Things to do the day before the day before traveling

I’m going to San Francisco in a couple of days, and I spent all day (at work) making sure I have everything I’ll need.  Thankfully, I’m not going by myself, but this will be my ONLY supervised trip before we all head out on our own.  I’m looking forward to it (I like to go places, I’ve never been to San Francisco, and I’ll have a good time, I’m sure), but I’m not at the same time because John can’t come with me.  I don’t mind going places on my own, but I hate going without him.  But I still have to go, so now that I’m home, I’m working on my to-do list.  I have a packing list, but that will wait until Sunday morning.  I just spent some picking up downstairs and I’ve got laundry in the washing machine.  I’ll pick up in the bedroom as I do laundry.  You know, my list really isn’t that long.  Which is why I can take the time right now to write and change the look of my blog again.  So here’s version #4:

Not all that far from version #3, but that’s okay.

Oh!  I have to remember my camera.  No excuses.  Camera camera camera.

I just put it with the work stuff I have pack.  Yeah, too distracted by trip stuff to write anymore.

Update: One thing I really like about this version is that I can make changes to individual pages (like allow comments on the lists pages (favorite books, favorite movies, etc), and say no to comments on the main books and movies page).  Other versions force me to make a change universal for all pages.  That’s pretty cool.  Of course, if I weren’t using a WordPress template (coding each page by hand instead), I’d be able to do whatever I want to each page and this wouldn’t be such a big deal.

No guarantees

If I could only guarantee that the travel issue would work itself out (and it might – I just can’t guarantee it), I’d be pretty darn happy with my new job.  I like my coworkers, I feel appreciated, I think I’m going to be good at it, it pays well, and (except for the travel part) it’s not far from home.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

I feel a little deprived today ’cause I didn’t get any internet time.  This is my internet time, so I’m outta here.

New, but familiar

You know, I’m really not even a little bit (okay, maybe just a little bit) interested in doing all of the coding for my website (or any website), but I LOVE that I understand it enough to be able to tweak what already exists.  I think that’s really cool.  Here’s version #3, which I like better than both 1 and 2.  Not necessarily better than the original, but if I go back to that version, I make take some things about this one with me.  Here’s the screen shot for future review:

I don’t have much else going on tonight.  John got home a little bit ago, and if I can get him to stop playing his guitar, we can eat dinner.

Here he is!

Update (during the State of the Union address): I love Joe Biden’s tie!  See?

Fuzzy attack

I was attacked by my sweater today.  I wore the new beige/ecru/other neutral color one I got for Christmas (Thanks, Pat!) – it’s really soft, and it fits nicely – and I realized about halfway through the day that my pants and my coat (which I have to wear most of the day ’cause we’re spending a lot of time in the freezing cold training room) were getting fuzzy.  By the end of the day, I looked like I’d been attacked by a lint trap.  So now I have to find my lint brush/tape thing and clean up.  But it’s okay.  You know why?  ‘Cause I’m having kimchi for dinner.  Ooh, I think the rice is done.

I hope John’s day got better.  He had an appointment this morning, but when he got to the doctor’s office, he found out that they canceled the appointment because the doctor had a death in the family.  They left us a message yesterday (or maybe the day before).  Neither of us has been checking messages, mostly because we’re lazy, so we totally missed that.  John checked this morning and found something like FIVE messages.  We had one from the doctor’s office, two recordings from CVS telling me to pick up a prescription, one from a recruiter, and one spam recording message.  So he was a little annoyed.  He has to reschedule (two weeks away!) AND he wasted a morning and was late to work when he didn’t have to be.  So his day didn’t start well, and he has class tonight, so unless something good happened at work, he doesn’t have something like kimchi for dinner to cheer him up.  Poor guy.

Change the second

Version #2.  I’m not crazy about this one (the title to the right, on the same level as the post title, is a little weird to me), but I figured I’d give it a try.  You may notice a minimalist theme here.  Keep in mind that my original design (original in the sense that it was the first one I had, not that I had anything to do with designing it) was black text on a white background with red headers.  That’s it.  So if you think this one is boring (or if you thought the last one was boring, Mom), what made the original one not boring?  NOT a rhetorical questions.  Really, I’d like to know.  Here’s the screen shot so we can remember what this one looks like later.  Let me know what you think!

