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.

Oh, he lives here too?

I barely saw John today.  I got up at 5am this morning so I could be awake for a conversation with my boss at 5:30 (8:30 for him – it was the only time we were both free today), and then work was non-stop meetings all day, so even though John was just down the hall, we barely exchanged words.  I forgot to eat lunch, and John left for the gym before I was done working.  He’s flying tonight with a pilot friend, so he needed to get moving.  I quit at 3:30 (my time), and when I headed to the gym, I met him at the bottom of our block just coming back.  We pulled our bikes over and caught up for a few minutes.  Honestly, it was like running into someone you don’t see every day.  “Hey!  How was the gym?  Oh yeah, tell me that thing you were going to tell me about work.”  He still had a schedule to keep, and I was still heading to the gym, so we headed in our separate directions.  I got back from the gym minutes before he headed off to the airport, and I guess I’ll see him when he gets home later.

Weird day.

Repairs are needed

John’s bike is pretty old.  He’s had it at least since 1998, when he used it to get to his summer job in Connecticut when we were in school, and he probably had had it for a while at that point.  (I’ve only had my bike since 2004, I think.)  Anyway, sometime last week, he noticed that one of his pedals was coming loose.  It was wobbly, and he couldn’t tighten it with any tools he has.  There’s a bike shop right by our gym, so we biked over there after work today, figuring we’d go to the gym once the pedal was fixed.  Of course, the pedal fell off about halfway there, and you just can’t ride a bike with only one pedal (John tried), so we walked the rest of the way (it wasn’t far).  Naturally, fixing it is not as simple as replacing the pedal, so John left the bike at the shop.  I think they have to order some parts – his bike is either old enough or non-standard enough that they just don’t have whatever it is he needs.  Still cheaper to repair than to buy a new bike, though.

This would be necessary if either of us were capable of running….grumble grumble grumble.

Well, yes it would.  We bike to get places around here.  Never mind.


Small things

Small thing #1: It’s St. Patrick’s Day and EVERYONE is wearing green and when I went for a run at lunch (wearing green, of course), the weather was lovely and warm and EVERYONE was outside and EVERYONE was smiling at EVERYONE else.  It was pleasant.

Small thing #2: John’s flight test guy called this morning to reschedule John’s exam and check ride (which were supposed to be tomorrow) because he’s sick and can’t fly.  John is relieved (more time to prepare), annoyed (he was READY for tomorrow), and anxious because our deadline is approaching and he NEEDS to get this out of the way before we leave town.  The flight test guy is aware of the deadline, and he has penciled John in for three different days next week.  He’ll be well enough (and the weather will cooperate) for at least ONE of those days.

Good Samaritan (it wasn’t me)

Today was beautiful and warm and breezy.  We had the windows open and the fans going all day.  It was great, but it also means we hear EVERYTHING that goes on outside.  This evening, before sunset, we heard a horrendous screeching noise right outside the apartment.  We looked out the windows and saw a car stopped in the middle of road, blocking the northbound lane, with the drivers side door open.  There was another woman inspecting the red mini parked on the side of the road just in front of it.  I assumed we’d just heard a crash, that maybe the car had hit the mini or the mini backed into the car.  I stopped looking through the screen (opting for the clear part of the window), and I couldn’t see any damage, and then John noticed the tire leaning up against the mini.

Apparently, this car was driving up our street when the front left tire CAME OFF THE CAR and rolled into the street and hit the mini.  The horrendous screeching noise was the front left corner of the car, minus its tire, scratching up the pavement.  We stood at the windows watching the circus (the people in the car running around, getting the tire, staring at the car, the other drivers trying to go around the car to get out of town, the southbound lane stopping to let the northbound lane swerve into their lane to go), and then we heard someone shout something about needing a jack.

John: Should I help?  I have a jack.  I should help.  Should I help?

He decided to help.  By the time I went outside, there were 7 or 8 people clustered around the car (only three of whom were working).  Everyone else on the block was out on front porches and stoops (me and our housemates included), watching the fun (and occasionally yelling).  With the help of two of the guys who live next door, John jacked up their car and got the tire back on.  Sort of.  Turns out that out of the five bolts that usually hold a tire on, one was missing and one had been completely broken off.  Of the three that were left, only one was straight and able to be used.  The car owners (who didn’t help at all and barely said thank you) decided to risk driving back to DC rather than drive the car slowly to a shop.

We’re going to keep an eye on the news for the idiots who are surely going to lose the tire again going too fast on the highway back to DC tonight.

Big news!

John passed his pilot’s exam this morning! YAYYYYYY!!!!  He’s got a few more lessons to go (some navigation stuff), and as soon as he’s comfortable solo, he does a check ride with a different instructor, and then he gets his license.  This will be the recreational pilot license.  He’ll get the regular private pilot license after we move.  (Here, I googled that for you.)

