Happy anniversary, Corey and Candy!

I’m a bad sister who didn’t call.  I’ll call you tomorrow.

The forecast for tonight and most of tomorrow is torrential rain.  I’m lying in bed, hoping to hear it.  I really want to be asleep right now (today was a good day, but long.  I’m worn out.).  I want to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of rain beating down (I love that), and then go back to sleep knowing I have a few more hours before I have to go out into the rain to get to work.  I need a covered walkway to the car.  Parking in the garage is not an option.  I don’t trust people who actually park their cars in the garage.  What are they trying to hide?  Besides their cars?  Maybe belonging to the Secret Society of Those Who Park Their Cars in the Garage gives you access to secret underground hideouts, hidden from view in those very garages, only accessible by weight sensor.  There has to be a car parked in there to get in.  What do they keep in there?  I may never know.  Wait!  I do have a car parked in my garage!  I don’t have a secret entrance to an underground lair.  Maybe the cars have to be operational.  The secret entrance trigger is related to actually driving the car into the garage, not using it for long-term storage.  Someday John will get the Camaro back into shape so we can join the Secret Society of Those Who Park Their Cars in the Garage and find out what all the fuss is about.

Follicle wars

I have rogue eyelashes.  They grow in weird directions and attack my eyes in the middle of the night.  When I woke up this morning (you were on my mi-i-i-i-ind), my left eye was tearing up like crazy and it was kinda swollen.  Putting my contacts in was impossible, and it didn’t get better after a shower, so rather than fight it all day long, I worked from home and made an appointment to see my eye doctor (who is the wife of my dentist – they share a practice).  She said my eye was irritated because my eyelashes are poking (and scratching) my cornea (again – this happened about six months ago), and there really isn’t anything I can do about it other than see her every six months or so.  She can pluck eyelashes I can’t even see.  I don’t get how this happens overnight.  What about yesterday?

Also, I feel a little like a wuss for staying home from work because of my eyelashes.  A lot like a wuss.

Possibly the last post about getting rid of cable. I promise. Maybe. Probably.

You know, the cable company sucks.  It doesn’t matter which cable company.  They all suck.  I really don’t get how they get away with being the only game in town.  How can there not be competing cable companies in every neighborhood?  How is this not a monopoly?  Anyway, I called to cancel our service today, all excited that our cable bill is about to drop by $120, only to find out that internet by itself costs more than internet with cable.  Why?  Because.  Sure, it’s only $15 more than I was expecting to be paying for internet only, and yeah, that’s hardly anything, and yes, we’ll still be saving $105 dollars a month (except it’s really $100 because the cable modem costs $5 a month to rent, and yes, I know, we could buy one), but come ON.  Why be a jerk about it, Comcast?  Why put your surliest guy on the phone to handle downgrades and service discontinuations?  Do you expect your customers to come back when that guy is the last experience we have with you?  Or do you just write us off and expect to drum up new customers every time somebody moves in?

Oh, that’s exactly what you do?  Right,  ’cause there’s no other cable company in town.  Right.

But, hey, you know, whatever.  I’ve got my internet and I can watch ALL my shows right there, whenever I want.  Take THAT.  (Where “THAT” equals the money I give you every month so I can keep my internet.  Maybe I should stop yelling at the cable company.)

Sunday nights suck

Sunday nights should be abolished.  Sunday night means you have to start thinking about work again, about getting to bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep, what are you going to wear tomorrow, what time do you have to get up in the morning.  When you’re traveling for work, it means making sure the laundry’s done and you’re all packed.  When you’re still in school, add did you do all your homework to that list of things to fret over.  You can have the most relaxing, most wonderful, most fun weekend EVER and still have it be ruined by Sunday night.

Maybe it’s Monday that should be outlawed.  Or work.  Or stress.

The computer-as-TV plan is working great, by the way.  I want a wireless keyboard, small enough to fit in one of the coffee table drawers (no more than 16″ wide), and a wireless presentation-type mouse (like this), so we can control the computer without a  mouse pad.  You know, like a remote.  I need to do a little shopping.

