The turkey is stuffed and in the oven, the leftover stuffing is in a pan, the sweet potatoes are in a car on their way here, the cranberries were accidentally left in PA, and the other stuff (mashed potatoes and green bean casserole) can wait until later. John and I have spent the morning in the kitchen with oldies on Pandora for food prep. Now that we’re in clean-up mode, we’ve moved on to 80s pop. It’s been fun. Only sad part? It’s not really cold enough for a fire. Maybe at pie time. (Well, that’s not the only sad part, but who wants to get serious now? Miss you, family of mine!)
Happy Turkey Day!
We are free from our manipulative real estate agent! Hooray for us! She actually fired us. It was kind of awesome. She said she couldn’t sell it at this price, we said we weren’t willing to change it, and she suggested we sign a release from the agreement. We win! And now we’ll take a little time, maybe enjoy the holiday season, and do it on our own soon.
I was doing so well with keeping up here, and then last week started. It was a horrible, crazily busy, totally exhausting week. Work was nuts, our evenings were not our own, and we just got back from a whirlwind 36-hour trip to PA and back for Emily’s engagement party. I can barely keep my eyes open. We braved Wegmans to get the basic pre-Thanksgiving shopping done, mostly because I have pies to make. Lots of pies. This year I actually need to double my recipe.
I’m too tired to make any more sense, so I’m going to shut down the computer, heat up dinner (we scored leftovers from the party last night), and watch TV with John. I might last another hour, max. I will try really really hard to post regularly again. I like it.
I had a glorious weekend. So much time to READ. Tempting as it was, though, I didn’t read ALL weekend. I did some stuff for others – I spent a couple of hours on Saturday trying on bridesmaid dresses and taking pictures of them (or notes where pictures weren’t allowed) for Emily (no, you may not see those pictures), and I helped John test out his new recording toy. (I may have enjoyed doing both of those things, but that doesn’t change the fact that I did them primarily to help John and Emily.) On Saturday afternoon, John and I went for a run together, something we haven’t done in a while. I think I enjoy it more than he does. (I’ve heard I sometimes talk too much. I don’t know who starts these rumors.) But Sunday? Yeah, I spent hours and hours reading. It was heavenly.
A couple of months ago, I went to my favorite nail salon, and the manicurist talked me into trying gel nail polish on my fingers. Mom has been talking it up to me for a long time because it doesn’t chip, so it lasts longer, and it looks nicer, and she’s right on all of those counts. I was going to go bare (just buff up the nails) because I don’t really like color on my nails and clear nail polish chips, and the manicurist said, well, gel doesn’t chip, and it comes in a natural color. Okay – it’s time to try it. First, natural my ass. It was light pink and sparkly. Pretty, but in no way natural. Still, it was pretty and light enough not to bother me much. It dried super quickly (always a plus), and then the lady swiped nail polish remover across the nails and it didn’t come off! I was impressed, and everything was great for about three weeks. My nails were growing, but it wasn’t obvious to anyone but me that my nails weren’t all painted anymore. After that, I was about done with the pink and sparkly and ready to go clear again, so I went back to have the gel polish removed (since I had no idea how to take it off myself).
What Mom neglected to tell me is what a HUGE PAIN it is to have it removed. You can’t just swipe with some special gel polish remover. Oh, no. My nails were wrapped in acetone-soaked cotton and foil for what felt like an hour (and was at least 20 minutes in real time), and then when the manicurist removed the foil and cotton, she still had to chisel away at each nail to get it all off. It took FOREVER. I thought it was never going to be over. And even once the polish was removed, my nails still felt like regular polish was fading and chipping off on its own. Not a nice feeling.
Conclusion? No gelicures for me. No way. Uh uh. Sorry, Mom. Can’t agree with you on this one.
I have tried on every dress within 15 miles of my house over the last week looking for the one I’m going to wear to the wedding this weekend. ALL by myself. I’d walk into a store, grab armloads of dresses in my size, take over a dressing room, and try on every one. I took pictures of the good ones and sent them to my posse (Pat, Emily, and Molly for immediate feedback via text, Mom and Mindy for more leisurely feedback over email), all of whom talked me into buying entirely too many dresses, most of which I will be returning (I’ve returned one. Two more are in the car, waiting for me to get back to the mall.). Sunday was about shoes. I bought THESE most awesome shoes in hot pink:
I should take a break from shopping.
My right eye was bothering me this morning, so I decided to take a break from my contacts and wear my glasses to work today. I wore one of my favorite sweaters (if only I had it in a forest or olive green or a deep red – this blue is beautiful, but it’s not really my color) and the little clock Mindy got me from JewelMint. My outfit had nothing to do with my decision to wear glasses, but apparently the combination of glasses and little clock clicked for me. A coworker told me I looked studiously cute. I will totally take that. So here I am, looking studiously cute:
And very pale and very tired. But I am NOT wearing a 3/4-sleeve sweater. This is according to John, who doesn’t believe in them. Therefore, that is not what I’m wearing. Because they don’t exist.
