Things I’d like to try

If money and time were no object, I would at least try everything in this list.  And continue the things I’ve started.  And still make time for all the reading.  Basically, I would not be bored.

  • Drawing/sketching
  • Painting?  Maybe
  • Dancing – all types
  • Horseback riding – all types
  • Piano lessons
  • French lesson
  • Welsh lessons
  • Ukulele lessons
  • Guitar?  Maybe
  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • Sky-diving
  • Probably lots of other things I can’t think of right now

I need to hurry up and win the lottery.

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.

To Do, Part 1, Move 3

We’re past the halfway mark for Annapolis (that happened a month ago).  These next three months are going to FLY by.  We’re super-excited, but the list of things we have to get done is growing.

  1. Visit Oregon again and find a place to live.  I’m on lots of apartment rental sites, but the first thing we have to do is plan the visit.  When are we going?  How long are we staying?  I need to call places and make appointments and maybe try a real estate agent or two.
  2. Call moving companies.  Get estimates.  The last move was 4 and a half months ago.  On the one hand, that’s long enough to have dimmed the pain.  On the other hand, it’s not that long, and I still want movers.  PLUS, we’ll be driving across the country, and I’d rather not caravan.  How miserable would that trip be with John in the truck and me in the car?  Much more fun if we can do it together.
  3. Continue to get rid of stuff.  The purging won’t be as drastic as the last two times, but there are still things we can (and want to) get rid of rather than take along to Oregon.

Hm.  That’s not too bad, actually.  Those are the big items.  The more detailed lists will come up as we make some decisions and get closer.

I did stuff!

Yesterday was kind of blah (and SO rainy), but today the sky is shining (yeah, I know, but I like it) and I did things!

Here are the things that I did:

  • Exercised!  Well, that was yesterday, technically, but my arms and shoulders are sore today, so I feel like I accomplished something, and it counts for today because I feel it today.
  • Went for a walk with John!  It was chilly but pretty, and I got Starbucks on the way back.
  • Facial at Massage Envy!  Supposed to be once a month, but I haven’t been since July.  I went to the Annapolis location, bought some stuff I was out of, let someone massage my face for 50 minutes, and left happy.
  • Went to Panera!  Panera is in the same shopping center as Massage Envy, and my appointment was at lunch time, so I picked up lunch AND dinner to go.  Today’s food crisis: resolved!
  • Picked up pants!  When I went to Athleta with Jess a couple of weeks ago, I bought a pair of pants that needed hemming (they offer free hemming when you buy in the store), and they were ready on Monday.  I was not in town on Monday, but I am now, so I picked them up today.  Yay pants!
  • Watched the trailer for the third Captain America movie!  Okay, that was last night, too, but I watched it AGAIN today, and we might just watch Winter Soldier tonight (yes, Dad, AGAIN).

Maybe that last bullet shouldn’t count as something I accomplished today, but I’m excited about the movie and I get to choose the list, so….yeah.  Also, I didn’t include helping Corey with his blog questions because I don’t think I helped.  So that doesn’t count.  Is it sad that I’m starting to think productivity means leaving the apartment?

Horror movies

One of my coworkers is a horror movie buff. I noticed a reddit thread the other day about horror movies that were actually horrifying, and I thought of that coworker, so I sent him the link.  (I didn’t actually read the discussion myself.  Not my thing.)  He then proceeded to make me a list, a very long list, of good horror movies that I should see (his definition, of course).  There are 18(ish) movies on that list.  I humored him, of course, and maybe I’ll watch some of them, but for the most part, I think that would be a really stupid move for me.  I am easily scared.  Easily freaked out.  Like, woke-up-from-a-nightmare-the-other-night-and-was-too-afraid-to-go-back-to-sleep easily freaked out (for real – that happened Sunday night).  The Sixth Sense gave me nightmares, for crying out loud.