The windows are open, and I can hear the rain on the roof over the porch.  If this keeps up, it’s going to be really hard to get out of bed tomorrow.  Of course, if this keeps up, I won’t be running, and I’ll get an extra hour in bed anyway.  I know what I’m wishing for.

We’re THIS close…

…to cancelling our cable.  Like maybe on Monday.  Our computer arrived yesterday, in parts, and we put it together tonight.  Had to solve a few puzzles, but once we did, John hooked it up to the TV, turned it on, and we started seeing computer-type things on the screen!  Woohoo!  John will load Linux on it tomorrow (not sure yet which version), and we’ll be all set.  So totally awesome.  Now I just need to order a presentation-type mouse.  Those are cool.

Down with cable!  Except for internet.  I like our cable modem.  Down with cable TV!

His name is Simba

Our story has a happy ending, one that doesn’t include a new addition.  The owners called me this afternoon.  Their house was on my flyer route this morning, and they called me when they got home from school.  The girl was very happy to get her Simba back.  I suggested, nicely, that they get him a collar.  You know, just in case he gets out again.

And hopefully, now that I can stop obsessing over what on earth I’m going to do with a cat, I’ll be able to concentrate again.  I was useless today.

Okay, story’s not over.  I just got a call from a woman who lives on the same street as the cat.  I told her I took him home this afternoon and she was like, “Yeah, well, I’m looking out my window and a cat who looks just like the one on the flyer is standing outside.”  And then I was like, “You have GOT to be kidding me.  No.  Way.”  And she was like, “Way.”  And I was like, “Oh.  My.  God, Becky.”  And then I was like,  okay, I can’t write like that anymore.  The gist is that she’s going to take the cat back to the kids.  I can’t decide if I hope it’s the same cat (’cause GAH, could they really have let the poor thing out AGAIN?) or a different cat.  I don’t know if I have another crusade like this in me.  Not so soon.  John and I passed out almost 300 flyers last night and this morning, and I spent part of the day calling every local vet and the shelter and I emailed the flyer to all of them.  That reminds me, though, that I need to go to Starbucks and Giant and take the flyers down.  Now that I think about it, there are almost 300 people out there who have my phone number.  Not so cool.

I haven’t heard back from that woman, and again, I don’t know what that means.  Was it the same cat and she returned it again?  Was it a different cat and she’s going to be in charge of finding the owner this time?

STOP.  Not my problem.

No, I’m not keeping this cat

I can’t have a cat.  Riley would spend every minute bouncing off the ceiling.  Every minute he’s not trying to eat the poor thing.  He’s high-strung as it is.  I got further proof of that this morning when I brought a cat inside.  Briefly.  After I threw him and Roxy out on the deck.

Let me back up.

I went out this morning for a jog, as usual.  (Kind of as usual.  You know, every other day usual.  The way I left the house was as usual for when I go for a jog.  Oh, hell.  Leave me alone.)  About a half mile from the house, on the opposite side of a busy-for-my-town street from my neighborhood, I saw a cat narrowly avoid being hit by a car.  It was okay, hanging out on the sidewalk when I got there, not even a little bit afraid of me.  He’s a pretty little cat, not a kitten, not full-grown.  I guessed 6-7 months old (the vet said maybe 8 months, but not more).  No collar, no tags, not neutered, but he’s clean (and definitely a he) and seems well-fed.  Almost definitely not a stray.  Like 98% not a stray.  He was right behind a house in this other neighborhood, so I walked to their front door to see if he belonged to them.  He followed me.  Right by my ankles.  I knocked (it wasn’t even 7 yet – a little early for a doorbell), but no one answered.  I saw people at a house on the next block, so I headed that way.  He followed me.  They didn’t recognize him.  I tried another house.  Same thing.  I went back to the first house, closest to where I found him, and since there was a light on now, I rang the doorbell.  A guy and his little girl answered the door.  Not their cat.