Did you know goats are evil? It’s their eyes. Their eyes give them away.
All of that adorable playing and attention-hogging is just a ruse. What adorable playing? This adorable playing! (Please bear with me through this 2-minute video. They really do do some cute things.)
Clearly, I met some goats last weekend. And fed them and played with them and picked a favorite. (Baxter, the brown one, is my favorite. Dad’s favorite is Bruiser (black with blue eyes). Trixie wasn’t all that interested in us.)
Baxter: “Whatcha doin’?” Or possibly, “My plan to take over the world begins with you. Look into my eyes so I can take over your brain.”
I realize I’ve posted nothing but negative things these last few days, and I’d hate for you to think I didn’t enjoy myself. I totally did. Molly and I got our nails done on Sunday, and Tom and I lost to Molly and Tania (by a whisker) and John and Emily (by a lot) at Taboo on Christmas Day. John and I kicked everyone’s butts (especially Emily and Sean’s) at Cranium on Saturday night. Christmas itself was a very fun day, as usual. Molly got me possibly my favorite present of the year. I am now the proud owner of a TARDIS hat.
Also, I have a flashing Rudolph nose, but I only wear it on special occasions.
Despite my recent enthusiasm for shopping, Black Friday is still something I avoid. Like the plague. I have absolutely no interest in dealing with crowds of shoppers, and I think the day after Thanksgiving should be a national day of rest. I did go to one store. One superstore. One store I have no need to ever visit again. Cabela’s. It’s a hunting/camping/fishing kind of store. Like Bass Pro Shop, but with more taxidermied bears. (I assume. I’ve never been in a Bass Pro Shop, but it sounds more civilized.) SO totally not my kind of store. We tagged along with Emily and her boyfriend (who fishes) because, I guess, family time? It was…interesting. Aaaannd we came home with two bows. With arrows. Actual bows. Well, junior bows, like toddler’s first bow. Kid bows. And blunt arrows (of course). We set up cardboard boxes as a target in the backyard and pretended we were Robin Hood or Welsh longbowmen. And you know what? It’s kind of hard. And kind of painful. I don’t know if I was holding the darn thing wrong or what, but the string kept recoiling against the inside of my left elbow. Out of 20 or so shots, the string hit me (hard) 3 or 4 times. After the last one, I was about to start taking bets as to how long it would take before a bruise showed up when I rolled up my sleeve and actually looked at my arm. That’s when I ended my illustrious career as an archer. I already had the nastiest bruise I’ve ever seen, and on top of that, there was an egg-sized welt right in the middle. Even now, three days later, I look like I caught a fast ball with my arm. (The swelling went down pretty quickly after I iced it.) So I’m retired now. No more archery for me.
I took Riley with me on my run the other morning – huh. Feels like several days ago, but it must have been just yesterday morning. It’s only Tuesday. Shoot me. Anyway, a deer got really close to us. I think he wanted to play. It was cute, but Riley was a little freaked out. The deer was following us down the trail, and Riley kept checking it out over his shoulder, ears pinned back. It eventually ran ahead of us, and he calmed down, but it made for a very exciting morning.
We don’t get out much. Actually, part of why I’ve been MIA is because I did get out over the weekend. Went home to visit Mom and Dad and Corey and Mindy and Mark and Gaby and Candy. Watched a gaggle of six-year-olds play soccer, found that I’m a natural at soccer myself (when one of those six-year-olds is the goalie), picnicked by the lake, played catch, flew a kite, got sunburned, went for a run – and that was all on Saturday. It was a whirlwind weekend, but I got to see everyone (for not long enough, but it was better than not going).
And now it’s the work week, the last week of the fiscal year, when everyone freaks out, and I have to go to DC every day. Here’s hoping next week is better.
You know, it’s been a fun weekend, but I need another weekend to recover from it. Friday night was the concert, and it was nearly 2am before we went to bed. Six hours later, I was awake because I still had stuff to do in the house before John’s dad and sister showed up. Then John and his dad spent the day replacing a column on the porch, and Emily and I went wine-tasting and got pedicures (which was a very nice way to spend the afternoon – I highly recommend it), and then we picked up sushi for dinner. And then we sat at the damn table until 1:30 last night because we are incapable of shutting up and going to bed. So now? I’m exhausted. I’m sacked out on the couch when I should be at the grocery store or out on my bike or walking the dogs or doing something productive… It’s taking everything I’ve got just to keep my eyes open.
