Going to a one-year-old’s birthday party today took all of the energy I had. I’m home, sitting on the couch, watching Geek & Sundry videos, and I just poured a second glass of wine I don’t particularly like anymore. I think I’m over the Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc, for those keeping track at home. I thought I was over it, then I enjoyed a couple of glasses of it a few weeks ago, and now that I’m finishing the bottle, I’m over it again. And yet I’m still drinking it. It would be wasteful to just throw it out. Right? Also, it would take too much energy to open a different bottle. Also also, the only other bottle chilled right now is super big, and I just don’t think it makes sense to open a super big bottle just for me. Not at the end of a weekend, anyway. Also also also, if I put another bottle in the fridge (or freezer) to chill, I’ll have to wait for it. And I’d have to get up and do it. And have I mentioned that I have no energy? I think I’m going to work on my puzzle.
I have been taken over by a pod person. Wait – I am a pod person. I’ve been taken over by a pod? I think it happened when I almost tripped over that squirrel yesterday. Not that I traded places with the squirrel. That would be more like a Freaky Friday scenario. Hey, I was never really into that whole body snatchers thing, so I don’t know the details. My point is that I’m not acting like myself. This is a big build-up for just one thing, but it’s kind of a big thing for me. Are you ready? I COOKED today. Like multiple things, so we’d have food for lunches and stuff the rest of the week. Can you believe it? It’s an obvious thing that lots of people do, but that’s my point. I don’t do it. I never have. But now I have a brisket all cooked and cooling on top of the oven and chicken corn chowder simmering on the stove. (It was originally supposed to be Mexican chicken corn chowder, but since John doesn’t do spicy, I left out the chiles, and I’m thinking that means it doesn’t count as Mexican anymore.)
Aaaaannnnd here’s why I don’t cook much. I just stepped away from the laptop to check out the soup (and maybe take a picture), and I found that the soup was bubbling, and when I went to stir it, much of it was stuck to the bottom of the pot. I only turned up the heat because John noticed that it wasn’t particularly hot (when he tasted it). I didn’t mean to leave it…I suck at cooking. I don’t think it’s ruined. I lowered the heat a lot and stirred a lot, and most of it looks fine. We’ll see.
Here’s the aftermath of New Year’s Eve:
Yup. We’re party animals. We even went out to eat on our anniversary. The actual day! Can you believe it?
(Yes, that is my Hogwarts scarf. Yes, we were about to go out to dinner to a fancy(ish) restaurant. Yes, I wear my nerd regalia out into the world. Oh, did I tell you I got a compliment on my TARDIS hat? It was from a girl who works at Advance Auto. Whovians are everywhere.)
Hey, guys? The Hobbit was disappointing. I won’t ruin it for anyone with details, but…hm. I can’t say a whole lot more without ruining it. Here’s the thing, though – once I get past it not being what I hoped, it was still entertaining. It just wasn’t what I expected from Peter Jackson, after he took such care with The Lord of the Rings movies (with one major exception for which I haven’t forgiven him). So see it, by all means, but lower your expectations.
I had a strange conversation with a coworker in the car on the way to DC today.
Him: Have you seen that new Sherlock show on BBC? Isn’t it great?
Me: Yeah, I love it. Benedict Cumberbatch is fantastic. Did you know he’s the voice of Smaug in the new Hobbit movie? The dragon?
Him: Really? That’s cool. But that hobbit guy looks really weird.
Silence from me for a few seconds.
Me: You know, the guy who plays Bilbo Baggins is Watson in that Sherlock series.
Him: …That’s the power of make-up, I guess.
I went on to list other things Martin Freeman has been in, but the only response I got was, “He’s the naked guy in Love Actually? I remember him!”
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.
What do you do with one diamond earring? Sounds rhetorical, but I really need an answer. John bought me a pair (little diamond studs) last Christmas, and I love them. They’re exactly what I wanted, and I wore them every day, with everything. Then, out at dinner the evening after we spent the day at the Maryland Renaissance Festival (more on that later), I reached up to my earlobes and noticed that one of them was bare. How do you lose just one earring? Clearly, it’s not that hard. And since the earring wasn’t in my immediate vicinity in the restaurant, and it wasn’t in the car, it was most likely lost on the ground in 16th century England (otherwise known as some woods not too far from Annapolis). Maybe I can get my remaining earring turned into a necklace or something.
Guess who we ran into while we were there?
We don’t know what Captain America was doing at a 16th century renaissance festival, but his was the best costume we saw all day. Other than the Doctor’s, of course. His being there made more sense, what with all the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff (speaking of that, I totally want these). I wasn’t able to get a picture of him, but his costume was fantastic.
I’m exhausted from last weekend. May I have another? I promise to rest for much of it. No? Too bad.
Friday night we went to a costume party. We were pretty happy with our costumes, but the party was a little awkward at the start. It got better, and we had a good time. All that’s minor. Let’s stick with the important stuff. For the most part, our costumes were created from things we had at home. John went as Wolverine. We had to buy his claws (would you believe we didn’t have a spare set at home already?), but that’s it.
