race.  It was incredible, and I was screaming my head off and then his face crumpled in happy tears and so did I.  I was highly susceptible to those athletes’ emotions yesterday.  So was the lady next to me.

Anyway, I’d have video of that last lap (or at the least the part right in front of us, like in the earlier video – I had every intention of cheering, not recording, as they headed to the finish), but my phone chose the moment I pressed the record button to crap out on me and tell me my camera crashed.  SO ANNOYED.  This is the last disappointment I’ll take from you, phone.

You can watch official video of that last lap (like I just did) here.  If you pause the video at 41 seconds and squint, I think you can see John (grey jacket and his hat) and a blur that might be me, 5th row.  Or I might be imagining it.  But we’re there!

It was so cool.  Honestly, seeing this in person was one of my top five reasons for moving to Eugene.  Tomorrow I’ll post some of the pictures I took.

Poor lonely slightly cross-eyed cat

I heard the loudest cat in the world the other morning.  I was sitting at my desk working when some cat started meowing.  It was so loud I thought it was in the room with me for half a second.  (It wasn’t.)  I checked outside both office windows, but didn’t see a cat.  I checked the backyard – no cat (unusual, considering how often we see cats in our yard).  I eventually found it, sitting on the hood of our neighbor’s car, facing our living room window (which is as far away as you can get from my office), yowling its head off.

IMG_20160701_061131

I meowed at it.  It meowed back, and that was the end of the conversation.  Maybe it just needed someone to acknowledge its existence.  You exist, kitty.  Now shut up.

Summer is taking a break

It’s raining, and there is no wind at all (apparently), so the rain is falling straight down.  It’s a little eerie actually – looks robotic.  John’s metronome isn’t helping the feeling.

Oh, that’s better – it’s slanting northwest now.

The temperature dropped yesterday.  Today is the second day of highs in the 60s, and we’re not expected to hit 80 again until late next week (and then only barely).  This is weird.  Good, I think, but weird.

Hey, weather.  That’s fascinating, sure, but it’s all I’ve got today.  It’s Friday, work is over, and I think I’m going to take my book, open a window, and read in a comfy chair while listening to the rain.  And John’s metronome.

It’s better than paying attention to the news.

Wind-up toy

Getting out the door to go the gym was a bit of a production today.  I broke a nail putting on my shoes.  Where are my clippers?  They must be upstairs.  Nope, not upstairs.  Oh, here they are in the downstairs bathroom.  Now where’s my nail file?  Not in the downstairs bathroom.  Upstairs?  Nope.  Maybe I’ll use John’s.  In his office?  Nope.  Upstairs?  Nope.  Never mind.  Skip that part.  Okay, I’m going to listen to music on my phone.  Where are my headphones?  John, have you seen my headphones?  No.  Not on my desk either.  Upstairs?  Nope.  Could they be in the car?  Nope.  Oh, they’re in my purse.  Fine, I’m ready to go.  Got my headphones, my phone, my keys.  Out the door, lock the door, grab my bike….where’s my helmet?  Back inside, helmet’s in the basement.

That’s what?…four trips upstairs and one trip to the basement in about three minutes.  Who needs the gym?