I want to like scary movies, but almost every time I try one, I end up regretting it.  It’s not fun.  I  have mostly learned from those past mistakes.  I know it’s not a good idea for me try any of the movies on his list, but I still kind of want to.  Maybe during the day.  A bright, sunny day.  Which is how I watched Cabin in the Woods, suggested by the same coworker (he didn’t suggest the middle of the day part – that was my idea).  I really enjoyed that one, but it’s not a typical horror movie, so I’m not sure it counts.

Should I try again?  Maybe I’ll become inured to them.  I’ll toughen up and be able to just enjoy the movie and let it go after.  Or should I give it up?  I’m 36 years old – maybe that’s old enough to know I’m not going to get over this.

I don’t feel like giving up.

Here’s his list (not comprehensive, and in no particular order – he was thinking of them off the top of his head):

  • Let The Right One In
  • High Tension
  • Eden Lake
  • The Orphanage
  • Audition
  • Pontypool
  • Babadook
  • Bad Milo
  • Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Verner
  • Evil Dead movies
  • Dead Alive
  • Dog Soldiers
  • The Grey (he says it’s not scary, but it’s good)
  • The Mist
  • Pan’s Labyrinth
  • Silent Hill
  • Slither
  • Sunshine
  • The Thing
  • Trick ‘r Treat

Impatient

This has been the longest day.  It started too early (4:45 alarm so John could get up for the Tuesday/Thursday boxing class), and I got in to work before 8.  At 10:20, I was ready for lunch.  We’re going away this weekend, and all I want to pay attention to is getting ready for that.  I’ve got laundry to finish (one more load to go, and I don’t actually need anything in it – I just want it done), and….rather than keep going, I’m going to make a list.  It’ll be more useful to me.

  • Laundry – last load – get it through washer and dryer tonight when I get home from work
  • Clean my bathroom
  • Pick up all over house
  • ·         Cash for cab to airport (if we’re taking a cab…)
  • Decide if we’re taking a cab
    • If we are, call and arrange it
    • Get cash – some of them (most of them) take credit cards, but it’s kind of a pain
  • Print notes for the pet sitter
  • Check in for flight
  • Pack
    • 3 nights, 3 days
    • Not even going to pretend I might exercise
    • Won’t be that cold – regular coat, not super-duper warm one (that takes up more space)
    • Aaaannnnddd I’m not going to bore you with the rest of my packing details

If I’m this distracted today, I don’t know how I’m going to get through tomorrow.

A swing and a miss

I went to Starbucks this morning, the one with the drive-thru.  I like this one for a couple of reasons:

  1. It has a drive-thru.  I’m lazy and I don’t want to get out of my car.  Also, this drive-thru tends to be faster than going inside and standing in line (the two times I’ve done that at this particular location).
  2. They make my wonderful syrupy drink the right way.  The other Starbucks with a drive-thru (closer to my office) ALWAYS messes it up.  Somehow, they manage to make it taste kinda fruity.  Every time.  So I don’t go there anymore.
  3. Every once in a while, someone starts a pay-for-the-car-behind-you chain.  It’s nice, and I like that it happens somewhat regularly, regularly enough that I’ve been in that chain half a dozen times in the last few months.

Today was one of those days.  I got to the window, and the cashier (is she a barista?) told me that the woman in the car in front of me paid for my coffee.  I handed her my card and asked her to ring up the car behind me, and when the cashier handed me my card and my receipt, she said, “She also wanted you to have this,” and handed me a CD.  A music CD, in a sleeve, like many of the others Starbucks sells.  How exciting!  That’s different – maybe that woman just wanted to make someone’s day (more than buying their order would)!  I’d never heard of the guy on the CD, but I’m open to new music.  This could be cool.  Happy Monday!

Well, I got into the office and googled it.  Surprise!  It’s Christian rock.  I don’t think that should be allowed.  I mean, Christian rock should be allowed to exist (I guess), but proselytizing* via the Starbucks drive-thru is not cool.