This takes some of the stress off of John (both having the exam behind him and getting the rec license first) and will give him proof of competency he can take to the next school.

In other news, it’s stupid-cold today.  I was going to get up when John left for his exam this morning and run before work, but the wind chill was in the single digits.  NO THANK YOU.  So instead, I went at lunch time, when the wind chill was in the teens.  I wore a long-sleeve shirt and TWO jackets.  My body was warm, but my face was cold.  It’s creepy to run wearing a ski mask.  I don’t really know how to get around that problem.  Scarf wrapped around my nose and mouth and cheeks? Hat pulled low over my forehead?  I suppose it’s less creepy than a ski mask, but I’ll still look like I’m going to rob someone.  I’ll even be dressed for the getaway.



Our apartment is on the second floor of this rowhouse, and our bedroom is the room at the back.  It sticks out a little bit past the first floor, and I think that makes John a little nervous.


The floor in our room isn’t perfectly level, and it’s an old house, so it creaks.  His side of the bed is the side towards the back, so….if the house falls apart, he’s going over the edge first.


I wouldn’t say it worries him exactly, but he might not sleep well until we live in a place where he’s not sleeping while hanging out over the open air.

Flying, he can do.  This?  Not so much.  I did offer to switch sides with him, but he says that’s weird.

Found another good one

We went to Osteria 177 for our anniversary dinner.  It’s one of the fancier restaurants on Main Street, and this one was good (so that makes…four? five good ones?).  We went early (skipped lunch), and at 5:30, I think there was only one other table in use.  They sat us in the front window and gave us the waiter several Yelp reviewers raved about.  (They weren’t wrong – he was great.)  Dinner was wonderful, the wine was good, we split a yummy off-menu dessert, and we didn’t spend our entire savings account on it.

Figured I’d get some pictures of us first, and since I’m an Instagrammer now, I posted them there.  Sorry about the cross-pollination, those of you who follow me in both places.  I did NOT take any pictures of or at the restaurant. I may be on Instagram, and I may be guilty of posting the occasional food picture there, but I am not willing to be THAT GUY. Not in a fancy restaurant, anyway. We even dressed up!

Happy 15th anniversary to us!

A photo posted by @zannah42 on

It was bound to happen

Over the years (and especially lately, I don’t know why), I’ve had many close calls.  There have been so very many times I have lost control of a hair band and almost dropped it in the toilet, or fumbled the cap to the toothpaste and nearly dropped it in the toilet, but I’ve always been lucky.  Until today.  Today, my comb, my wonderful, colorful wide-toothed* comb landed squarely (and splashily) in the toilet.  I was ready to toss it, but John is more sentimental than I am.  He pointed out that I’ve had that comb as long as he’s known me.  He’s right – this comb is older than our relationship.  I can’t let it go that easily, so I’m boiling it clean right now.

Hang on, little comb!  I won’t abandon you!

*Wide-tooth or wide-toothed?  Google results are inconclusive.

Flying solo, literally

John soloed today!  He’s back home, alive and well and super-excited.  He texted me a picture of his empty co-pilot’s seat right before his first solo take-off.  That’s the only notice I got.  (I mean, I knew it was possible today, wind-dependent, but that’s how he told me.)  I didn’t have much time to worry (which may have been the point), and I can truthfully say I didn’t worry much.  I’m confident in his (and his instructor’s) assessment of his skills.

He has a couple more boxes to check, a few more hours of practice (both solo and with his instructor), and then he should be licensed.  It’s in sight!  The weather has to cooperate, though.  Flying in winter might be tricky.

Hooray for John!

Mr. Blue Sky

All it takes is one sunny day.  Yesterday was a gloomy, chilly, rainy day.  Today has been the clearest, sunniest day in the history of clear sunny days.  And even though it’s a bit chilly (I wore a scarf with my jacket and hat to lunch), it is glorious.

Good things that happened today, in no particular order:

  • John had a good phone interview for a great job
  • Jess got very positive news about a potential promotion
  • I had a GREAT run this morning (five miles with perfect music)
  • Lunch was half of a delicious burger, split with a giddy Jess
  • Except for one meeting this morning, I have not wanted to reach through my computer screen and throttle anyone

It’s a banner day!  And it’s Friday!



Today, when I say overweight, I’m referring to John’s suitcase.  He’s playing superhero, right?  Well, Captain Wammy has a lot of gear, and it all needs to fit in a suitcase to get to Oregon.  He just filled his suitcase and stepped on the scale – so far, it’s under 50 lbs, but I’m not sure it’ll stay that way.  He’s using a suitcase that’s heavier to begin with, but that’s because it’s also sturdier.  It would suck if his stuff got damaged because something gigantic smashed one of the flimsier suitcases.  I have a feeling my suitcase is going to get filled with various electronic gadgets.

