Off course

My plans for the evening have been derailed.  I rode (great lesson – more tomorrow, or at least pictures tomorrow), I came home, I started cooking dinner.  The plan was to eat early and then head out to book club.  The eating part happened.  The book club did not because, well, it depends on how you look at it.

From one angle, I’m a big baby.  My throat hurts, and it hurts to swallow, and I don’t want to be sick, and I’m cold, and I want to take a hot shower and crawl into bed and NOT GET SICK.  (And whine.  Let’s not forget the whining.)

From another angle, I’m being solicitous of my fellow book club members by staying away when I might have something they could catch.  I’m being careful of my health by resting now, early, in the hopes that it won’t get worse, and I won’t get John sick.  I’m a good person, damn it.

What I’m annoyed about, aside from the discomfort, is how fast it came on.  I guess my throat was tickling a little earlier in the day, but I felt great while I was riding, and I babbled for half an hour or more with Mom and Dad on the phone and didn’t notice any problems.  After that, WHAM.

So.  Tea for dessert, hot shower, then bed with all the blankets.  I can beat this thing.

Some bad book choices

I’m in a mood.  A reading mood, but it’s not the kind of mood that only means I want to read.  This is the kind of mood that means I’m hyper-critical of what I’m reading.  I picked up three books from the library yesterday, all books that had been recommended to me or that had appealed to me on some trip to a bookstore or something.

I put the first one down after 24 pages.   All of the exposition was in dialogue between a brother and a sister, and it was SO. PAINFUL.  They clearly both remembered a thing that happened, but they had to talk through every detail in a way real people would NEVER DO.  It’s like this radio commercial I HATED in Virginia for Warman Home Care (you know, like warm and caring? UGH) where a wife says to her husband, “you know how you’re worried about your dad getting older and living by himself and how he won’t be able to take care of himself but how we can’t do it either?” and every time I heard it, I cringed because NO ONE HAS THAT CONVERSATION!  People use shorthand!  They refer to conversations they’ve had before without going into every detail.  Good writing would remember that and use references like clues to pull the reader in.  This book was like that commercial and it was so irritating.  And then the author tried REALLY HARD to make sure you knew how old the characters are now and were then.  On one page, he said straight out that one character was 33, the sister was two years younger than that character, and the brother was three years older.  Got it.  Okay.  A few pages later, the narration explicitly says that a certain event happened 23 years previously.  At that point, I did the math – brother was 13, sister was 8.  I’m with you.  Then, at the bottom of the SAME PAGE, the brother asks the sister, “so, how old were we when that happened?” and she says, “well, I was 8, so you must have been 13.” OH MY GOD I GET IT.

I quit after that.

I picked up my next book right after that and nearly put it down after seven sentences.  The main character, making dinner at home with his family, was julienning an onion.  The pretentiousness oozed off the page.  Are you a chef?  No.  Is this book about food or cooking?  No.  THEN YOU’RE CHOPPING THAT GODDAMN ONION.  On the next page, we learn he lives in a brownstone.  A page later, we learn that he’s going to his local bar, steps away from his brownstone.  Then he goes to Whole Foods with his canvas bag, which is just blocks away from his brownstone.  Guess what, guys?  Mr. Perfect lives in a brownstone.  I’m kind of glad he got kidnapped.

For reasons, I don’t understand, I’m still reading this book.  I’ll finish it tonight, and I can move on to a book where the Queen is a vampire.  I’m expecting better from the paranormal.

There isn’t an ocean too deep

Today was a good day for a bike ride.  One that I am out of shape for.  (My butt is not too crazy about me right now, and my legs only stopped burning 20 minutes ago.)

John had an idea of where he wanted to go, so I said, “I will follow you,” out loud, to his back as we took off, and for the next half hour, I had Little Peggy March’s “I Will Follow Him” in my head.  I didn’t have headphones, I didn’t even have my phone, and we were going too fast to chat.  I had only my brain to save me, and oh, brain, you failed.  Little Peggy March faded to Sister Act, back to Tiny Peg, back to Whoopi not measuring up to her choir, and all the while, I was resisting the urge to be the crazy person pedaling madly after a man, singing “He is my destiny!” at the top of my lungs.

I’m not a writer, so this isn’t writer’s block

I have been blanking on things to write about lately.  I feel like I keep talking about the same things: the weather, riding, running.  There’s been a lot of music stuff recently, too.  I’m happy to talk about any of those things when something interesting happens, but it’s all status quo around here.  My riding is progressing nicely (I LOVE IT SO MUCH), but what’s new to say about riding in circles in the arena and jumping?  I mean, until I start jumping higher or unless I fall off again or something, there’s a lot of repetition.  I rode in the rain and wind today, but see?  I just combined riding and weather.  Not cool, bro.