Hm.  It just occurred to me – I don’t think she bought it at Starbucks for me.  I assumed she had, but I doubt Starbucks would sell it.  I think she gave it to them to give to me.  Weird and weirder.  Well, it’s not working.  I’ve spent half the day wondering how I should get rid of it.  Do I know anyone who might appreciate it?  Not really.  I don’t want to just leave it somewhere or give it to some unsuspecting stranger – that’s how I got it, and it didn’t make my day.  And I’m hesitant to just throw it out.  Maybe John knows someone.  Or I can always leave it at a church.  I know where I can find some of those.

*Maybe she wasn’t proselytizing.  Maybe the guy on the CD is her boyfriend or husband or son or cousin, and she’s helping him gain a wider audience.

Passwords

We all have too many accounts and too many passwords.  This is not a new problem, I know, but it’s been steadily getting worse since the early days of mainstream internet access.  Back in 1996, I only had my AOL account and password to remember.  Now I have more accounts than I can easily list. I can usually figure my password out for a particular account, but it sometimes takes me a couple of tries, and there have been any number of times I’ve had to use the Forgot Password? link or (gasp) had to actually call tech support for help.  I know you’re not supposed to keep a list or file of your passwords, and so far, I never have, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I really need to.  Chalk it up to an aging (WordPress seems to think it should be spelled ageing.  I think that’s crazy.) memory or an overabundance of accounts – it doesn’t matter to me.  But how should I do it?

  1. Create a text file that holds all that information and keep it on a thumb drive I carry with me at all times.
  2. Same as above, but keep it hidden safe at home somewhere.  Safer than #1, but not at all useful if I need to log in to something away from home, which happens ALL the time.
  3. Save that file in Google Docs (or Dropbox or something similar) and password protect it.  Is that really secure?
  4. Use one of those password manager applications, like the one that creates crazy (but secure) passwords for each of your accounts, then saves them for you in a password-protected file/app/website/thing you can access anywhere.  Assuming the password you use to get into that application is one you can remember, it seems like a huge pain in the ass to have to access that application just to log in to every place we need to log in nowadays.

#4 there seems to place more of an emphasis on making sure all those individual passwords I already can’t remember are actually secure, which is nice, but not really what I was after when I started thinking about my problem.  What other options do I have?  Are any of those good ideas?

 

 

Do you know what is awesome?

You probably know lots of things that are awesome, but I have a nostalgic (for me, anyway) addition to my list of Things That Are Awesome.  (Note to self: post list of Things That Are Awesome.  Everyone should have a list of Things That Are Awesome.)  In college, I went to Au Bon Pain for lunch fairly regularly (it was just off campus – probably still there), and I always got a turkey sandwich on a croissant with lettuce and honey mustard.  GREAT sandwich.  But it was the honey mustard I kept going back for.  It had the consistency of honey instead of mustard, and it had more of a horseradish-like kick.  I loved it.  But then we moved away, to places that don’t have Au Bon Pain, and I was left without this fantastic honey mustard.  I found a bagel shop in Newport that used it (or something very similar), but that was 11 years ago.  Au Bon Pain doesn’t have many (or any, in some cases) restaurants in the places we’ve lived since Newport, and I have tried many different honey mustard dressings.  (I’m not obsessive dedicated enough to try to make my own, but you probably already knew that.  I hope.)  Today, for the first time in, yeah, about 11 years, I found my way back to an Au Bon Pain (they just opened one in the building I work in when I’m in DC), and I ordered my sandwich.  Same honey mustard, same kick-ass sandwich.  Awesome!

What?  You think it’s weird that my list of Things That Are Awesome includes a sandwich?  It includes more than one sandwich, so there.

Musing on nothing in particular

  • John caught Riley drinking my coffee this morning.  Later, he (Riley, not John) knocked the trash can down the basement steps and possibly ate some of the coffee grounds that spilled out.  Is my dog a caffeine junkie?  How did this happen?  How did I not notice?  It would certainly explain the high-strung behavior…
  • John made a pot roast (roast beef?  Is there a difference?  I don’t really care – delicious either way) for dinner tonight.  The house smells fantastic – like red wine and onions.  Warm red wine and onions.
  • I got a 96% on my fourth homework assignment in my data modeling class.  I was debating whether or not to argue with the professor because I think (and John agrees) that she’s wrong about that one answer.  I decided not to.  I got a 96%.  Arguing for a 100% isn’t necessary.  I’m letting it go.
  • I’m drinking white wine instead of red even though we’re having pot roast (or roast beef) for dinner tonight.  Ask me if I care.  (Hint: I don’t.)