I have found myself completely unable to tell what day of the week it is. At least I’m not alone. I told Mom today I would check on something Tuesday, thinking today was Saturday, even though I went to work today and complained about it being Monday several times. Probably. That’s something I’ve been known to do. I’m sure I did it today. Unless it was last Monday… Mom thought it was Tuesday all day. I talked to Jess yesterday, and she was convinced (or at least hoped) it was Saturday. It’s probably just wishful thinking, like my dream last night that I was eating brownies and cake with whipped cream and strawberries. (Oh how I want that.) Let’s continue to assume it’s wishful thinking and not the deterioration of my brain.
I spent all day today with my personal tachometer pegged at, like, 8000 rpm (or whatever is really high). What do I know? I drive an automatic. Red-lined is what I mean. And that includes my commute home, when you’d think I could take some time to breathe, and when I was actually sitting in a car going 30 miles per hour (at most). It wasn’t until I sat down to eat that I slowed down. It wasn’t a bad day, just long and very busy. I didn’t even realize I’d been racing all day until I walked into the house. Now I’m home and fed and I’m going to have maybe a third of a cookie and some milk (it’s a really big cookie) and then go to bed and start all over again tomorrow.
For me, tomorrow means more of the same, but Emily and Corey have just embarked on brand new…things. I’m not sure what word to use there. “Brand new chapters” sounds ridiculous, and “brand new lives” sounds too momentous. I mean, their happenings ARE momentous, but it’s not like they’re changing everything…okay, fine. It’s a VERY big deal. And it does change a LOT. I mean, Emily just moved to a new apartment in a new city and started a new job today (and apparently her first day went well). And today was Corey’s first day of law school, for heaven’s sake, which seems to have scared him to death. He may bury himself so deep into his books that I won’t be able to talk to him for three years. So maybe “brand new lives” isn’t such an overstatement. (Also, I’m not sure why Corey starting law school required a “for heaven’s sake”, but it seemed appropriate. I think it’s really cool, and even though law school has never appealed to me all that much, going back to school full time sounds lovely.)
Oh, cookie cookie cookie starts with c.
I’m of two minds about being home. On one hand, there’s my bed, my shower, my clothes, my DOGS – I’m SO tired, and it’s SO nice to be home. On the other hand, DISNEY WORLD. It’s the happiest place on earth, and I LOVE IT.
Some pictures before I collapse. Details at some later date.
Molly, Emily, and me in line for the It’s A Small World ride.
Our first five minutes in the park.
Happy to finally be in the air-conditioned line for Pirates of the Caribbean.
Hey! You can totally see my new house. It’s right there behind John’s head.
I had a couple of half-formed ideas of things to write about today, but they’re pretty much gone. Or far enough away that I don’t have more than a sentence. You know, like how Jess’s phone called me without her knowledge this afternoon, and how I can’t get enough avocado lately, so I was terribly disappointed when I asked to have avocado added to my sandwich from Panera this evening and they left it off and I didn’t realize until I got home and then it was too late and I was sad. I had avocado in my salad for lunch (Au Bon Pain – spinach, egg, bacon, avocado, chicken, black beans, honey mustard, and a little more avocado – oh wow good), so it’s not like I had to get through the whole day avocado-less. Just dinner.
Insert Homer Simpson drooling noise
Mom has made some really good book choices lately. The last two books I read (well, the one I’m reading now and the one I just read) were her recommendations, and I am very happy with them. That’s not to say that her recommendations aren’t normally trustworthy – they very much are – but sometimes I need more persuading. Maybe I’m just being stubborn for no reason. Or for the same reason John gets stubborn he’s looking for his next book and I send a continuous stream of suggestions his way. Suggestion overload! Anyway, I think the best thing – okay, best things about these latest two are a) I knew almost nothing about them before I read them, and 2) they are not at all similar to each other but are both really good. And good to read back to back, for reasons I have not yet thought out. And I really like that I hardly knew anything about them. Mom told me the premise of The Age of Miracles, but she told me absolutely nothing about Gone Girl, and I think I kind of prefer it that way. John and I work pretty hard to avoid spoilers for movies and TV shows, avoiding just about anything that mentions them. We really like going into these things with no preconceptions. With books, you’ve usually got the cover, the blurb on the back, some expectation based on the genre or author or something. With Gone Girl, since I’m reading it on the Kindle, I don’t have anything but the title and the author’s name. In the long run, I can see how that might make it difficult to decide what to read next since I often decide based on what genre I’m in the mood for, but once in a while starting a book completely in the dark about it is fun.
Speaking of my book, I’d really like to read it now, so, you know. Bye.
We’re at the breakfast table this morning with Gaby, who is writing in her journal about what we did yesterday.
Gaby: Well, I want to write that we saw monuments, but…I don’t know how to spell “saw”.
John couldn’t hold the laughter in. She had no problem with monuments. And then I heard her spell Washington with very little hesitation. She’s a genius!