What? I can’t hear you.

Deafening silence.  Either no one had time to visit today, or you’re so underwhelmed by this change that you’ve all been drained of energy.  I’ve created apathetic zombies.  Who knew it was so easy?

We just watched a terrible new show.  I was ready to quit less than 20 minutes in, but John wanted to finish the episode in the hope that Clancy Brown would do something worth watching.  He didn’t.  We won’t be watching The Deep End again.

I still haven’t tried that new search engine, Bing, and after the latest creepy commercial (the one that calls on all the scary parts of The Shining), I don’t think I ever will.


I spent several  hours today setting up 6 new versions of my website.  You’re looking at version #1 right now.  And I’m including a screen shot of it at the bottom of this post so we can all still see it when I switch to the next one.  I’m not even really tired of the original version, but I thought I’d test a few new ones and see if I (or we – you have some input) like them better.

So this is what I’ve been doing for the last 5 hours or so.  We slept in (’til about 10:30) ’cause we stayed up late.  We watched Adaptation and then had to follow it with Modern Family ’cause the movie was so weird we needed to cleanse our mental palates with something light and funny.  And easily understandable.  It was after one before we went to bed.  We got up late, watched the first two-hour episode of Caprica while eating breakfast, and then we set up on the dining room table with our laptops again.

I was supposed to go to the grocery store today, and when I have to stop there on my way home from work tomorrow, I’m going to be really annoyed I didn’t do it this afternoon.  But right now, I’m very happy I didn’t go.  All we have to have before dinner tomorrow is stuff for breakfast (we have plenty for lunch), so when I go out to pick up dinner for tonight (yeah, we don’t have tonight’s dinner here, either, so I guess what we really have to have is breakfast AND dinner), I’ll swing by the Giant right next to the Indian place (’cause we’re having Indian for dinner – yay!) and pick up some cereal.

Then we’re in for the night.  And I’m getting pretty hungry, so all of that is happening very soon.  After I shower.  We did one of those lazy Sunday things and rolled from bed to couch and breakfast, and from there to the dining room and our laptops.  Didn’t shower, didn’t get dressed.

And Roxy just threw herself at the sliding glass door, so I should go let her in.  Enjoy the new site (and let me know if something doesn’t work)!  I’ll leave it this way for a day or two and then switch to the next one.

Most Awesome Day

Today was a really good day.  Most awesome, I might say.  Mightn’t I?  I dare say I might.  🙂  For reals.  Seriously, I spent the day BUYING USED BOOKS (Hello, my name is Zannah.  I don’t believe we’ve met.  I read.) and hanging out with my very best girl friend, and THEN I got to spend my evening with my very best boy friend.

I got up before the sun (maybe not as awesome as the rest of the day) and was on the road by 8am (with stops for gas and Starbucks, so really on the road by 8:15) to meet Jess in Maryland for the B.I.G. book sale.  B.I.G. (Books for International Goodwill) has a book sale every six weeks, and this is the first one we’ve managed to get to since Jess told me about it sometime last fall.  It’s held in this big warehouse – you know, I don’t even know if they use the whole building.  The sale part was only in one corner.  A big corner, but not even a quarter of the warehouse.  The books were well-organized, and the place was pretty crowded.  We quit after about two hours, mostly because the place wasn’t heated and our hands were frozen.  I will definitely go back.

We left my car in the lot at the warehouse and drove to Chesapeake Beach for lunch.  I had an ulterior motive for choosing Chesapeake Beach, though.  Dad was stationed there – wait.  He worked at the Pentagon then, right?  Why did we live all the way out there?  Anyway, we lived on the base, right on the cliff above the bay, just south of Chesapeake Beach, and I wanted to see if we could get on the base and see the house.  Didn’t happen.  We found the base, parked outside, walked up to the security guard at the gate, and got turned away.  She wasn’t even nice about it.  Not rude exactly, but no hint of sympathy.  We drove north through Chesapeake Beach again (took about 3 minutes – that place is tiny) looking for lunch.  Found it in North Beach.  I have no idea what the name of the place is (Something Seafood Pub), but lunch was really good.  Lunch was over, but we weren’t done hanging out, so we found another cafe and had some coffee.  We still weren’t done hanging out (when are we?), but it was after 3 and we needed to head in opposite directions to go home.

