Hush please

You know the noise you make when you’re relieved and you sigh?  Or maybe you feel refreshed and you sigh audibly?  Vocally.  You know?

DON’T DO IT IN YOGA CLASS.

And that other noise you make when you stretch really long first thing in the morning or after sitting in one position too long?  A sort of pleased moan or groan?

DON’T DO IT IN YOGA CLASS.

I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying yourself, and I agree, yoga DOES feel good, BUT KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, PLEASE.  This is my quiet time.  Except for the instructor’s guidance, I can pretend I’m all alone.  Your happy noises make that difficult.

That is all.

Now please go away

I am out of sorts.  There’s no good reason for it – I just can’t decide what I want.  No, it’s more like I have reasons not to do what I want, and I’m going to stick to them, and because sticking to them is annoying me (because I’m not doing what I want), I want to stick to them MORE because I shouldn’t be swayed just because the things I decided are annoying to me right this second.  I am not at the mercy of my whims!  Or my mood.

I’m going to scramble some eggs and read my book until the band starts rehearsing and then I’ll put on headphones and switch to a movie and it will be nice and relaxing.  BECAUSE I SAID SO.

And I am in charge.

(I think I should hurry the eggs up.  I might be hangry.)

I refuse to let it get to me

I feel like people have been asking me questions I can’t answer for the last two days.  At work, I mean, not personally.  That’s not to say that I’m capable of answering every question ANYone asks me, but the lack of answers at work (and the expectation that I would know the answers or that it’s my responsibility to find them out) is weighing on me.  (The feeling of helplessness about the world is part of it, I’m sure.)

Last night’s yoga class was good, totally unlike the one the night before.  This one was more active, more challenging.  It kept my brain focused on my form (and on not falling over).  Today I didn’t get to do yoga, but I did ride, and for that hour or so, again, I was focused on what I was doing (and not falling off).  I had to deal with a stubborn horse who didn’t want to get caught, and then didn’t want to slow down when I asked, and then didn’t want to go in the direction I wanted to go in.  It was good – I learned more about how to be the boss when the horse decides he knows better – and it took me out of myself.

And then I got home, found out I don’t have jury duty tomorrow, watched the end of Broadchurch season two, and sat down to a blank computer screen with no idea what I was going to write and no ideas.

And now I’m here.  Less depressing tomorrow?  Sure!

I can’t believe I actually want it to rain

I checked the weather on Friday and saw that Sunday was supposed to be a rainy day, so we arranged our weekend in such a way that we could take advantage and stay inside and cozy all day.  A rainy day, especially a rainy fall day after such a dry sunny summer, is the perfect justification to have pancakes for breakfast while watching lots of TV and then to curl up and read under a blanket for the rest of the day.  The pancakes and TV watching went as planned, and then it was time for the reading and blanketing.  It was still raining, so I headed for the papasan chair, but by the time I got there the rain had lessened. Like, it’s barely sprinkling and the sun is trying to peek out.  I need it to keep raining!  Yes, I like the sun, and yes, I’ll miss it terribly if it disappears for the next six months like I keep hearing it will, but when the sun is shining I feel compelled to go outside and enjoy it because it’s going to go away and that’s not how I was planning to spend my day.  If the sun is out, I have to go to the grocery store.  So please, sun, go back behind the clouds and let the rain come.  Just this once.

I’m going to regret that plea.

I don’t have to

I should work out, but I’m not going to.

I should do some laundry, but I’m not going to.

I should write about seeing Weird Al two Fridays ago, but I’m not going to.

I should write about meeting new people in Portland two Sundays ago, but I’m not going to.

I should plan something healthy for dinner tonight, but I’m not going to.

I’ll do all those things soon.

Instead, I’m going to read my book.

I’m going to fold the clothes I’ve already washed and do the rest tomorrow.

I’m going to think about what I’ll write about Weird Al and Portland peeps and be better prepared for it when I get there.

