Keeping score

  • I found out that a coworker I already like reads fantasy novels.  Plus.
  • I called out sick last night so I could sleep in a little today.  I slept until nine and then worked 5 hours.  That is my perfect work day.  Plus.
  • I went for a 4.8-mile walk with John today.  Plus.
  • It was chilly and it rained on us the whole time.  Minus.
  • Going for a walk despite the rain and chill is another step in becoming a Real Oregonian.  Plus.

Today: four pluses, one minus.  Overwhelmingly positive.  It was a good day.


Piece of cake

I was a literal child, and I am a literal adult.*  When my Dove Promise wrapper tells me to build a bridge with chocolate, I immediately wonder what would happen on a hot day when the chocolate starts to melt.  That’s the image that comes to mind even as my brain interprets the message correctly.  And then my brain smacks me on the nose and says, “IT’S A METAPHORICAL BRIDGE.”  It’s a sickness, and it happens to me several times a week.

  1. Read something.
  2. See literal image of the thing.
  3. Correctly interpret the metaphor.
  4. Smack for being idiotic.

It’s quick and all internal (usually), which saves me a lot of embarrassment, but it makes the widespread misuse of the word “literally” a real problem for me.  I don’t have to argue the case against using “literally” when you mean “figuratively” here.  I know you all agree with me.  I don’t know if you always imagine whatever the figurative thing is as a literal thing when someone says something like, “My brain literally exploded.”

You probably do, right?  I’m not alone in this?  I’m sure I’m not alone in this.  I’ll admit to other oddball tendencies, but this is a universal thing among the grammatically correct.  Yes?  Yes.

*In keeping with the theme, I can’t help but point out that yes, I literally was a child, and now I’m literally an adult.  I’m itching to change that sentence.

Utter nonsense

Dove Promises: cute little bites of chocolate with messages hidden for you inside the wrappers. Usually, I like the messages. “Why not?” “Build a bridge…with chocolate.” “Ignore the clock.” At worst, they’re dumb. (At best, they’re dumb, but I take amusement where I can get it.)

Today, though, I read one that went too far.

“Read the last page first.”

What? Why? What kind of monster would do that? Do you watch the end of movies first? Watch the series finale of a show with no context? Listen to the last 10 seconds of a song and then go back to the beginning?  You’re probably the type of person who finds all of your hidden birthday presents before they’re wrapped, steals candy from babies, and reads spoilers for movies and shows and SHARES THEM WITH OTHERS.

Not cool, bro.


I don’t like the word “jamming”.  I think it’s dumb when it refers to music.  I like the concept just fine, but the word itself makes me uncomfortable.  More when I use it than when others do, though. I feel like an imposter.  Plus, it makes me think of making jam, and since that has NOTHING to do with music, the juxtaposition bothers me.  I guess.  Or something that makes more (or less) sense.  Whatever.

That’s how I take a stand on something.

I’m thinking about it (and being made uncomfortable by the word) because the action is what’s happening in my basement right now.  It’s just Will and John, and they sound good, and I like the stuff they’re coming up with.  I’m happy to have it going on, but I would appreciate it someone would come up with a better word for it.  Get on that, someone, would you?

Oh, weirdly, I’m totally okay with the jamming when it refers to blocking electronics.

The more you know.

Fun facts from the Hard Rock Hotel

The mirror in our room at the Hard Rock Hotel marks how tall various rock stars are.  I’m happy to know that I am taller than Madonna (she’s 5’4″) and surprised that Beyonce and I are the same height.  Twins, right?  Adele is taller than me – had no idea she was 5’9″.  John was relieved to see he’s taller than Justin Timberlake and a bit annoyed to find out he’s the same height as James Taylor.

Wherein I speak Latin

CNN is not the greatest news source out there, and despite where you might think this sentence is going, I’m not providing an exception here.  The article I’m linking to isn’t news.  It’s helpful, and it’s health-related and general happiness- and stop-hating-the-world-related, but still not news.

How to stop being annoyed by life

My tolerance for petty bullshit is, as you can probably tell by my phrasing, LOW.  So is my tolerance for incompetence, willful stupidity, and intolerance.  I can still be patient with people.  I’m still patient with LOTS of people.  I don’t seem to have as much patience, though…and then I get irritated…and then I get frustrated…and if I’m lucky, I remember to stop and wonder just what I’m so irritated about.  Is it important?  Does it matter?  Can I do something about it?  I’m rarely that lucky (to remember to stop and think), but I think I’m getting better about it.  Things like that article help.  Sitting in a chair in the backyard for a few minutes during the workday helps.  Reading helps.