I guess I’m in a writing lull.  A writing gully.  A culvert.  A ditch.  I don’t think I’m down a well or in a deep hole or anything.  I’m just having a standard, somewhat boring week.  Happy Wednesday to me.

Moods

Some songs that make me both happy and sad lately.

Sorry – I don’t usually bother watching videos on other blogs.  I prefer to read, but sometimes I can’t word.  I won’t be offended if you don’t watch/listen to these.  Like I’ll know anyway.  🙂

Spring in Oregon, a vignette

There’s a small chance of rain (duh).  I wanted to run, but didn’t want to get soaked, so I decided to stay closed, run around the block, and remind my legs what it feels like to run hills.  Got all dressed, got my shoes on, opened the door – rain.  Closed the door, contemplated the gym.  Got my keys and ID, opened the door – the rain had stopped.  The sun was back.

Time to take my chances.   Three laps into the ten laps I wasn’t sure I was going to complete (hills are HARD), and guess what happened?

My name is Zannah, and I live in Oregon.

Brush with death

I was nearly brained by a falling branch during my run the other day.  I don’t know what made me jump out of the way – maybe I saw the movement? – but SOMEthing warned me, which was good because this branch was LARGE.  It could have done serious damage if it had landed on my head, which I’m pretty sure is what would have happened.  (It just scratched my calf.)  A couple of people saw it and came over to check on me, but I was totally fine, still on my feet, aside from being a little shaken.  I have NO idea what made it fall, at all or just then.  It wasn’t terribly windy, there weren’t any animals or evil henchmen cackling up in that tree, and really, what else could have caused it if not angry squirrels or evil henchmen?

Don, the world is so full of a number of things

Twice in two days I found myself wracking my brain to place a reference, and I was seriously starting to doubt my brain.  Thankfully, I was able to place both references (I actually got the first reference while I was worrying about the second), but it was a little worrisome.  The first one was an “ooh-wee-ooh-ooh” from an Arkells song that was tickling my brain.  It tickled John’s, too, so I wasn’t imagining it, and then Thursday, I managed to connect it to The Eagles, which I may have shouted across the hall, and John connected the last dot to “New York Minute”.

That was one solved, but the other one took another 24 hours.  I could hear someone saying, and getting steadily louder while doing it, something like “No, definitely not.  Decidedly not!” and then smaller, “Uh uh,” but I couldn’t figure out where that came from or exactly how it went.  Was it a cartoon?  An old movie?  I was confident it was something from growing up, so if anyone could help me, Mindy could.  I texted her, but I didn’t have enough information, and she didn’t get it.  So that bugged me for an entire day, and then Friday morning, while I was making coffee, I got a glimpse of a hat and a piano and DING DING DING!  It’s from Singin’ In The Rain, in the intro to “Make ‘Em Laugh”, and I was SO RELIEVED.

I’m not losing my mind yet.

Too tired to sleep

I am SO VERY MUCH ENTIRELY TOO OLD for this late night crap.  We didn’t stay for the whole show (we caught a few songs from the headlining band, but then we left), so we got home around 1am and still got up at 6.  I don’t regret it – the Arkells were freakin’ amazing and we were right up against the stage and no, they didn’t pull John up on stage this time, but they didn’t do that bit at all, so it’s okay, and we got to have a nice conversation with the singer after the show, and MAN I love them.  So I don’t regret it, but it’s 8pm on the day after, and my eyes are so tired they hurt.  Hurts to close them, hurts to leave them open.

We met this trio of college girls, friends from high school, who have taken the week off to get together (they don’t go to the same schools) and follow the Arkells and Blossoms (the other band who played last night) from Portland to San Francisco to Coachella.  They were hilariously excited.

Gotta go to bed.  I think tomorrow might be harder than today was.  Because I’m old.

Tonight’s the night

Tonight, in just a few hours, we are going to see the Arkells again and YAY!!!!  It looks like they’re the opening opening act, and – I think I said this before – we may leave as soon as they’re off the stage.  Sure, we may miss out on falling in love with another new band, but we’re tired and we get up early and we didn’t take tomorrow off and we’ve never heard of the second opening act or the headliner and there’s only so much new I’m up for when there’s a 2-hour drive home to contemplate.

So. Arkells!

Hey, they’re going to be in Cincinnati for the Bunbury Music Festival for three days in a row at the beginning of June.  You Kentucky people?  You should consider going.

(Of course, they misspelled Cincinnati on their website, but give them a break – they’re Canadian.)

Chunks don’t make anything better. Unless they’re chocolate.