I’m going eat pasta and garlic bread and not feel guilty about it, even though I had Indian food last night and should never eat again.

I’m going to be still and quiet and go to bed early and get a normal night’s sleep that will end with my alarm at 5am tomorrow.

If I do it right, 5am won’t hurt that much, and when I get to the end of the workday, I’ll have the energy to work out and do laundry and make dinner and write bloggy things with pictures.

I don’t want to fight, but I’m not going to give in

Guys, I can’t deal with work.  I feel like all I’ve done for the last two weeks is work and sleep (and complain about work).  That’s not entirely true (I didn’t work last weekend), but it’s mostly true, and I am worn out.  AND I’m still working.  I’ve spent the last two hours arguing with someone who wants to skip a safeguard before a software update, and I’m not going to let him.  We’re arguing over email which makes it even more frustrating.  He is clearly very angry with me now and has just petulantly thrown in the towel (I think).

I’m so very very tired of this.  These last two weeks have been awful, and that was without any fighting.  This, arguing with someone over something so stupid and yet so important, at the very end of a long day, is not what I need.

People suck.  Not you.  Everyone else.

I felt pretty good, but then…

My weekend good mood disappeared in a clap of thunder at about 9am this morning.  I went from pretty patient with work stuff (after my nice relaxing long weekend) to ZERO TOLERANCE FOR IDIOTS, INCOMPETENCE, AND IGNORANCE, with pretty broad definitions for all three.  It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t fun.

My work day is over.  I’m going to sit outside and read, and then I’m going to a zumba class, then a yoga class.

Summer is taking a break

It’s raining, and there is no wind at all (apparently), so the rain is falling straight down.  It’s a little eerie actually – looks robotic.  John’s metronome isn’t helping the feeling.

Oh, that’s better – it’s slanting northwest now.

The temperature dropped yesterday.  Today is the second day of highs in the 60s, and we’re not expected to hit 80 again until late next week (and then only barely).  This is weird.  Good, I think, but weird.

Hey, weather.  That’s fascinating, sure, but it’s all I’ve got today.  It’s Friday, work is over, and I think I’m going to take my book, open a window, and read in a comfy chair while listening to the rain.  And John’s metronome.

It’s better than paying attention to the news.

The world outside can stay outside

There is a place nearby that will deliver salads to our door.  They’ll deliver other food, too, but they have these really good entree salads, and we can order them and eat them and feel virtuous and lazy at the same time.  Best of both worlds.

Delivery is a dangerous thing.  I could easily become a hermit.  Let my hair grow long again, stop talking to people, have all our food delivered, stay inside and read all the time…it wouldn’t take more than a gentle nudge.

Of course, I say this after having spent the better part of the last two days outside around people, with plans to do the same tomorrow.  I don’t mean it, and yet…I may be reacting to too much socializing.

Don’t wanna, can’t make me

It’s an overcast day, I didn’t sleep well last night, and now that the work day is over, I don’t want to do anything.  I don’t want to ride my bike, I don’t want to go for a walk, I don’t want to go to the library.  Well, I want to BE at the library and then BE home.  I don’t want to go to and from.

None of this should be a problem.  I can have a lazy slob day if I want one.  EXCEPT.  EXCEPT we have a late night tonight.  The band has a gig tonight, we have to be at the place around 7, the show starts at 9, there are two opening acts, and The ELP doesn’t go on until ELEVEN (ish).  But it’s our/their show, so we kinda have to be there from the start.  So late night, plus early-ish start tomorrow (because we didn’t take the day off), and I DON’T WANNA!

I’ll get over it, probably as soon as we get there.  But now, I’m comfy and lazy at home (and whiny) and going out sounds like so much work.

(I swear I will do a whole band post.  I will.  I will I will I will.  Not now.)

Caught in the act

I spent most of this afternoon reading in the backyard.  It was peaceful for a while, but then the neighbors starting chatting in their yard, a blower and a lawn mower started in another yard, and that cat traipsed through the rear flower bed.  Too much traffic.  I gave up and went inside.