How is that helpful?

I’ve been having some problems with my cell phone lately.  My wonderful was-state-of-the-art-almost-a-year-and-a-half-ago phone.  That I still love.  Except for these problems.  I’m going to list them.  Because I like lists.  And choppy sentences.

  1. My phone reboots when I’m using the Hulu or Netflix app to watch TV.  I can get through about 20 minutes and then my phone turns itself off and takes forEVER to turn itself back on.  Much longer than the usual startup time.  And it’s not a battery problem – I usually have at least half the battery life left.  Maybe it’s an overheating problem, but it doesn’t happen to John when he watches something for that long (or longer) on his phone.  And once it reboots once, it’ll do it again within about five minutes.  Irritating.
  2. My battery only lasts about four hours, even when I’m barely using my phone.  I don’t leave unnecessary or power-hungry apps running when they don’t need to be.  I don’t know why I would see such a sudden change.  Maybe my battery is going.
  3. My phone can’t find the GPS satellite anymore.  The last few times I’ve turned on the GPS…tracker..thingy, my phone says it’s searching for the satellite and never finds it.

So I called Sprint for help.  Oh my god.  It started out promising.  The tech I talked to had a deep, calm, capable voice, and he was very nice, but it was all a lie.  Well, not all.  He was calm and his voice stayed deep.  And he was nice.  Not so capable, though.  He was kind of an idiot, and he clearly didn’t understand how the phone works.  The GPS thing completely threw him.  But it was over half an hour before he gave up.  He did absolutely nothing to help me.  He couldn’t even give me an idea of what the problem might be.  The next step is to take it to a repair center.  I might try talking to HTC first, though.  Actually, I think the very next step will be to put John’s battery in my phone and test my issues.  He’s not having any of these problems.  If that doesn’t work, I’ll call HTC.  Then try the repair center.

I love three-day weekends

I was looking over my list for the weekend and I realized I left off something important.

  1. Do my homework (I have an assignment due for Data Modeling and Design)
  2. Finish Faithful Place
  3. Start The Hunger Games
  4. Exercise
  5. Grocery store
  6. Blah blah other boring things
  7. Oh, also SLEEP
  8. Aren’t I forgetting something? Oh, yeah.

  9. GET MY NAILS DONE

How could I forget about that?  Something of such global importance?  Silly me.  I also don’t remember what the other boring things were (#6), so I’m considering them done.  But look how productive I was!  Homework, reading, and sleeping.  Good for me.  And the gym.  Better for me.  Poor John is still miserable (and he has to go to work today – poor John, indeed).  He spent most of the weekend resting.

I am going to finish The Hunger Games before I tackle the rest of my busy day.  OR…I could go to the store now and get my one chore out of the way early…  Decisions, decisions.

Sore (not Thor)

I can’t even count the ways that I am sore.  Last  night was my first night back at my Muscle Blast and yoga classes since Thanksgiving.  I’m very happy to be back, I really like those classes, but oh my god I hurt so much now.  Every muscle we worked on is screaming at me.  The aches sorta crept in one by one throughout the day, but they’re all here now.  Hi everybody!  Now go away.

I spent the entire day in a tiny little room with my boss (plus an hour and a half each way in a car with her to get to that tiny little room).  I need some space.  I need some alone time.  And I need some sleep.

You know what’s awesome?  Tomorrow’s Friday and it’s the beginning of a three-day weekend!  You know what’s awesome-er than awesome?  The first season (well, the 2005 season) of Doctor Who arrived in the mail yesterday!  With extras and commentary and lots of hours of Doctor and Rose goodness.

Does anyone know where we can find the last season of Torchwood (the season set in the US) online?  It was on Netflix for a little while, but it’s gone now.