Oh, I’m a sidekick!  Captain Wammy and The Uke, appearing in the nick of time to keep bands from having to cancel gigs at the last minute!

Other sidekick names (I’m trying them out in my head, like “Captain Wammy and….”, even though I don’t think John would be pleased with Captain Wammy.  Greg is hilarious, though, and I like it.):

  • The Voice
  • The Whisper
  • The Diva
  • Strum
  • Hum
  • Fingers McGee
  • Butterfingers
  • Ivory

John to the rescue!

I can’t believe I haven’t told you John’s super-exciting news.  Remember Will, who was the drummer in the band that used to practice in our basement (when we had a basement)?  Well, Will and his family moved to Oregon a couple of years ago, and Will joined a band (The Elena Leona Project).  That band has three gigs next week, and they fired their guitarist last week, and so John is flying to Oregon this weekend to be their guitarist for all three gigs.  Because they want him to, because he can, and because it’s cool.  Everyone involved is very excited.

(I’m going too, of course.  Why wouldn’t I?)

John needs a superhero name, and it needs to be guitar-related.  Ideas:

  • Capo-man
  • Strat-man
  • Strat-ster
  • The Strat
  • Strings
  • The Axe
  • Captain Strat
  • Captain Guitar
  • Fender-man
  • The Amplifier
  • Wammy Bar

Those are terrible.  I’ll keep working on it.  In Oregon!

Update: John says I should take this post down before everyone knows his secret identity.

Any day now

John had his pre-solo check ride Friday afternoon, and it went well enough that if it hadn’t been so windy, he would have flown his first solo flight right after it.  They decided it was a bit too gusty to do it yesterday, and I think I’m a little relieved.  I’m not worried about it, exactly.  I have every faith in John’s abilities, and I trust his instructor to know when John is ready, but I think I’d like to be at the airport when he does it.  Just in case.  I think.  But leaving that aside, John is ready to solo!  Already!  This is very cool.  Soon we’ll be able to hop in a plane to visit people instead of the car.

I think he’s been learning in something like this (assuming Google Images is really showing me pictures of a Piper Warrior):


And here’s the (student) pilot himself:


Sometimes, they’re really truly asking for it

I hit someone yesterday.  Lots of times.  With my fists.  He asked me to.  Insisted, in fact.

Oh, hey, background: I’ve been going to the M/W/F boxing class since that first time I went in early August.  I like it.  A lot.  But that’s not where I hit the guy.  I mean, yes, it was in a boxing class, but not that one (because yesterday was Tuesday, not Monday, Wednesday, or Friday).  John and I both go to the  M/W/F class, with this one instructor (Nick), and a fairly stable group of regulars.  John has been going to the T/Th class with a different instructor (Doug), and for a few months now, he’s been the only person there.  (The class is at 5:30am, it’s at the other location, not everyone likes Doug’s teaching style…)  John has basically been training one-on-one with Doug twice a week, and he really enjoys it (now that he’s convinced Doug that he really doesn’t want anything to do with kickboxing).

Too much background?  I like to explain things.

John has told me a lot about Doug, a lot about how his class is very different from Nick’s, and he’s invited me to go along many times, but I didn’t feel ready.  I feel more comfortable now that I have some basics down (kind of), so I decided Tuesday was the day (since Tuesday was Veteran’s Day and I didn’t have to go to work).  The first thing Doug did once it was my turn on the mat (John and I traded rounds with Doug on the mat, and then in the ring) was stick out his chin and tell me to hit him.  My first jab was somewhat tentative.  “No, HIT me.”  So I did.  Right in the mouth.  Doug: “There.  That’s what it feels like.”  Then he put his hands up, and he let me hit him, sometimes blocking, sometimes not.  I think he was trying to get me recognize openings and also stop dropping my right hand (’cause then he’d tap me on right side of my head).  Early on, I hit him with a left hook to the ear, HARD, said, “OH, I’m sorry,” and he said not to worry about it.  That I can’t hit him hard enough to hurt him.  I know I’m new at this, but he says the same thing to John, who has a powerful arm.  And seriously, guys, I landed that one.  ON HIS EAR.  And he didn’t even blink.  His head must be stone.  After that, I got over my fear of hitting him and took him at his word that I couldn’t hurt him.  You want me to hit you?  I’ll hit you.  I’ll try, anyway.

So that was fun.  I’ll go back.  I just don’t know if I can take boxing five days a week.  Plus, if I’m boxing every morning, when will I run?  John hasn’t been running at all, and he’s missing it.  We’ll have to figure this out.