John realized that I had everything I needed to be Hermione except the wand. I’d forgotten about the scarf I bought at Universal over the summer.
Classic Hermione pose coming up. I know! I know!
Notice I’m holding a wand? Yup. That’s ’cause John made me one. An awesome one. Because he’s wonderful.
Check it out! He even burned the Deathly Hallows into the end. Because he’s the best.
Now, I think our costumes turned out pretty good, but my first choices for us were Dr. Horrible (me) and Captain Hammer (John). Unfortunately, we don’t have ANYthing we need for those, and we didn’t have enough prep time to get them. Maybe next year. I really want to be Dr. Horrible.
It’s that time of year again. Time to duck all calls that may be coming from some politician’s campaign (which really means duck all calls that come in on the house phone). I don’t care if the call is coming from a candidate for President or for Congress (I was going to go with something more local than that, but apparently there aren’t any really local elections in my area this year). I don’t want to talk to any of them. That means they all go to voicemail, and my Vonage Visual Voicemail service gets to try to translate. This is a direct quote from my email (from a call today):
“I’m calling from Ronnie for president. This is Susan. She is a real daughter. And in 2008. She voted for Barack Obama, Obama, Groom, Cesar Lane everyday and I would appreciate it but I don’t think that he’s done anything to, to undo the damage. I think maybe he had and I have you listing plan and wasn’t able to implement it. I think that we want to get his leadership before years and they are selves deeper and dad. I I think we got our losses. This call is paid for by Ronnie for president Inc”
Susan is a real daughter! Unlike all those fake daughters. I have no idea what she actually said there. Also, if I could vote for Obama every day, I totally would, but I don’t know who Groom and Cesar Lane are.
I’m calling Romney Ronnie from now on. Awesome.
Today was better than yesterday. And the new yoga instructor is very different, but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. We had a very restful, very peaceful class.
Hey, I found out I’m a genius today. Or at least very perceptive. In a very narrow field. Do you remember way back when I read Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill? No? Well, you must not be keeping up with my What I’ve Been Reading page. Here’s what I said when I read it:
This is a scary book, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish it. Okay, it was scary right at the beginning, and that first night, I decided not to read it in bed. After that, though, it didn’t scare me. That’s not to say it wasn’t good. It was. But I wasn’t too scared to read it. It reminded me of Stephen King sometimes, and I can’t tell if that’s good or bad.
I finished 11/22/63 today (recent Stephen King novel), and when I got to the afterword and read, “My son, the novelist Joe Hill,” I did a triumphant little I’m-so-smart dance. Really. Because I have a very high opinion of myself.
Roxy is gazing at me sleepily (and adorably) from a square of sunlight on the floor in the other room. That sentence reminds me of an exercise we had to do in Language Arts class in middle school. I think we had to write a poem describing…something…using a ton of prepositions. My friend Nicola’s was the best. It went something like this:
To the house
In the front door
Up the stairs
Down the hallway
Through the door
On the toilet
Something like that. We thought it was awesome that she wrote a poem about peeing and got an A. Mine might have been (hypothetical) directions to my (imaginary, totally made up on the spot) secret place. Kind of an over the river and through the woods kind of thing. (I was not the most original child.)
I bought the Garmin Forerunner 210 over the weekend (from my friendly local running store) and finally used it this morning.
It’s awesome. I got the heart rate monitor, too, so I strapped myself in (watch strap, heart rate monitor strap – any more straps and I wouldn’t need clothes), synced everything up (found my heart, found my satellite), and took off. I had a great run, but the coolest part about my new watch is that when I uploaded the details to the website (Garmin Connect), I got a whole bunch of neat graphs.
The top one shows how my pace varied over time, and I can tell that the downward spike is at the point where I had to wait a few seconds to cross a street. The watch calculates all the easy stuff (average heart rate, average pace, stuff like that), but it’s also tracking elevation and calculating calories burned, and the website displays the details per lap (I set it so one lap equals one mile), and it’s just so COOL.
John is working on his blog software, I’m cataloguing (Really, spellcheck? That looks SO wrong. I want to pronounce it cat-uh-log-YOO-ing. I might from now on.) our books because I’ve noticed that many are missing from my spreadsheets (Yes, plural. Don’t you talk about me and my spreadsheets.), and I’m finishing a bottle of wine I wasn’t really crazy about. (Yes, there is such a thing. Let’s all forget that I’m drinking it anyway.) This one was described as “herbaceous” at the store. I’m not getting anything herb-y out of it.
