Oh, the guilt!

I skipped posting yesterday (and Monday, I think), and I just can’t live with myself.  I was doing so well!  All but two days in January, and then all of February….until this week.  This week has been hard.  Not enough sleep (thanks, Riley), too many meetings and not enough actual work at work, other stuff – I would like a vacation, please.  One where John and I can be quiet together and read and sleep and play on the internet and watch TV and not have to talk to other people or work or think about house things.  I don’t see that in our future.  There’s too much to do.  But it’s not like we’re not having ANY fun.  I mean, the Moulin Rouge sing-along was pretty darn fun.  Oh, dudes.  I won a can-can contest.  For reals.  Although I’m sure it helped that not one of the three contestants actually knows how to can-can.  But it was fun.  And I have proof (in the form of very grainy pictures from far away).  That’s me in the middle.

Not a snow bunny

To add insult to injury, it snowed again for much of today, and more is planned for most of tomorrow.  Shoot me now.  We’re only supposed to accumulate an inch or so, but that’s one inch too many for me.  Spring, where are you?  Please hurry!

Bring on the caffeine

I’ll be drinking all the coffee my stomach can handle today.  I’m SO tired, and it’s all Riley’s fault.  He woke up at 3:30 this morning and wouldn’t settle back down, so John kicked him out (it was his turn).  The damage was already done, though –  both of us had checked the time.  It’s hard to go back to sleep when your brain is chanting, “The alarm will go off in an hour and fifteen minutes.  The alarm will go off in an hour and ten minutes.  The alarm will go off in an hour.”  (It’s Tuesday – John has a boxing class at 5:30, so we wake up at 4:45.)  I did manage to go back to sleep (and to start snoring, judging by the oh-so-gentle nudging I got from John), but I dreamed of waking up the whole time.  I kept dreaming that the alarm was going off and I was getting up.  In one dream, I got up at 4:15 and started getting ready, then realized it was 4:15 and went back to bed.  That didn’t actually happen (I think).  Then when the alarm finally did go off, my eyes were cemented shut.  It was horrible, and all I wanted to do was go back to sleep.  I’m going to a Moulin Rouge sing-along at a local movie theater with some friends tonight – I’ve been looking forward to it, but I was seriously considering backing out this morning so I wouldn’t have as many hours between right then and my next chance to sleep.  We already rearrange our lives with our sleep schedule in mind (early mornings mean early bedtimes mean early dinners and son on) – I shouldn’t be canceling social plans, too.  I’m the idiot for agreeing to go out on a school night, but come on – it’s a Moulin Rouge sing-along!  So I’m going.  But I’m about to have a third cup of coffee (or, as my coworkers like to call it, cream and sugar with coffee).

My birthday outing

(My post title sounds like a Scrubs episode.)

My birthday present from John (aside from a heart-shaped Boston cream donut and tickets to see Three Dog Night in May – that’s going to be very cool) was a day in DC doing tourist-y things, something that we’d been talking about doing for a very long time.  The main attraction (and what gave him the idea) was this traveling Puppetry in America exhibit on display in the American History Exhibit from now until mid-April.  Among other things, it has muppets, so we went to see Scooter, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, and Cookie Monster.

I love the muppets.

From there, we headed for the National Gallery of Art, but our nasty habit of getting there shortly before it closes lives on.  We saw the Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections exhibit, a couple of American landscapes (Lake Lucerne, Spirit of War, The Voyage of Life paintings) and ran up against 5pm, so we headed for dinner.  Where, you ask?  Ethiopian, of course!  We went to Meskerem in Adams Morgan for the first time in years.  The food holds up, but the restaurant could use a facelift.  Then it was back to our car and home to rescue Riley (and more birthday cake for dessert).

The weather was perfect, and it was a beautiful day.

Anti-social

I don’t care.  Leave me alone.

That’s what I wanted to say all day at work today.  Nothing bad happened – it was mostly a normal day, but I didn’t really feel like engaging with anyone.  Go away, everyone, I don’t care.  Leave me alone.  I just want some quiet time.

Luckily there’s a weekend in my immediate future.  🙂  And an outing!

Balloons are fantastic

Birthday balloons!

These are from my team.  They arrived shortly after I got in this morning.  Then they sang Happy Birthday (they were goaded into it by someone walking by).  Then they took me to lunch (and told the waiters it was my birthday, so there was more singing) where I had to deal with this indignity:

Don’t ask what’s wrong with my face. It got stuck that way.

Then I got back from my lunch and was greeted with these:

After much confusion (the card only said “Surprise!”) and many texts, Mom finally admitted to sending them.  So I’ve got LOTS of balloons.  Mom’s are coming home with me.  I’ll probably take my work ones home tomorrow.

I think my favorite rendition of Happy Birthday so far was Gaby and Corey’s (sorry, Dad – yours is classic (for us), but hers is cuter).  It comes complete with cha-cha-chas at the end of every line.