Why am I not reading?  I’m pretty much always asking that question.

So I was thinking about all that on my bike ride this afternoon, pedaling along the path by the river, enjoying the sunny day and the stiff breeze that made me work a little harder, when BAM!  Something small and sharp and OW PAINFUL IT HURTS hit me in the upper arm.  I never saw it, it was gone immediately, like it bounced right off, but it felt like I’d been stung.  Can you get stung at that speed?  Can a bee or a wasp or some other flying (I assume flying) insect hit you at just the right angle at approximately 15 mph to sting you and then get away?  I shouted a few things, maybe startling a duck, and pulled over to look.  It did kind of look like a bee sting (although the last time I was stung was on my knee in Chesapeake Beach in 1985 or ’86, so how would I know what it looks like?), and there was a tiny dot of red in the middle, and it hurt like crazy.  I considered going home, but I was mostly done (6 miles left!), so I figured I’d keep going unless it started to hurt more or I started to go into anaphylactic shock.  (WordPress doesn’t think “anaphylactic” is a word.  Screw you, WordPress, I spelled it right on my own!)  Would I recognize anaphylactic shock?  If it started, would it be too late at that point to get home?  Why was I worrying about this?  I didn’t die when I got stung when I was 6, so I’m probably not allergic to bee stings now.  Shut up and bike.

So, yeah, I think I got stung.  It stopped hurting as much, the swelling started to go down and spread out, like more of a welt, and now (an hour later), there’s hardly anything to see.  I think I’ll live.

Moral of the story: I didn’t get angry or irritated or frustrated by it.  No, that’s a TERRIBLE moral and has nothing to do with anything.  Getting stung by a mystery insect on a bike ride is not in the same category as the things that annoy me.  What’s to get annoyed about?  Nope, this story only barely escapes being a non sequitur, and it’s only a sequitur because the bee sting literally followed my thoughts on that article.  It’s a LITERAL SEQUITUR.

Bugs. Also, puppy.

Did you know that when you fly through a cloud of gnats at 15 miles per hour, they feel like tiny pebbles hitting your face?  Now you do.  Good thing my mouth was closed.  And I was wearing sunglasses.  I always wear sunglasses when I ride my bike, sunny or not, getting dark or not.  If I don’t, all that wind rushing into my face makes my contacts get all dry.  Plus, bugs.  I was riding my bike back from yoga one night several years ago, no sunglasses because it was getting dark, and a bug flew right into my eye.  It was gross.  And distracting.  And gross.

What’s not gross?  I just watched a video of a guy proposing to his girlfriend by handing her a puppy with the ring tied to its collar.  SO CUTE.  The puppy, not so much the proposal.  I don’t care about that.  Although, ACTUALLY…that’s kind of gross, too.  Not gross in the same way as bugs in your eye, but it’s like cheating.  “She CAN’T say no to me after I’ve given her the cutest puppy in the world!”  Cue evil laugh.

I hope you said yes because you want to marry him and weren’t swayed at all by the cute puppy in your arms, lady in the video I watched with the sound off so I don’t know what really happened!

My fictional White House

Man, I miss The West Wing, but if I can’t have that (in real life or on TV anymore), at least I can occasionally have things like this: West Wing Fans: ‘C.J. Cregg’ Returns To The White House Briefing Room.  I love Allison Janney, too.  I’ll watch her in anything.

For TV, I recently heard that Madam Secretary might be better than The West Wing.  We haven’t tried it yet, so I’m just passing on someone else’s (possibly crackpot) opinion.

News of the mildly strange

As I was walking back from the park today, I noticed a woman walking a dog in front of me.  The dog was in a harness, on a leash.  Nothing remotely unusual.  They were, I don’t know, 50 feet in front of me, and the woman was carrying something in her arms.  I was far enough away not to see any details, but it was about the size of a small child or a baby.

I assumed it was a small child or a baby.

After she crossed the street, she stooped to put down whatever was in her arms, and I could see it was a big gray cat.  It wasn’t wearing a collar, it wasn’t on a leash, and it didn’t follow her down the sidewalk, even though she kept looking back at it.

Was it her cat?  Was she taking it for a walk?  Did she expect it to follow her home?  Maybe she knew it would find its way eventually.  If it wasn’t her cat, did she pick it up thinking it was a stray?  If so, why put it back down and leave it?  Was she just helping it across the street, like you might help a senior citizen?

TANGENT: I have never seen anyone help a senior citizen across the street in real life.  Do people really do that?  In the movies, it’s just boy scouts or characters proving they’re nice people.