Three houses with no luck, and the cat’s still following me, so I picked him up and headed home.  Easier said than done.  He let me carry him for a couple of minutes and then he struggled a little.  I calmed him enough to get by another house or so, and then he twisted again.  I put him down, thinking maybe he’d keep following me.  Nope.  He headed for a house like maybe he lived there, so I rang the doorbell.  No answer.  And then he went to another house like he lived there.  So, yeah, this little kitty doesn’t know where home is.  Scooped him up and continued home.  Repeat twice more, without the doorbell-ringing.

I finally got back to the house, but John was out running and I needed to get in the door without getting my face and arms clawed off when the cat tried to escape from the dogs.  I got the teenager across the street to hold him while I shoved the dogs into the backyard (more difficult than usual – Riley’s nose was glued to my cat-hair-covered shirt).  Then I locked the adorable little kitty whose patience was wearing thin in the hall bathroom.  He immediately starting yowling.  I don’t blame him.  I called a couple of the local vets.  All I was looking for was a place to leave this cat for a day or two while I post flyers (fliers?  Looks like fleers.) and look for the owner, and the shelter is kinda far in the wrong direction (wrong if I’m trying to get to work close to on time).  The first vet I called won’t hold a pet unless they know who the owner is.  Not helpful.  The second one was sympathetic, though, totally understood what I need, and was willing to take the cutie-pie, at least for a day or so.  In the meantime, Riley tried to throw himself through the sliding glass door to get at the CAT!  THERE’S A CAT IN THERE!  LET ME AT IT!

John came home about then, so I explained why awful screaming noises were occasionally coming from the hall bathroom (not hurt noises, just hilarious lonely noises) and why Riley (who was no longer trying to hulk his way into the house) was stomping his foot (he really does that) and whining urgently.  John got his camera, and I opened the door to find Stan (he looks like an Oliver, but we know a cat named Oliver, so he’s Stan and no, we’re not keeping him) on the bathroom sink.  John took some pictures (see below) for the flyers I’ll make later today, and I threw him (Stan, not John) in the car for the drive to the nice vet.

He was fine in the car (we no longer have a pet carrier of any kind, and we never had one small enough for a cat), and he was happy to go with the vet tech.  I have their number, they have my number, and when they can’t keep him any longer, I’ll move him on to the shelter.  If I haven’t found the owner by then.  After work, I’ll stop at FedEx Office (I think that’s what they call themselves now, not FedEx Kinko’s anymore), make a bunch of flyers, and shove them in mailboxes in my neighborhood and the neighborhood across that street.  I’ve already posted in the community forums, so hopefully I’ll get some response.

I got a phone call from John a little bit ago.  On his way out of the neighborhood this morning, when he left for work, he got stuck behind a car going REALLY SLOWLY down the street.  He was super annoyed at the time, but it occurred to him, as he sat in traffic, that it might have been the cat’s owners driving slowly by.  That’s probably how I’d go looking for my missing cat.  We’ll keep an eye out for that car, too.

Anyway, if I don’t hear from the owner in a couple of days, there’ll be a cute cat on the market.  Free to a good home.  Want one?

It’s a happy coincidence that I’m rescuing a cat on Wombat’s Random Act Wednesday, but there you have it.  Also, Spokeit‘s post from yesterday ran through my mind all morning.  Gotta love our online community.

It’s time for another list

Things I want to make time for:

  1. Catch up on six months of Runner’s World issues
  2. De-clutter the house.  It’s an endless cycle, I know, but I want to be ahead of the clutter for once.  Just for a while.
  3. Exercise.  Like real exercise.  I haven’t been getting out of bed early enough to do more than a couple of miles (occasionally three) before work, and I need to have time for four or five.  Or six, once I work my way back to handling that long of a run.  And what about other stuff, like lunges, squats, push-ups, crunches?  When am I supposed to fit those in?  Maybe I can try to make room for those at night.  Before dinner, before bed.  I’d like to do them right after the run, but I don’t think that’s realistic.  Not when I need to be out the door by 8:30.  The days are already getting shorter, sunrise is later, and just how early do I think I’m going to get up?
  4. Find an affordable place to live.  With jobs.  Or find jobs that’ll let us work from anywhere.  Yes, I know our current jobs could technically be done from home, but the hard part is finding the employer who will let us do that.  So maybe that’s the next thing on the list.
  5. Find jobs/employers who will allow, even encourage, us to work from home.  This list is changing directions a little.  It’s not like we’re looking for new jobs.  ‘Cause we’re not.  ‘Cause I certainly wouldn’t be announcing that here.  That would be dumb.  Let me rephrase.  Find a way to convince our current employers that we’re much more effective working from home.  There.  For real, despite my recent schedule, I like my job.  Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced my current employer that I’m not looking for a way out, let’s move on.
  6. Play with the dogs!  This should move up the list.  I feel like I’m neglecting them a bit.  They get lots of love, and I take them on my morning jog every other day or so, but I don’t run them around the yard or really play with them outside as much as I should.
  7. See friends.  Again, this should move higher up the list.  Almost all of our friends live too far away.  Seeing them always means making plans, which sometimes is just too exhausting to think about.  We have so little free time during the week and we spend all weekend doing chores and running errands, so the free time we have on the weekends tends to be spent enjoying the quiet and the knowledge that we don’t have to run around for an hour or two.  We are trying to figure out a better way to live.  This is nuts.  And that leads me back to what I was saying a couple of months ago.  Neither of us wants to live like this.  We don’t want the conventional jobs, with conventional work hours and conventional commutes and conventional bosses.  But how do we get out?

Declaring yourself

Have you noticed those three-wheeled motorcycles?  I think they look ridiculous.  If motorcycles are too scary for you, but you want the feel of the wind in your hair, get a convertible.  I guess those three-wheelers might be cheaper, but you can get cheap convertibles.  Used.  Not always pretty.  And you don’t have to wear a helmet!  So you really can have the wind in your hair.  Anyway, I saw a woman riding/driving/whatever one yesterday.  She was wearing a black leather jacket with pink sleeves (and a pink helmet, and it may have been a black leather vest over a pink shirt).  The back of the jacket said “Triker”.  Made the whole thing look doubly ridiculous.  Triker.  Laughable.  I thought about it for a second, trying to figure out why that’s such a weird thing to call yourself, other than the implication that you’re four years old and peddling around the neighborhood on your tricycle.  It was around when I got to the word “tricycle” that I realized how accurate it was for that woman to call herself a triker. Biker, triker, two wheels, three wheels.  Ooooohhhhh.  Yeah, I’m quick.

I still think it’s stupid.  On the other hand, I’m way more likely to test drive a whatever-you-call-it-with-three-wheels than I ever would a motorcycle.  Stability is important.  I’m a little afraid to ride even my bike down the giant hill we live on.  But that’s less about stability than it is about brakes and my fear of falling headfirst over the handlebars.

A sample

I finished The Magician’s Assistant yesterday (day before?  maybe).  Liked it.  I’m an Ann Patchett fan.  Although I wish she spelled her name with an e.  It doesn’t look finished.  I may be biased.

The dryer is buzzing at me.  I usually turn the buzzer off (annoying sound), but tonight I wanted to be alerted when it was done so I could pull the clothes out before they sit in a pile getting more and more wrinkled.  It’s buzzed at me three times now.  I don’t want to get up.

I can’t think.  I need some real rest, peaceful rest, and I don’t see that happening for at least another week.  I want to hang out on the couch and be a slug.  Maybe in the backyard.  Maybe in bed.  Slug-like.  Not as slimy.  That’s kind of gross.  I prefer to be clean.

Lately, I’ve been working with these two guys who were just hired, straight out of college.  22 years old in 2010.  And one of them had never heard of The Sound of Music.  The other had heard of it, but had never seen it.  I feel OLD.  And a little sad for them.  Those poor deprived kids.

Going to bed.  My brain is empty now.  That wasn’t too hard.

My attempt at a normal post


So if I’m not talking about work, I’m not talking about anything?  Feels that way.  I’ll try harder.  Remember that time when…no.  Do you ever feel like…no.  How about those Nats?  NO.