Not long after, John called me to the window to see the same cat hanging out on our gravel path, settled in and acting like he owns the place (as cats do).

Photographic evidence:

From the door

From the door

From the edge of the deck

From the edge of the deck

Leaving after I got too close

Leaving after I got too close

Angry with me for making him leave

Angry with me for making him leave

Of course, he left the yard, I went inside, and he came right back.  I don’t really care if he hangs out in the yard.  I just don’t want him to treat my yard like a litter box.

Sense is overrated

I can’t decide if 14 states feels like a lot to cross through in five days or not enough, considering we crossed the ENTIRE country. Same with knowing that we’d never been in half of them before. Is that a lot? Not a lot? I have lost all sense of perspective. And all sense. And, since we got here, I’ve been fighting decision fatigue again. It’s kind of scary to waffle between options, knowing the choice you make won’t be wrong (the thing you’re trying to decide on is not that important), but completely unable to choose. I don’t like it. It’s not all the time, and it’s not debilitating. In fact, I think it only happened twice and only Monday morning. It’s still weird, and I don’t have to like it.

Five days in the car. I was ready to give the car a break (my butt was ready to send the seats packing), but at the same time, I wasn’t ready for the trip to be over. It wasn’t restful, and it wasn’t a vacation, but we didn’t have to do anything except drive. Work was a distant memory. It was freeing. We’re still somewhat in limbo, since we don’t have our stuff. I called the moving coordinator Tuesday morning (Day 7 of the 7-14 day window), and she said the driver couldn’t provide an ETA yet, but call again on Friday, and maybe they can provide one. Sigh. No internet yet, either, but the install kit could arrive any day, assuming it has actually shipped. I placed the order Friday night, but I never got a confirmation email. I called them Monday, and they confirmed the order and resent the email. I just realized I never got that email, either. I have to call them again and hope hope HOPE it’s out there and actually on its way. Cross your fingers for us!

Update: the install kit arrived and we have internet!  We still don’t have anything to sit on or at, but we have internet!

Grand Central Station

There are too many ways for people to get in touch with me, and too often, all are in use at the same time.  Work people can (and do) reach me via my work email address, my office phone, my work cell, my personal cell, Skype for business, Google Chat/Hangouts, and text (on both cell phones).  It’s part of my job to be available (during the work day – I do set boundaries, usually), so I don’t really mind, but sometimes it’s a bit much.

And it can be a bit much on its own, but then I add in non-work stuff that happens during the day (texts, chats, emails, calls), and it gets crazy.

Thursday, for instance, I went for a run at lunch (to clear my head because some customers at work that morning….well, I needed to clear my head), and while I was stretching, after having been back in the apartment for all of three minutes, my work cell rang.  Sure, I could have ignored it, but I saw who it was and picked up because her stuff is usually important.  It was, I answered her question, and went back to stretching.  Thirty seconds later (still stretching), my personal cell rang with a call from our landlady.  She’s got utility people in the basement and backyard, and am I home?  Oh, good, can I unlock the back door so they can get to the electrical panel?  Sure I can.

Shortly after that, I sat back down at my desk to find two chat windows flashing at me and lots of emails waiting.  I did just clear my head, right?

Sandwiches are the universal cure

This morning:

Jess mentioned the other day that it’s amazing how quickly she can go from “Today’s a pretty good day” to “I hate everyone and everything” some days, and some days, I’m right there with her.  Today, at least, I have identified a trigger: it’s laundry.  Not just laundry, though – I’ve been doing laundry for years, and it doesn’t automatically put me in a bad mood.  No, it’s laundry HERE, in THIS apartment, with THIS gross basement and machines that don’t drain correctly (the utility sink that the machines drain into has dirt in it – DRY dirt – even after two loads of MY laundry have drained), and with our messy upstairs neighbor who is doing his best to live on his own, but needs additional help.  I’ll cut him all the slack he needs, but that doesn’t mean that what he does (or doesn’t do) doesn’t affect MY mood.