Bathroom tile breaks sometimes

John and I bought the bathroom tile yesterday morning, and then we spent today actually laying it down.  We have completed a very (very) important step in this mini bathroom remodel.  First, we did the layout.  We needed to know how many whole tiles we could use and how many (and how much) we’d have to cut.

Not sure why we didn’t put that one missing piece in – maybe I figured we had the idea?

From another angle:

Oh, hey, there’s the piece. Camouflage.

Then we picked them all up and started actually setting the tile with mortar and stuff.  I helped (a little).  Once all the whole pieces were down, John started cutting the other pieces to fit and oh dear god that is one of the WORST noises ever in the whole entire world.  Also, one of our three boxes of tile had a whole bunch of tiles that kept breaking and NOT along the line John was trying to cut them.  Very irritating.  And I’m shuddering just remembering the noise of the tile cutter.  My skin is crawling.

Here are all the tiles actually glued down.

All those little spacers kinda make it look like Arlington Cemetery in there.

The only pieces missing are the two up near the shower.  One will be whole, but the other has to be cut in a L shape – that’s going to be difficult.  Almost certainly beyond the capability of our cheap little tile cutter.

Then we’re going to paint (still deciding on a color – suggestions?), put the molding back on, grout, put the quarter-round back on, put the toilet back in, and oh yeah – we still have to buy a replacement vanity and sink.  So it’ll probably be a couple more weekends before we’re done.

In progress

I didn’t take a before picture.  Oops.  Yesterday, we took out the toilet (fairly straightforward) and the vanity (not so straightforward) and ripped up the linoleum floor.  The vanity had been put in around the existing plumbing, when the house was built, so it wouldn’t just come out after we removed the valves on the hot and cold water pipes.  We had a choice – cut the pipes or cut the back of the vanity.  John chose to cut the vanity (we’re replacing it anyway).  Also, the cold water pipe kept on dribbling water even though the water was turned off to the whole house.  So, you know, that was fun to keep cleaning up.  But now there’s a big empty space where it used to be.

I’m waving at you. Say hi!

And there’s a toilet in the office.

Today we measured and cut the backerboard (what the tile will be glued to) and John glued it down to the floor.

You can see the hole where the toilet belongs.  (There’s a rag stuffed in it – apparently that’s necessary.  I’d rather not wonder why.)  The shop vac is where the vanity goes.  I took the picture standing just outside the shower.  Next we buy the tiles.

My birthday outing

(My post title sounds like a Scrubs episode.)

My birthday present from John (aside from a heart-shaped Boston cream donut and tickets to see Three Dog Night in May – that’s going to be very cool) was a day in DC doing tourist-y things, something that we’d been talking about doing for a very long time.  The main attraction (and what gave him the idea) was this traveling Puppetry in America exhibit on display in the American History Exhibit from now until mid-April.  Among other things, it has muppets, so we went to see Scooter, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, and Cookie Monster.

I love the muppets.

From there, we headed for the National Gallery of Art, but our nasty habit of getting there shortly before it closes lives on.  We saw the Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections exhibit, a couple of American landscapes (Lake Lucerne, Spirit of War, The Voyage of Life paintings) and ran up against 5pm, so we headed for dinner.  Where, you ask?  Ethiopian, of course!  We went to Meskerem in Adams Morgan for the first time in years.  The food holds up, but the restaurant could use a facelift.  Then it was back to our car and home to rescue Riley (and more birthday cake for dessert).

The weather was perfect, and it was a beautiful day.

Saturday is running away from me

I don’t know what happened.  I got up fairly early (8-ish), had a quick breakfast, went to the gym.  Well, that’s part of the problem: it was 11:30 when I got home.  Spent over an hour fighting to get Ubuntu to recognize my phone and when I gave up on that, AirDroid took forever to download the pictures off the phone.  Finally switched to my work laptop (running Windows), which has no problem recognizing my phone, so now I’ve backed everything up.  Today’s the day for a new phone.  I think.  I need to upgrade to a new version of Linux on my laptop, but when we looked at that last weekend, we found that my graphics card is too old to handle the latest version of Ubuntu (which is supposed to have no problems recognizing cell phones).  So…new laptop?  Maybe soon.  Phone first, since I had the screen problem (went dark and wouldn’t come back without a reboot prompted by removing and replacing the battery) three times this morning.  Super irritating.  Anyway, after the phone/laptop drama, John and I went into the basement to see if we could find more stuff to get rid of (we could), and now all of a sudden it’s almost 4.  Boo.  And we still need to make a run to Target.  I won’t make John come with me to the Sprint store.  When we went to replace his phone last month, we were there for nearly three hours.  I’m bringing my book.