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.  🙂


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!

SO cold

Today was unbelievably cold.  Sure, it gets colder in LOTS of places, but I think today was the coldest day of this winter here, and that’s enough for me.  When I went for my run (because I’m tough – I’ll run when it’s that cold), the temperature was in the 20s, winds at 18 mph, and the windchill was 8 degrees.  EIGHT.  It was cold.  I warmed up, as you do when you’re working hard, so I wasn’t miserable the whole time.  Just the first mile…and a half.  And then parts of the fourth mile.  And then, well, I guess the rest wasn’t so bad.

The weirdest parts of the whole run were the parts where I had to cross the bridge.  It’s windy up there.  On my way out, the winds were gusting and they were hitting me diagonally from behind, and when they caught me off guard (which was every time), it was like I was being suddenly pushed towards the railing.  Not cool.  I couldn’t get off the bridge fast enough.  On my way back, the wind had shifted a little so it was blowing exactly perpendicular to the bridge, hitting me on my right side.  No kidding, my right nostril was frozen.  The left was…not.  It was unpleasant.  But it’s over, and next time it’s that windy and cold, I’ll avoid the bridge.  At least the sun was out.

I’ll still have to run in the cold, though.  I want to build distance again, and that means I can’t wimp out.  Six miles today!

Not all of my dreams are realistic

Met a kindred spirit at Barnes & Noble today (an employee,  naturally – we bonded over dragons).  Made me remember how much I think I would enjoy owning a bookstore.  Still not financially feasible (probably almost certainly), and it certainly doesn’t fit in with our medium-term plans, but I don’t want to forget about it completely.

Current dream: find that perfect town/city we want to live in forever, with the perfect house we want to live in forever, and discover a bookstore that does just well enough to live off of, with owners looking to retire and pass it on to people who will love it as much as they do.  That’s possible, right?

Spent the rest of the day updating my What I’ve Been Reading list.  I was over a year behind.  I’ve made it to August!  More tomorrow, since I have the day off.  Tomorrow ought to include grocery shopping, too.  I can manage both of those.  And a long run.  I didn’t run yesterday because I was recovering from Friday night with Jess.  I didn’t run today because of a combination of laziness and snow.  No accumulation, but snow is wet.  I don’t want to run in the wet.  Excuses, I know.  I’ll be better tomorrow!


My #1 priority for our next apartment is NOT sharing anything to do with our water pressure with anyone else in the building.  It’s not about hot water, it’s about HAVING water.  I ran at lunchtime the other day, so I showered at midday.  Water came on, water was hot enough, I got shampoo in my hair, and water stopped coming out of the shower head.  It trickled down to nothing.  I assume that the residents of the other apartments were doing laundry, running the dishwasher, washing dishes, doing SOMETHING that somehow took MY water pressure away completely.  It came back after a couple of minutes, only to disappear again.  My guess is it was the washing machine, but I was stuck in the shower and unable (and VERY unwilling) to run down to the basement to check.

That wasn’t the first time.  I totally understand planning when I shower around when appliances use a lot of water.  I’m used to that, and I have no problem doing it when it’s only John and my own chores I have to take into consideration.  It’s ridiculous to think I’d have to knock on my neighbors’ doors to find out when they plan to do THEIR chores so I can shower at other times.

This is a downside of living in an apartment in an old house, I guess, but it’s really really the biggest thing I’ll be looking to avoid in the next place.  Other priorities, in no particular order, are having our own washer/dryer in the unit (which will help with the water problem) and finding a place with 1.5 to 2 bathrooms.

Not trustworthy! is not reliable.  This is not news.  But still.


Oh, really?  This is backed off from 100% rain from 9pm – 2am, which is what this ridiculous website has been saying all day.  Why do I keep checking it?

Update: It rained.  It rained steadily from about 5:30 through 9, for sure, and possibly longer.  It had stopped by 1:30am.  Stupid website.

Phone woes, continued

The new battery for my phone arrived Tuesday, and John installed it that night.  It was not easy.  I mean, it’s easy when you think about the steps involved (pry off the back of the phone, unscrew the harness, pull out the battery, put the new one in, screw in the harness, pop the back of the phone back on), but prying off the back and pulling out the battery were HARD TO DO.  This phone isn’t meant to come apart, and it really doesn’t want to.  Over the course of about half an hour, we got the back off, and then it took another 10 minutes or so (maybe longer) to get the battery out, worrying the whole time that we were damaging the phone.

Eventually, John put it back together with the new battery, and I plugged it in to charge overnight.  Positive sign: the indicator showed that it was charging.

I turned it on Wednesday morning, and immediately got a couple of texts from the night before (good sign) and sent a reply, but when John tried to call my phone, he got sent straight to voicemail.  I was standing right there.  The phone didn’t ring.  I couldn’t make outgoing calls.  Then I couldn’t send or receive texts, even though I had JUST done both.  I couldn’t get online.  My phone showed that it had service, several bars, but that appeared to be a lie.  Later in the morning, I turned my phone off and back on.  Again, I had a very short burst of connectivity, but that was it.

I switched to my work phone for the day, figuring we would take my phone apart again later and see what we did.  Even if it couldn’t hold a charge for very long, it still worked.

John: I’m sorry I made it worse.

Me: No, you didn’t…oh, wait.  You did.

Wednesday afternoon, John googled the problem and found that my phone has one antenna for 3G and one for LTE inside the back, and sometimes they can get knocked out of place when you muck around in there.  He switched my phone setting to 3G only and IT WORKED.  It was slow as hell, but it worked.

This morning, he took it apart again to try to fix the LTE antenna and IT WORKED AGAIN.  I don’t always have LTE service, and it’s possible that the constant search for LTE is what is killing my battery, but MY PHONE WORKS.

I’ll keep an eye on the battery during normal use and see how it goes.  I may still be in the market for a new phone soon, but it would be REALLY REALLY REALLY NICE if this one lives a while longer.

Big news!

John passed his pilot’s exam this morning! YAYYYYYY!!!!  He’s got a few more lessons to go (some navigation stuff), and as soon as he’s comfortable solo, he does a check ride with a different instructor, and then he gets his license.  This will be the recreational pilot license.  He’ll get the regular private pilot license after we move.  (Here, I googled that for you.)

This takes some of the stress off of John (both having the exam behind him and getting the rec license first) and will give him proof of competency he can take to the next school.

In other news, it’s stupid-cold today.  I was going to get up when John left for his exam this morning and run before work, but the wind chill was in the single digits.  NO THANK YOU.  So instead, I went at lunch time, when the wind chill was in the teens.  I wore a long-sleeve shirt and TWO jackets.  My body was warm, but my face was cold.  It’s creepy to run wearing a ski mask.  I don’t really know how to get around that problem.  Scarf wrapped around my nose and mouth and cheeks? Hat pulled low over my forehead?  I suppose it’s less creepy than a ski mask, but I’ll still look like I’m going to rob someone.  I’ll even be dressed for the getaway.


Misery loves company

I have had this Andy Grammer song in my head for the last several days.  It’s nothing great, but it’s catchy and upbeat and good to sing along to, but oh my god just get out of my head already!  It keeps coming back.  I wouldn’t mind so much except that it reminds me that he ALSO did a HORRIBLE song that I will not name that makes me think of Cotton Eye Joe (the awful dance version – you know which one I’m talking about).  His horrible song and the association to Cotton Eye Joe make me ashamed to kind of like this one.

I am sharing with the hope that sharing will make it leave me alone.  Find a new brain to bother!  (Sorry, all new brains.)