Messy neighbor definition: we have mice (or something) in the attic because he leaves open soda cans and pizza all over his apartment (according to our landlady).  In the laundry room today, there are two full loads of his clothes on the (gross) folding table, most likely put there by the downstairs neighbor who needed the dryers.  Don’t know how long they’ve been there or how long they’ll be there.

I’m going for a run.  Maybe I won’t hate everyone when I get back.

This afternoon:

Better.  Not great, but better.  Running is good, running is helpful, AND I ate a sandwich, which probably has a LOT to do with it.  (I typed “AND I hate a sandwich” and fixed it SO fast.  That is not true.  That will never be true.  I love sandwiches.  Rumors about sandwich-hating are hurtful and must be dealt with immediately.  Without delay.  Posthaste.  Now.)

Yes, I’m feeling better.

Presidents Day, Annapolis Edition

What have I done today?  A lot and not much, both of which are fine with me.  Made banana nut bread for breakfast, which also became lunch, watched a never-ending episode of Arrow (John is working today, so we kept pausing the episode for extended periods of time.  The show is not that good, so it didn’t really matter that we came back to it with little memory of the preceding dialogue.), and then I made my way through a handful of graphic novels.  Re-read volume 1 of Chew (which has a very interesting, totally disgusting premise), read volume 2 (which I enjoyed even more), re-read volume 1 of The Wicked + The Divine (still really good), and started volume 1 of the Federal Bureau of Physics.  After that, I only have two more new ones to check out, and then I can go all digital, all the time, plus library books, with a clear conscience.

The snow has stopped for the moment, but the sleet and the rain are supposed to be moving in.  I have no intention of leaving the apartment today.  We’re considering extending the breakfast theme into dinner and having eggs and toast instead of spaghetti.

We’ve had a really good weekend being out and about, but it’s nice to be able to stay inside, be anti-social, and not talk to anyone for the day.  Decompress.  This coming week will be both stressful and relaxing, possibly at the same time.  Today is necessary.

Outlet

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.

I still like to read, don’t I?

I gave up on another book today.  Turns out I am not in the mood to read about Elric, Stealer of Souls.  I may never be in that mood.  But now I’m angry with my bookshelf, and I’m afraid to pick another book.  What if I pick up a perfectly good book, one that I would enjoy if I were in another mood, but that might be forever colored by my current mood if I try it and reject it now?  Because, oh yes, I’m in a mood.  I have no reason for it (I could blame it on today being the anniversary of Riley’s death, but that would just be a handy excuse, I think, and not the real reason), but it’s true anyway.

I didn’t start the day this way.  When I woke up, it was a nice morning.  A bit cold, but I wasn’t planning on running.  John and I decided that our Sunday brunch tour of Annapolis would begin today, so we headed out West St figuring we’d find something.  The wait at Miss Shirley’s Cafe was too long (40 minutes), so we’ll try that some other week (earlier), but it was 10am when we came back by Rams Head, and they had just opened for brunch – no wait.  The place was basically empty, so we picked a table all the way in the back.  Shortly after sitting down, we found out that the jazz trio was going to set up right there.  We couldn’t have picked a better spot.  The trio was really good (they did a funky version of “Summertime” (from Porgy and Bess) that I liked a lot), and we were close enough that we could chat with them between songs.  We ended up staying a lot longer than we planned (John has a lot of practicing to do – more on that soon), but we were having a really good time.  When we finally left, I felt like doing some practicing of my own.  We kept our bass guitar because I’ve been thinking about actually learning to play it (as opposed to the barely-getting-by fakery I had down for a few months my senior year in college), and after watching the trio, I felt inspired to start today.

For a while, that went well.  I can get through scales (not prettily, but that’ll come with time – my hands aren’t tiny, but they’re not used to stretching for frets and strings), and before I stopped, I was able to play “Eight Days A Week” along with YouTube (thumping along on the roots only, but it was recognizable).