It’s been a really nice birthday so far.  I think I’m going to have to reschedule my birthday dinner for another night, though.  I’m completely stuffed from lunch, and I really want lots of Indian food.  I don’t have it in me to enjoy that tonight.  But hey – that means more birthday time for me!

I’m not a weirdo, I swear

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but we live in the very definition of suburbia.  Cookie cutter homes, sidewalks, kids, schools, playgrounds, the same shopping centers with the same grocery stores every two blocks.  Completely developed, practically overdeveloped, and looking to do more.  So imagine my surprise when I see two people riding horses on the bike trail overpass near the house.  Who’s got horses around here?  And where on earth do they keep them?  And will they be my friends?  I should have abandoned the car and chased them down.  Because you know how much they’d want to be my friends if I did that.

Um

Hey.  How’re things?  Yeah?  That’s good.  Same here.  Work?  Yeah.  Never changes.  Mm-hmm. Alright, well, I’ve gotta go…yeah, you, too.  See you later.

I don’t want to keep having that conversation.  But neighbors, you know?  What can you do?

Reading should never be this hard

I could have spent all day working on a blog post, but instead I focused on finishing my book.  And it took focus.  It wasn’t bad, not in any way, but it wasn’t the right choice.  I figured that out fairly quickly, but then I got stubborn.  I was going to finish this book, THIS book and now, not put it down and come back to it later.  So reading today felt a bit like a chore.  A chore I have COMPLETED.  Yay me.  Now I can pick out a good one.

Can’t read right now

Mom commented about Eleanor & Park, which reminded me of Eleanor & Park, and I think that’s why all of a sudden I can’t read my current book (detective mystery/science fiction Kiln People by David Brin).  I’m usually a fast reader – I think I skim over the words and take in the meaning and move on.  (I’m not sure how I actually read – it’s not something I can analyze.  It’s like thinking about breathing.  If you think about it, you’re doing it manually.  You can’t think about breathing and continue to breathe automatically.  I can’t think about reading and just do it.)  Just now, I found myself reading every word individually, as if I were reading them all out loud, but I wasn’t taking in anything.  I have no idea what I just read.  Why can’t I read normally?  Am I distracted?  Have I gone off this book?  I’m enjoying it, but maybe it’s not what I feel like reading right now.  That’s not going to change anything.  I know myself – I’m not going to put this book down and go read something else.  I might put it down and go DO something else.  Actually, I did that to come here.  Maybe this was enough.

Can I tell you something?  I really liked Eleanor & Park.  It’s probably not a book I’ll re-read, but I was completely immersed in it.  Then I had to pick my next book.  I wanted it to be something else I’ll really enjoy.  Like, really like.  I have two Robin McKinley books just waiting for me.  But I want to be reading something I really like on my birthday.  If I start something now (or Friday, when I was going through this thought process), I’ll be done with it by then, and what are the odds I’ll pick two books in a row I feel that good about?  So I picked up this one, knowing I’d probably like it fine (true so far) and that I’ll be done with it in time to start something else (something I’m fairly certain I’ll love) before my birthday.  There are a whole lot more books I like than books I love – I’m trying to plan ahead here.  But I’m probably over-thinking this.

I cried all the tears

I did a lot of crying today, all over one book.  I only cried three times, but my eyes still feel tearful and my nose is stuffed up (I think that started before the crying, though).  The thing is, it wasn’t a sad book.  There are sad things in it, but it wasn’t about sadness.  And when I cried the first two times, it was in reaction to someone doing a good thing.  The third time was in relief (I think) at the very end.  Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.  Good book.

I have NO idea what I’m going to read next.

Over it

So, yeah, it snowed.  A lot (we got between 13 and 16 inches).  I’m having a hard time getting too excited about it.  Can spring just get here already?

And here’s a video of Riley in the snow (proof that I’ve gone over the edge):

Snow Eve

Today was sunny. Cold, but sunny. It was so odd to watch the craziness mount on the internet as the snow crept closer and then look outside to see the most innocuous weather. The blue sky was all, “What? Me? Rain down buckets of ice on Atlanta and dump massive amounts of snow on you? I would never do that.” But as the day went on, the Capital Weather Gang’s forecasts got more and more ominous and the warnings (“Be where you’re planning to stay by 7 or 8pm tonight”) were downright scary. Never mind the clear skies outside – the clear skies are a LIE.  I’ve got one coworker who thinks the whole thing is going to disappear, that we might get a dusting at most.  One the one hand, that might be okay with me.  No wet snow everywhere, no shoveling.  On the other hand, NO!  I want to work from home all cozy inside with a fire.  We shall see (but my money’s on snow).

Public Service Announcement

I don’t recommend Campbell’s Spicy Chicken Quesadilla Soup. I’ve had it for lunch two days in a row now (yes, you heard right – I BROUGHT my lunch two days in a row, go me), and I’m completely over it. It tastes okay, but 1) it’s not thick enough, 2) it’s not chunky enough, and 3) I don’t feel so great after I eat it. I really wanted it to be good, but no. #3 there is very important. It hasn’t turned me off soup, though. I’m making chicken corn chowder tonight, and I’m making DOUBLE the recipe. Lots of really thick, creamy, cheesy soup for us. And I bought hot sauce today so I can spice mine up as much as I want. We’re going to need all that soup if the crazy amounts of snow they’re predicting actually arrive.