We’re all on our laptops (except Gaby, who’s using a cute little spiral-bound notebook) this morning, after a nice lie-in. Wolf Trap cancelled last night’s performance of The Pirates of Penzance, so we stayed in and had our picnic dinner in the family room with The Muppet Show. It’s just as well – we were all pretty worn out after the heat and the driving. We met up with Jess (Hi, Jess!) for a yummy lunch in Annapolis, blew some bubbles at the harbor (also thanks to Jess), ate some really good ice cream, and tried on lots of hats at Hats in the Belfry. Hey! That’s news for us – John found a hat. One that fits and looks pretty cool and will keep him from burning his head every time he goes out in the sun. It’s a miracle. I fell in love with a plum-colored cloche hat, but then I looked at the price tag. I just can’t spend $175 on a hat. Even when it’s this cool.
Today the plan is to stay inside and hide from the heat. No plans, no schedule, just whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it. And now that the internet is back (the storm late Friday night knocked it for most of yesterday)…you know, I really don’t know how to end that sentence. I don’t remember where I was going with it when I started it. Now that the internet is back, we can…play on the internet? But we’re not really going to do that today, so…yeah. No idea.
I have a feeling that nothing this weekend is going to happen on time. That’s not really a problem, since we only have one activity planned that runs on a schedule we don’t have any control over (we’re seeing The Pirates of Penzance at Wolf Trap tomorrow night – yay!), but it did affect my day today. My plan (like every weekend) was to do my long run early Saturday morning, but John pointed out (and I applaud his foresight) that tonight isn’t likely to be an early night and we’re going to want to get a relatively early start tomorrow morning, so there is no way I’m going to run five miles before we get in the car to go to Annapolis.
Instead, I did my five miles this morning. Of course, I didn’t start quite early enough, so I didn’t get back to the house until 7:45. Very late for a work morning. It took me a lot longer than usual to cool down and stop sweating (because it’s so crazy hot right now), and I was puttering around the house doing last-minute cleaning things, and then I cleaned my bathroom, and then I got in the shower. At 8:45. When on a normal work morning, I’m at work by 9. It’s not a big deal – work is flexible as long as I put the hours in, but it messes up my whole day.
*Several hours later*
Well, it didn’t mess up my entire day, but it did continue. I waited until just about the last minute to get to the store this afternoon, making it home only minutes before Corey and Gaby arrived. Because – yay! – Corey and Gaby are visiting for a few days!
I’m not sure it’s possible to cram more things into one weekend. They were all good things, all fun things, but – what happened to my weekend? We got up Saturday morning and met Erik and Margaret (and Corinne) for brunch. Totally fun and very good to see them. We got home Saturday afternoon, cleaned up after the dogs, and mowed the lawn. Then we went out to see The Avengers (SO much awesome) with Will and Christina, and then, since we hadn’t seen them in a while (we’ve seen Will pretty regularly, but I haven’t seen Christina in nearly two years), we stayed out with them until nearly 1am. This morning, we got up at a reasonable hour and headed to the George Mason campus for John’s graduation (from Virginia Tech, not George Mason). Finally, it’s official. John has an M.S. in Computer Science. (I failed big time in the photo department. Too blurry, too dark, too late – missed him.) We met John’s parents and sisters there (they drove down for the ceremony and dinner after), so we had a very pleasant afternoon and evening with them. Now we’re home, thoroughly exhausted, with dogs that wonder where the hell we went all weekend. I only wonder where the hell all these ants came from. We leave town in four days. It’s be nice to solve this ant problem before then.
Stupid weather. Sure, we need the rain, but did it have to come with a 20-degree temperature drop?
I am homeworked out. I got a ton of work done this weekend and was still able to hang out with John and his parents for a few hours last night and this morning (because I’m amazing like that). For anyone keeping track, my SQL homework is 100% done, with only the final exam left, and I finished one of the last two chapters in statistics and the corresponding quiz, with only one more chapter (these are super-long chapters), quiz, and the final left to go for that class, too. If I can take the SQL final after work on Tuesday, I can finish the last statistics chapter and quiz by the weekend and then take the final early next week and be DONE.
Of course, if I’m going to hold to that schedule, I’ll have to do all my internetting during the day…
We’re home, safe and sound, and so are the dogs. Nothing happened to Roxy this weekend. (Thank you, Jess.) We had a highly successful Passover seder Friday night, I drank all the wine in the house Saturday night (Mom assures me I most certainly did NOT drink all the wine, but I felt like I had by Sunday morning), and we spent much of Sunday stealing books from Mom and Dad’s basement, all of which now live in OUR basement. The drive home was much better than anticipated (mostly because we listened to a fantastic book the whole way, but I’ll have more on that once we actually finish it – we have about an hour left), and when we arrived, we unloaded the books in about 30 minutes and picked up the dogs just before the kennel closed. Busy, but quick and over and done with. Details tomorrow. Maybe. I’ll think about it.