John was studying for his new class when I got home, but once he finished, we both camped out at the dining room table with our laptops.  He started working on the database he’s building for our books, and I backed up this website’s database and all the files so I could upgrade my version of WordPress.  It took a while (the backing up part), but I’m running the latest version of WordPress now, and I plan to spend some time messing around with the look of the site tomorrow.  Oh, I got the parent/child page thing to work, so if you go to my Books and Movies page now, the links on it should work.  And I’ll get better about updating those pages.

Don’t forget about the Name Our Bookstore contest!


Name our bookstore!  Someday, John and I are going to have a real live physical used bookstore in a wonderful smallish town somewhere.  Someday sooner, we’ll be selling used books online, so for that someday sooner, we really need a name.  And we’re not very good at coming up with names.  You should have seen the torture we all went through while looking for a name for John’s band.  We could only think of terrible names.  So…contest!  The person who comes up with the best name for our bookstore will get….something.  No, really, there will be a prize.  I just don’t know what yet.  But it’ll be something not free.  Not free for me, I mean.  Of course the prize will be free for the winner.  Duh.  Anyway…CONTEST!  Name our bookstore!


I updated my blogroll (now called “Places I Go”) with most of the websites I actually check daily.  I also started to go through some of those blogs I bookmarked to see if I want to read them regularly.  I immediately rejected the first one because in her most recent post, she used “prolly” instead of “probably” THREE TIMES in four paragraphs.  Twice in the last one.  I can’t handle “prolly” even once.  Makes me cringe.  So she’s out.  One down, lots more to go.

Life is hard

I’m so conflicted!  I’m home, with probably at least an hour before John gets home, and I can’t decide how I want to spend my time.  I want to curl up in the papasan chair in my new cozy library and read my book (it’s really good, but sometimes a little dry), but I also want to mess around on the internet and visit all my sites and blogs.  Wait!  I might be able to do both.  Read now, surf later.  After dinner, John will probably want to play his guitar or work on the book database he’s building for us, so while he’s doing that, I can climb into bed with my laptop.  Problem solved!  I’m off to read.

One side note, totally unrelated: we’re out of broccoli and I want to have a salad with ravioli tomorrow night, so I went to Bloom after I got home.  They’re closing!  Everything is on sale, and they’re not restocking the shelves.  And apparently this has been going on for a while, because the store is half-empty.  Meaning no produce.  So I couldn’t get broccoli or lettuce or anything like that.  But I found this Green Giant potatoes and green beans steamer thing, so we’ll try that with salmon tonight.  I’ll have to get my salad stuff from Wegman’s tomorrow evening.  I know, fascinating.  I’m done with you people.  All critical and stuff.  Good day!

Get out of bed and RUN

I said earlier that I’d have more to say, but I was wrong.  I want to talk about other blogs, but I still haven’t read through the blogs I bookmarked.  I want to talk about TV, but that’ll take more time than I have right now.  Of course, that’s a self-imposed deadline, but I want to stick to it so I might actually get up and run tomorrow.  I’ve stayed up too late every night since Saturday.  It just keeps happening (yes, I know that makes me sound old), and I hate being up late when I know I have to get up early the next day.  I start to get anxious, like on Sunday afternoons when you can feel your weekend ending (thanks, Jess, for bringing that up recently).  I do the same thing if I realize I’m up past, well, my bedtime.  No, I don’t have a bedtime.  There’s just a time every night, different times on different nights, but usually around 11, when I get anxious about not being asleep.  So I generally aim for 10, knowing I’ll probably miss.  But aiming for 10 gives me some wiggle room.

Oh right.  Running tomorrow.  We were supposed to run this morning.  The alarm went off at 6 and I turned on my light.  Then I heard an unintelligible grunt from John.