Actual recipe for Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder is here.

How I make it (no spicy stuff and way less prep):

Chicken Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken

  • ½ cup chopped onion

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 3 tbsp butter

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • ¾ tsp ground cumin

  • 2 cups half and half

  • 2 cups shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Mexican blend)

  • 2 cans creamed corn (14.75 oz each)

Directions:

  1. Tear apart the rotisserie chicken so you end up with heaps of shredded chicken.
  2. In pot, brown onion and garlic in butter.  Add chicken.

  3. Pour chicken broth in pot, season with cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. Stir in cream, cheese, and corn. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese is melted.

Goes with the territory

I don’t want to do the whole cliché “I hate Mondays” thing, like Garfield or that song by that one guy where the girl kills herself (I almost typed “where the girl girls herself” – I have no idea what that could mean), and NO, I don’t have a case of the Mondays, but ugh.  Mondays, you know?  (I really mean this, but I’m finding it hard not to smile at the ridiculousness of writing about it – ooh, solution!)  They wouldn’t be so bad if we had a day off in the middle of every week.  No work on Wednesdays!  That’s my battle-cry.  Or it will be.  My focus is entirely on lunch right now – more specifically, putting off lunch.  I’m hungry NOW, but I’m going grocery shopping after work today, which means dinner will be later, which means I’ll be hungry while I shop, which is bad.  So.  Eat lunch a little later, make it through grocery shopping without buying everything in sight because I’m the hungry hungry caterpillar.  I can do it.  I can make it to 1pm.  I can.

While I’m watching the clock, let’s talk about something completely different: it is fundamentally funny to overhear developers having serious conversations about clobs and blobs.  Yes, I work in IT, and yes, I know what they are (in the most general way – for the curious, they refer to different methods of storing data in a database.  Those of you who know better: how wrong am I?  No, wait – you don’t have to tell me), but that doesn’t make the words less silly.  The visuals are fun, though.  Maybe the world on the other side of my cube’s wall is animated.  It’s a childishly-drawn cartoon where clobs and blobs have faces and personalities and need to be readily identified by others.  You know, maybe.

Time flies

I don’t think time runs the same way on Sundays as it does the rest of the week.  I just don’t believe it’s after 5 already.  I don’t know where the time went, so it must not have happened the usual way.  Sunday time = magic.  Dark magic.  I need to find the other white hats so we can band together and fight it.  In unrelated news, I just watched a bunch of clips from Jay Leno’s last Tonight Show on YouTube, and I can safely say I don’t regret never having watched a single show of his in 22 years.  He wasn’t funny.  I suppose that assumes that his last monologue was representative – maybe it wasn’t.  Still, no regrets.  Now, I’m off to find some time wizards to get our Sunday hours back.  Oh my god – time wizards.  Timelords!  Duh.  Doctor, where are you when I need you?

Personalizing

It’s been two weeks (three? no, two) since I got my new phone, and I’m FINALLY setting it up the way I want it.  I’ve been trying out one of the new cases for about a week (they were here when we got back from Mom and Dad’s), and I like it, but it’s a wallet-type case, which means the screen is covered most of the time, and I’m not sure I’m crazy about that.  Today, I finally pulled the protective stickers off and put the clear screen protector on (yes, I’ve been reading my screen THROUGH the text on the sticker that came on it because I didn’t want to get my screen all dirty while I waited for the protectors – irritating, but worth it), and now I’m trying out a regular case (no cover over the screen).  So far, I really like this one.  I might go back and forth between the two, depending on where I’m going.  I have completely rejected the Cruzerlite wallet case because the case part digs in too much at the corners and created bubbles under the screen protector almost immediately.  I might have to add a review.

Screen protectors and cases aside, I finally added my ringtones and music, and my text and voicemail notification sounds are back.  Feels like my phone again.  Hello, phone.

Here in my head, it’s been a music-filled day

This morning:

WHY is “Bad Moon Rising” in my head?  I don’t particularly like it, and I’m fairly certain I haven’t heard it recently (certainly not this morning or last night).  Where do those things come from?  I mean, certain phrases trigger songs for me all the time, but I just don’t remember hearing any lyrics from THAT song – where’s the trigger?  And how can I make it go away?

Several hours later:

You know how it goes away?  You wait a couple of hours only to find it replaced by “Hallelujah”.  I think that’s the right version.  Either way, it’s not a huge improvement.  That song is overused, overplayed, over-sentimentalized.  At least I know where it came from – we heard it on an episode of Scrubs last night (the one where Mrs. Landingham dies).

Now:

And now it’s the matchmaker song from Fiddler.  Thanks, Mom.