Today did not start out well.  I had a 9am meeting (that’s 6am for me), which is never a good start, even if the meeting goes fine (like this one did).  John went out for coffee, but he brought me back the wrong drink.  I’m sure he ordered the right thing, but what came back was dark, bitter, and thick like mud.  Blech.  So I made tea, and I discovered that the milk was bad when it poured chunks into my mug.  After I managed not to throw up on the counter, I tried again with the new jug of milk – thank goodness I went to the store on Sunday.  My third attempt at caffeine was successful.

Then work was weird – a couple of projects aren’t going well, and it’s unsettling.  On top of that, my work computer decided to break Outlook, so the last hour of my day was spent IMing with IT while handling conference calls on my phone with no computer support.  Not fun.

The day got better.  My riding lesson was GREAT.  Smooth sailing.  I had control of Tigger, and everything just felt easier.  Then I walked in the door to the aroma of the brisket I had so thoughtfully put in the oven several hours before.  It’s a rainy, slightly chilly evening – perfect for brisket.  All weather is perfect for brisket.

Musing when I should be focused

Take action.  Take it where?  Why is that the phrase?  What are you taking?  I’m doing an action.  I’m performing an action.  I’m not taking anything when I act.  Unless I’m taking something from you?  If I take an action, am I preventing you from taking it?  In some cases, sure.  In others, most, not in the least.  So why is that the phrase?  Google is not so helpful this time.

Words are hard

Today, some pictures.

This first one is the only one actually taken today, in the few minutes of blue sky between rainstorms.

Don’t know what these flowers are, but they’re so little and cute!

These next few are painted on doors used as someone’s fence, all in a row.

And here are a few I took of the Willamette River on my run earlier in the week.  The water’s really high from all the rain.

I’m almost transparent

It was warm enough to run in shorts today, so I took the chance of blinding people as the sun reflected off my whiter-than-white legs.  I didn’t have to worry; the sun didn’t stay out for long.  There went my opportunity to get some color.  And then it started to rain.  I passed a woman walking her dog right when it started to rain in earnest.  I gave her a “who’da thunk?” shrug as I went by, and she said, “Oh, we knew this was coming.”  She’s right.  It’s spring in the Pacific Northwest.

“Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!”

Since the band isn’t rehearsing tonight, I’ve decided to skip yoga (which is happening all too often), order Thai food, and hang out with John.

Look! Horses!

I’ve been meaning to take pictures out at the horse farm for a while, but I keep forgetting (sorry, Dad).  I leave my phone in the car, so even if I remember mid-lesson, I don’t have it with me.  (Not like I’m going to take pictures mid-lesson, but you know what I mean.  Although I did see a couple of students using their phones while riding (pre-lesson) a few weeks back.  Totally weird.  One took an actual phone call.  The other was texting.  And today, I saw a girl sitting bareback, reading a book while her horse ate grass.  I’m a little jealous of her.)

Just before I drove away, I remembered about the pictures, so I took some of the two horses nearest my car.  Neither of these horses is Tigger.  And one of the dogs.  Also not Tigger.

This is Foster.  He looks entirely too much like Riley here.

Ghosts begone!

Despite what I said yesterday, I think our house might be haunted.  Remember the mysterious cracked glass from last summer?

I still don’t know how it cracked in a nearly perfect horizontal circle like that while sitting in the cabinet.

Last night, I was drying dishes and putting them away, and I noticed that John’s favorite giant glass, the one he uses when he makes iced coffee, was standing up in the cabinet but had completely cracked in two, vertically.

What is happening?  Should I be worried?  Do we have tricksy creatures sneaking around at night?

Definitely not real

I don’t believe in ghosts.  Ghost stories and scary movies scare me (The Sixth Sense freaked me the hell out), but I don’t actually believe in ghosts.  That didn’t stop my heart from leaping into my throat tonight when I saw a pale face lit by a ghostly light in the parking lot near my car.  Half a second later I realized it was a kid looking at a phone, sitting on the curb, wearing a black sweatshirt – his head was totally floating in the dark.  Adrenaline rush: check.  Ghost: nope.

What’s the opposite of “check”?  Do you say “no check”?  Do you say nothing and let the silence tell the person you’re reporting to that you cannot check that item off the list?  Do you get all formal and say “I cannot check this item off the list because it is not complete or does not apply”?  On TV, it’s usually silence, but is there an actual correct answer?  I don’t know how to google that.

I did stuff today, so I don’t have to do anything else tonight

Today’s accomplishments:

  • I ran 5.5 miles.
  • I updated the SWV NOW website so we can accept membership dues and donations within the site.
  • I linked the SWV NOW Google calendar to the website.  Technically, that was yesterday’s accomplishment, but I’m going to count it for today.  Because.

Rolling list of things to do:

No, I don’t want to make that list right now.  It has too many things on it.  Instead, I am going to get ready for bed early and read.  John is checking out the competition during week 2 of this Battle of the Bands thing (his band plays in week 5), so I am going to enjoy some quiet time.