Still muffled, but I thought I heard, “Rain.”



“Really?  I don’t hear it.”


So I got out of bed and peeked out through the blinds.  It was definitely wet outside, and if I listened hard, I could hear a rustle that could have been light rain.  Good enough for me.  I climbed back into bed, reset the alarm for 7, and went back to sleep.  When he hands me an excuse like that, it’s hard not to take it.

I’m a sap

I watched the last half of Sense and Sensibility tonight and totally cried my eyes out at the end (when Edward shows up, and then Elinor starts crying, and then everyone else hilariously rushes out of the room, and then they watch from outside, and he kneels…kills me).  All by myself in front of the TV.

But I’m okay now.  Office Space is on (yay!) and John just called to say he’s on his way home (also yay!).  Tonight was his first class of the semester, and it ended early.

I think I’ll continue that trend and end early, too.  Good night.

Pictures, as promised

The rearranging is done, but I have all sorts of plans to make our house look like a place where actual grown-ups live, so if the rooms look not quite finished, that’s why.

Dining room:

Family room:

Library (I should have taken these pictures in the morning – better light for this room):

Thank you for playing this edition of Musical Rooms.

Upside down, round and round

We did it!  The living room is now the family room, the family room is now the dining room, and the dining room is now the library.  The major pieces of furniture have all been moved.  Everything else (and there is plenty of else) is just details.  And the dogs are confused.  Pictures tomorrow, when there’s sunlight (and after I’ve cleaned up a little more).

The handyman can.

I have the handiest husband in the world.  This afternoon (late afternoon into evening, really), with very little help from me (except when I had to stick my hand in a hole in the wall to find the cable), he added an electrical outlet (wired and working) and a cable outlet (wired, but not working yet – that’s tomorrow) to the living room (soon to be family room).  Cut holes in the wall, drilled holes up from the basement (the hardest part), fed wires and cables through to the new holes in the living room, wired the outlet, wired the breaker box (I held the flashlight after he cut power to the house), tested the outlet, and cleaned up.  He’s nice to have around.

I have to write it down.

Sometime during the day today I thought of something I wanted to write about.  I didn’t write it down.  So I can’t write about it.  Seriously, I thought this memory loss thing was at least a decade away.

Oh, well.

Mom asked me what our plans are for the weekend, and aside from a brunch date (that I think is still happening), I don’t think we have any.  Which is FANtastic.  We might have the opportunity to get real stuff done AND have time off.  Among other things, I want several hours of dedicated reading time.  Since I started Anathem, I’ve only really had time to read while eating breakfast and before going to sleep, and I’ve been too tired at night to read very long before turning the light off.  It’s good, and I want to find out what happens, and if I don’t settle in to read this weekend, it might be a month before I get anywhere.  Plus, I’d like to be done with it before I fly to San Francisco, ’cause in case I haven’t mentioned it, this book is HUGE, weighs a TON, and I don’t really want to carry it on an airplane.  But I don’t want to start another book just because it’s smaller if I’m not done with the one I’m reading.  That’s sort of a problem for me.  Solution: finish it before January is over.  In normal circumstances, this would not be a problem.

I would also like to have guilt-free fun internet time (which I no longer have at work since I have a real job that actually requires me to do and learn stuff.  Also, no privacy in a cubicle farm, so I’d get caught.).  I have a TON of blogs bookmarked that I’d like to check out.  I read about 8 a day, and while some of the post every day, some of them don’t, and I need more so I always have stuff to read.  Stuff I want to read.  Written by interesting people, or at least people with interesting writing styles.  Ideally, by the end of this weekend, I will have read enough content on all of those blogs to determine if I want to continue reading them.  Then, I can add them (or not) to my blogroll, and possibly provide brief reviews of them so you, my faithful (though mostly silent (which I’ve totally come to terms with, ’cause I know you’re out there (that sounds kinda creepy and desperate, but you know what I mean))) readers can decide for yourselves if they’re worth your time, too.

If I have to choose, though, the book gets a higher priority than the blogs.  But they’re on my list.  I wrote it down!