If the lady was helping a stray cat across the street, how did she know it needed help?  And if it needed help across the street, it seems cold to just leave it behind after that.  Of course, it looked pretty healthy and whole to me.

I didn’t stick around to see what happened, so maybe it WAS hers and maybe it DID follow her down the sidewalk after a suitable waiting period to show it was capable of doing things on its own, damn it, and it doesn’t need anyone’s help.

Still.  Who carries a cat around at the park?  Unless she thought it was the zombie apocalypse…it all makes sense now.

Corey presented this video as proof that he could have caused his little sisters more harm.  Congrats, Cor.  You’re not the world’s worst older brother.

Away with March

Today is the last day of March.  There’s something about March 31st that tickles my memory, but I can’t quite get to what it is.  Maybe it’s nothing, a phantom itch.  I googled it, which didn’t help, but did provide a bunch of random facts.

  • Ewan McGregor, Al Gore, Christopher Walken, Angus Young, and Johann Sebastian Bach were all born on this day.
  • The Eiffel Tower opened on March 31st.
  • It’s Dance Marathon Day AND National Farm Workers Day.
  • The US took possession of the Virgin Islands.
  • Ford debuted the V-8 engine.
  • LaGuardia Airport opened.
  • Okay, that’s enough.

I’m done with facts and clearly too lazy to provide links and NONE of that helped me figure out what I’m trying to remember.  Let’s just assume it’s nothing until I hear otherwise.  March 31st is like any other day.  Go about your business.

Pleasant mornings are pleasant

First-graders are like wind-up toys.  Really.  I ran by the local Catholic school this morning as parents were dropping their kids off, and I saw half a dozen little kids in their cute little uniforms pop out of several cars already at full-speed (the kids, not the cars).  It looked like someone wound them up inside the car, opened the door, and let go.  They all went dashing off down the sidewalk with their giant backpacks on.  I was amused.

I saw daffodils this morning!  They’re so friendly.

Spring is nice.

Rock lobster!

I’ve got nothing tonight.  Well, not nothing, but I can’t get back to what I had because “Roam” by the B-52s has inexplicably gotten stuck in my head.  (It’s a little difficult not knowing ANY of the verses.)  While I figure out what I thought I had, I’ll share with you.

I’m not that big of a fan, really. I’ve still never seen The Notebook.

For reasons that I cannot remember right now, I googled “Rachel McAdams hair” today and searched the images that appeared.

To start with, I was (and am) tickled at the categories across the top.



You can search for pictures of her hair by year, by color, by movie – the possibilities are endless!

Oh, I remember – I saw a picture of her on Tom and Lorenzo with blond hair, and I couldn’t remember what she looked like with red hair.  It was important to me at the time.

So I scrolled through the results.

Rachel McAdams with short hair:


Rachel McAdams with red hair:


Rachel McAdams with brown hair:


Rachel McAdams with blond hair:


NOT Rachel McAdams:


Imagine my surprise when I found that among the many many many head shots of Rachel McAdams.  That’s what’s-her-name from Modern Family.  She doesn’t look like Rachel McAdams.  She has hair, so maybe that’s why Google included her?  Nah, Google is better than that.

But wait!

ALSO not Rachel McAdams:


Dude, that’s Keri Russell! And wait, isn’t that Emma Stone?


Why are these people who are not Rachel McAdams showing up in my Google results?  Is Google sick?  Maybe Google is very clever and has reached into the heads of these three women and discovered that they all want to BE Rachel McAdams, and because Google loves them very much, it wants to do them this favor and let them pretend they ARE Rachel McAdams and so they show up in search results for Rachel McAdams and….no.  That can’t be it.  At least because I can’t imagine any of them wishing they were Rachel McAdams instead of themselves.  Not because I think any of this is ridiculous and far-fetched.  Because it’s definitely not that.

I want to see it again

We saw the new Star Wars movie last night, and it was awesome.  I totally want to see it again in the theater.  I got misty a few times (including the crawl and the theme at the VERY beginning) but there was one part where I cried like a baby.  Good stuff.  I sang the theme the whole way home, and I woke up humming it.  Happy me.

In other news, today is our anniversary (15 years), and there’s a parade in Annapolis!  (Not for us.  I think.  Maybe it is.)  I want to see it, but we don’t have a good track record for that kind of thing.  A few weeks ago, I wanted to cheer on some runners during a half-marathon that was supposed to go right down our street, but we missed it (slept too late).  Fingers crossed we’ll make it to the parade on time!