Leaving the not-so-great wine out of the equation – no, even including the not-so-great wine, this is a pretty great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I got my nails done earlier (at a place I will NOT be going back to – I don’t know why I keep trying out new places. I love my normal place. I should just keep going there.), and John painted the trim between the library (that used to be the dining room and has no furniture other than my desk (where I am not sitting) and the bookshelves) and the family room, and yesterday we went to Home Depot to start pricing hardwood floors because we’re going to do the whole upstairs ourselves, and I feel like this weekend we’ve reached a nice balance of productive (painting, estimates, laundry, etc.) and relaxing (blog software, book organizing, wine, etc.).
The other thing I did while I was out today was ask around about this GPS watch I’m thinking about getting. I wanted to ask some real runners what they use, so I went to the one of our local running stores (I went to another one last week) to talk to someone. I’m thinking about the Garmin Forerunner 210, and the only decision I have left to make is whether I want that one or the 610. I’m leaning towards the 210.
Man, I am very much over this wine. And I’m going back to my books. And thinking about dinner. Because I’m hungry.
This weekend was just about perfect. I made a list of things to do and got nearly all of them done and still had time to sit on the porch and watch the rain. Among my things to do were backing up my blog database, updating WordPress, and installing Linux. Okay, so John did the actual installation for me and then solved my wireless problem, but still. Now I have the latest version of Ubuntu (the Linux distribution I decided to go with after conferring with a couple of people). Huh. That makes it sound like I gathered opinions and did some research before deciding. It didn’t go exactly like that.
“Hey, Randy, what version of Linux should I install?”
“Hey, John, Randy suggests Ubuntu. What do you think?”
“Great, let’s do it.”
Thanks, guys. Anyway, now that it’s installed, I have do some configuring. It looks….different. Cool, though.
Must go. Time for pie.
We still have a land line at home. I’m not sure why, really. We use it to make some calls (the vet, the pharmacy), and our parents use it to reach us sometimes, but they use our cell phones at least as often as the land line. We mostly ignore it because despite registering for every Do Not Call list out there, we get tons of telemarketers, political robocalls, and other spam. We talked about getting rid of it not too long ago, but I think our main reason for keeping it is because it’s our primary contact number for every bill, every account, every everything, and it would be a pain to update those. Not the greatest reason to keep paying for it. It’s Vonage, so it’s cheap, but still.
As long as we still have it, though, I get some entertainment out of its visual voicemail feature. All voicemail goes to my Yahoo account (another dinosaur, but I have better reasons for keeping it), but Vonage doesn’t always do a good job of transcribing what was actually said. Sometimes the program gives up altogether, but usually it tries. Just about half an hour ago, I got this visual voicemail:
“Hi Ms. Bird, this is Sharon calling from pointless mom. Just calling to let you know that your contacts are ready for pick up. Thank you”
That’s Vonage’s punctuation, not mine, and this is better than most since at least the second half makes sense. It’s also only the second half that told me it was my eye doctor’s office calling. I might suggest they change the name of their practice to Pointless Mom when I swing by tomorrow. Much funnier. I don’t know where that came from, though. It doesn’t even rhyme with the actual name. Speaking of names, no names had to be changed to protect the innocent – Bird is not my last name, and Sharon is not the name of the woman who called. (I listened to the actual voicemail, too.)
None of this is convincing me to keep a land line for the house, but it has convinced me that I don’t have to worry about evil robotic overlords just yet. Or maybe they just want me to think that…
I feel like a slacker when Derby Day comes up and I haven’t planned any sort of Derby party. Oops. But I’m watching (of course).
I had a very successful shoe-shopping day, and once the Derby is over and we’ve eaten, John and I are going to go to our local comic book store for Free Comic Book Day and then hit up the Haagen Dazs around the corner for a sundae.
It’s been a very nice Saturday.
Also, this one.
Do you have the Draw Something app? Our friendly neighborhood Wombat asked me that exact question just the other day. My response (after immediately downloading it to my phone) was “I do now!” I am so very bad at it, but it’s fun. It’s like Pictionary without the yelling. (Usually.) And Wombat is being very gracious about my terrible drawings. She’s good – she drew a great cheeseburger. I really suck. Truly. But if you download it and you want to play, send me an email!
I am easily amused. It helps to be absentminded. Seriously, you can tell me the same joke over and over again and I will find it hilarious every time. Ask anybody.
You know how it feels when you find something unexpected? Something good. Like last year’s $10 in your winter coat pocket. (That one in particular hasn’t happened to me, but you know what I mean.) It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be nice. A couple of weeks ago I was writing test scripts for work, and I needed a fake name to fill in a particular field. I picked a fairly innocuous name, familiar to me and many of you, but not to most people. I moved on. Today, I was helping out on that project again, setting up the test data and tweaking some of the scripts. I got to that field and asked the guy who took it over from me what name to use (having completely forgotten what I’d chosen weeks ago). He told me, and I laughed, thrilled with myself for setting it up that way so I could have a private little geeky giggle. Yay me! The name? Harriet Jones. (No room in the application for a title, sadly.)
It went a long way towards making my 4:15 wake-up call (to get to Baltimore today) bearable. Not all the way bearable, but closer.