Roku is awesome.  Netflix instant is awesome.  Someday, John will put together a computer we can devote to the TV so we can cancel our cable and that will be awesome.  In the last week, we’ve started watching Weeds (love it), Arrested Development (LOVE it), and Doctor Who (like it and expecting it to get better – we’re only three episodes in).  There’s some really good TV out there.  And that’s awesome.  🙂

You know what else is awesome, in a bullying kind of way?  Riley.  He grabbed one of the chewy bones, laid it on the floor right next to the other one, and is guarding them both.  He doesn’t care about chewing on them, oh no.  He just doesn’t want Roxy to have them.  It’s the only power he has.

This is not normal.

What is up with this week?

Honestly, I can’t remember ever putting this many hours into my job.  EVER.  Not even when I was in the navy, ’cause I did a hell of a lot of NOT working when I was at sea.  On the one hand, it’s okay.  I like what I’m doing, I know what I’m doing, and I’m good at it.  And I’m responsible for a lot, so I have deadlines and expectations, and if I have to work a little longer to meet them when things are a little crazy at work, then that’s what I’ll do.

On the other hand, DUDE.  Not okay.  Home is home, work is work, and they SHOULD NOT OVERLAP.  For real.

The End.

I will never be a workaholic

If this is what working from home is like, I could get used to it.  No unwanted interruptions, dogs hanging out by my feet, I can wear whatever I want, work wherever I want (dining room table, couch, bed).  I prefer to restrict it to weekdays, though.  Today was a repeat of yesterday, minus the frustrating trip to Dunkin Donuts.  In fact, I didn’t leave the house at all today.  Not a good precedent to set.

I want my weekend back!

I work hard for the money

(They don’t pay me to come up with titles for blog posts, thankfully.  I’d be fired within a day.)  (You’re welcome for putting that song in your head.)

My brain hurts.  Today was hard and busy and fast-paced and LONG.  But it’s over, and I’m home, and I already have a glass of wine (the first thing I did after letting the dogs out was pour myself a glass of wine).  I considered stopping for a pedicure on the way home, but I really just wanted to be here.  Oh, and I know just the thing to make my brain turn into gooey mush (in a good way).  Check this out (I’m sorry you have to watch a 15-second commercial first).  Pictures of an adorable, itty-bitty, oh-my-god-I-want-to-snuggle tiger cub.


I have a massive headache right now.  Probably sinus-related, but I can also feel it at the base of my skull.  Not fun.  To distract myself from it, I’m going to tell you about the best part of my day today.  I went for a run this morning.  Three miles.  Not anything huge, and it was kinda hard, but I was doing okay.  Right at the very end, I came up to a corner in the neighborhood just as John (who had also gone for a run) got to the same corner from another direction.  I slowed down to meet him, but he wasn’t quite done.  He took a turn to the right (onto the street I’d been running along) and kept going, so I picked up the pace a little to catch up.  I just wanted to jog along next to him, but he heard me coming and went a little faster.  So I went a little faster.  In the space of two house-widths (like horse-lengths, you know?), we were sprinting all out (or as all out as either of us had left after several miles each), and as long as I could keep it up, I WAS EVEN WITH HIM.  How crazy is that?  He’s nine inches taller than me.  My legs were churning as fast as I could move them and not fall down.  I felt like a cartoon of myself, like my legs weren’t visible as anything but whooshing circles.  It was awesome.

I think we should race.  Short distance, all out sprint, when we’re both fresh.

Daily posts – obsession or discipline?

It’s official: we own both our cars.  No more car loans, no more car payments.  If something breaks, we’re screwed.

That’s a bit of an over-statement.  If something breaks, our upper limit on how much we’re willing to put in to fix it is pretty high.  And that’s a little scary.  But not as scary as buying a new(er) car and adding on more debt.  We’re very very very close to having NO DEBT (except the mortgage, which is scary all by itself).

And our passports arrived!  I really hate being without them.  It’s not like I plan to leave the country in a hurry or anything, but knowing I can’t bugs me.  Apparently.