Watch out for fog bears

The mist has turned into straight-up fog today (and I think the rain is supposed to start soon and will go on all day).  I wish I’d thought to bring my phone with me when I ran.  The roads criss-cross the top of this ridge, and there’s this one section where the land falls away from the side of the road into a big depression.  There’s a house at the bottom of this bowl, and every time I run by it, I wonder why anyone would build a house in the bottom of a depression like that.  It seems like it would flood when it rains, fill up with snow in the winter.  What about landslides?  What’s the view from the windows?  It’s a pretty steep-sided bowl.  Was it always like this?  Is it a sinkhole?  (I’ve spent more time than you might think on this particular house.)

Anyway, the fog was so thick this morning that I couldn’t even see where the ground dropped off, much less the house.  What if it disappeared?  What if the Nothing gobbled it up?  I wish I’d brought my phone with me to get a picture.  Instead, here’s the view of the backyard right after my run.


It had started to recede a bit by the time I took the picture, but now (several hours later) it has come back.  Brighter, but thicker and closer to the house.  Looks like the world outside is disappearing…


I think I left my brain at the food court

We braved the mall today.  It was…not terrible, but we’re both completely worn out.  What is it about shopping that takes so much out of people?  It wasn’t that much walking, and it wasn’t that crowded.  Maybe it’s about the decisions?  We spent entirely too long in one store, considering a couple of ideas, and then we spent even longer in Clarks, trying on too many shoes.  (They actually had some shoes in John’s size (almost – not wide enough).)  After that, there was one more particular thing I was looking for (an idea of a thing), and we got to the point where I’d see a likely store, cruise through it in 30 seconds or fewer, and walk right back out – not the right place, they don’t have the thing.  When I found that I wasn’t even looking around anymore, we knew we’d had enough.  But then we had to walk back through the entire mall to find where we parked the car.  There’s something weird about the layout of that place.  It makes zero sense to me.

This post is not making that much sense to me, either.  Better publish quick before I think about it too much!  (That is not how this is supposed to work…)

Overactive imagination

I went down to do laundry (yes, I’m ALWAYS doing laundry), and I found the door slightly ajar.  The lights were off.  I was alarmed.  Clearly, the basement monster got out.  Or was thinking about getting out.  Or was standing right there at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me.  But I turned on the light first because I know what’s up.  No monster.  Which only means he’s fast.  And hiding.  Or already lose and on the rampage.  But my guess is that he was hiding and using his creepy monster powers to make me forget things like my keys.  I got all the way up to the apartment door before realizing I couldn’t open it because I left my keys on the icky folding table I will never ever use.  Had to go all the way back down into the basement to get them.  Luckily, the monster hadn’t taken them yet.  Lesson?  (I have to learn a lesson since I’m stuck in this basement/laundry/monster situation.)  Always wear clothes with pockets when doing the laundry.  Then the keys go into my pockets and don’t get left behind.

Who needs normal? What IS normal?

I know that Portland is supposed to be weird (I’ve seen Portlandia), but I hadn’t really heard that about the rest of the state.  I suppose it stands to reason that everywhere else might be a bit quirky.  That was confirmed one of our first mornings here.  We went to Eugene for breakfast (Off the Waffle) and to check out the area, and on our walk from the car to the restaurant, we passed a street musician playing the recorder.  That’s a little weird (you don’t see a lot of recorder-players around DC), but not totally off the wall.  The guy had a little animal crate next to him and a double pet dish with food and water in front of his feet, and a CAT eating out of the dish.  No leash or anything.  Just a cat eating at the feet of a dude playing the recorder on the sidewalk in downtown Eugene.

I like Eugene.

Rhapsodic about cucumbers

Cucumbers are a wonderful thing.  I mean, they’re not as great as avocados (let’s not get crazy here), but they make other foods better.  I’ve been slicing cucumbers onto my sandwiches all week, and the other night I added cucumber to a caesar salad.  So good, so crunchy, so FRESH!  A cucumber slice in water is delicious and light (and THAT I would never do to an acovado).

I sound like a morning talk show personality.  I should stop now before I start in with the cucumber-related beauty tips.

To bad “thoughtless” has a different meaning

I have no thoughts.  Well, I have no interesting thoughts.  I have gosh-I-wish-it-would-rain-already thoughts.  I have don’t-forget-to-get-the-laundry-out-of-the-machines-in-an-hour thoughts.   I have I-can’t-tell-if-Sudafed-is-really-helping-me-today thoughts, and I have I’m-going-to-go-to-the-gym-after-work-even-though-I-don’t-feel-like-it-because-I-didn’t-run-this-morning-and-it-might-be-raining-tomorrow-morning-so-I-might-not-run-then-either thoughts.

But that’s all.  There are no other thoughts.