Then the phone rang (it was Ed, checking in with us since we checked out (and test drove) a Jaguar for him yesterday), and something about that soured my mood.  That’s a little dramatic (and simplified) – I don’t blame the phone call or Ed – but it was around then that I lost any drive to do anything.  I tried to read the Elric book, finishing the first story and starting the second, hoping I’d be more invested, and I just wasn’t.  Skimming pages to get to the end of a chapter is a sign I’m not interested.  BIG sign.  So I gave up on that one and then got mad at books in general (when I scanned the shelf looking for the next one).  I might be feeling the limits I set on myself.  I have maybe 15 physical books left on the shelf, and I told myself that I was going to read them all (and get rid of them) before I went back to e-books.  They’re only on the shelf because they’re books I want to read, so it shouldn’t be a chore.  I could let myself off the hook for one book and read something on my tablet, but in my current mood, that might not work for me either.

John thinks we haven’t had enough down time (people coming to visit, I’m working all the time, we spent all day yesterday driving from here to VA to DC to Alexandria and back home, etc.), so it’s perfectly acceptable for me to melt my brain a little by watching Scandal.  Rationalization is fine with me, so TV it is. May the magic of TV fix my mood!

Single-minded and annoyed to boot

You know how when one thing in your life is acting up (it’s usually work), you can’t think about anything else?  It’s this constant irritation (and it’s usually work), and much as you’d like to think about other things, more pleasant things, this ONE THING (usually work) takes up all available brain space.

Oh, you’re telling me a funny story?  I’m sorry – I was distracted by thoughts of the big annoying thing that isn’t going the way it should (work, most likely).  We’re going to watch TV?  Let’s choose something I don’t have to pay much attention to because my mind will be going in circles about how to solve a problem like Maria (except no singing, no dancing, no love story because it’s almost certainly work).

Actually, The Sound of Music might help.  “How you solve a problem like Maria” might not solve my problem (with, let’s face it, work), but it might be the most effective distraction.  If only it weren’t raining and I had a handy hilltop or convent to spin around in…

This is how I adult

John is out flying, so I am on my own for the early part of the evening.  (This part.  This part we’re in now.)  I’m sure that if this were an alternate universe where I lived alone, I would have a well-stocked kitchen and lots of plans for a Friday evening.  (I know you’re laughing about the well-stocked kitchen part.  Stop that.  You may also be laughing about me having plans.  Hush now.)  In this universe, we have very little food in the apartment.  On the plus side, I’m not really hungry, so it doesn’t really matter.  My dinner tonight consists of the other half of the blueberry muffin I bought for breakfast and some rice crackers that are going stale.  And some pretty good wine, which helps the stale crackers go down.  I am watching not-good TV, and I am trying to ignore the mosquito bite on my knee (from last night – god damn mosquitos).

I really know how to have a good time.  Up next, fold the laundry and do the dishes!

I got over it

The washing machine mirrored my mood yesterday.  I went into the dank basement (also appropriate to my mood) of our building to do some laundry.  One of the washing machines started right up, but when I pushed the start button on the other one, it didn’t start.  Then it kind of shrugged over a little bit, half-heartedly.  No water yet.  Stopped.  Shrugged another half-turn.  Stopped.  Stayed stopped.  Still stopped.  So powered it off and back on again.  Start button.  Another half-turn.  Then I gave up and stalked up the stairs.  I may have thrown my hands in the air and shouted a little.  (I was very much in a mood all day yesterday.  This didn’t help.)  I figured if it wasn’t done when I came down to move the clothes into the dryers, I’d move it to the other machine.

Then I forgot about the laundry for lots of hours.  (Enough hours that I felt like a jerk – what if the other tenants had planned to do laundry?)  Luckily for my mood, both washers worked, and the clothes were clean and ready for the dryer.  And John bought me ice cream, and I felt better.

Aren’t you glad there’s a happy ending?