My plan for the weekend:

  1. Do my homework (I have an assignment due for Data Modeling and Design)
  2. Finish Faithful Place
  3. Start The Hunger Games
  4. Exercise
  5. Grocery store
  6. Blah blah other boring things
  7. Oh, also SLEEP

Not even close

What were my goals for this past weekend?  Right.

  1. Complete two statistics quizzes
  2. Run six miles
  3. Buy groceries
  4. Go to Target
  5. Weed the flower beds

Out of five things, I managed to do only one.  ONE.  That’s pathetic.  Statistics is way more time-consuming that I expected.  I didn’t even make it to the first of those two quizzes.  I’m still doing the homework problems. I did run my six miles, but the rest of my list was left undone.

I hate that.

Things I’m anxious about today

I woke up this morning a little crazy with anxiety.  The worst thing about it is that I woke up with a list of all the things I should be doing on a loop in my head, and then I froze.  I could have gotten up right then to get started on the list, but did I?  No, I stayed in bed.  Because I could put off all the hard things.  I do that all the time (procrastinate).   Of course, that gives me less time overall to get everything done, so all it really does is ratchet up the anxiety a little more.  Not exactly helpful behavior.

Instead, let’s a play a game (courtesy of Mom) called “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Anxiety Causing Thing #1: Quiz #4 for vector calculus and the midterm I have to take on Thursday

What’s the worst that could happen?  Well, I could get all the answers wrong on my quiz, but that doesn’t affect my grade (just makes my professor think I’m an idiot), so there isn’t anything to worry about there.  Of course, my performance on my quizzes is an indicator of my performance on the midterm, so if I don’t do well on my quizzes, I may not do well on my midterm.  And I could fail my midterm.  So what if I do?  I won’t have a very good grade in my calculus class.  That would be a blow to my ego (something I could survive), and it may put me on the road to failing this class.  What if I fail the class?  I’m taking it online at a community college because I need the prereq for grad school.  If I fail it, I’m out approximately $350.  If I fail it, I can retake it later.  Will I fail it?  Probably not.  I may not get an A.  I may not even get a B.  But I probably won’t fail.  I submitted my quiz this morning (confident that I got three out of four right), so that’s out of my hands, and I still have today, tomorrow, Wednesday, and part of Thursday to study for the midterm.  Breathe deep.

Anxiety Causing Thing #2: Work

What’s the worst that could happen?  I could get fired.  Or laid off.  Or whatever.  That could happen, but there’s nothing I can do about it (and there’s no immediate indication that it’s coming), so that’s not what’s making me edgy.  There’s nothing specific about work that’s bothering me.  No major deadlines, no one is asking me to do anything I’m not capable of, I don’t have any issues with any coworkers.  I just don’t like it.  I don’t want to come here every day.  (I know, whine whine whine, most people don’t actually like going to work.)  I want to do something with flexible hours where I can work from home and have more time for me.  The math that’s stressing me out is the first step in that direction, so this is more of a low-level, back-burner, always-bugging-me sort of thing that every once in a while jumps up and says, “Hey!  Loser!  Worry about me!”

Anxiety Causing Thing #3: Army Ten-Miler

Did I tell you about this?  A few weeks ago, John registered to run in the Army Ten-Miler this October, and I caved to the very mild peer pressure and registered with him.  So what’s the worst that could happen?  I’ll be so slow that the bus that picks up the slowpokes who aren’t going to finish in the required time will pick me up.  Humiliating.  I have 17 weeks to train for it.  I had more, but I didn’t use them.  I can’t procrastinate on this one, so every day I don’t start this training plan gets under my skin, and I didn’t run today.  Well, I kinda did.  I sprinted around the block (up the hills) a couple of times with the dogs this morning.  My math anxiety trumped my race anxiety this morning – I spent the extra time on my quiz.  (SuzRocks sent me a link to a half-marathon training plan.  I figure if I’m capable of running a half-marathon by the time I finish training, ten miles should seem easy.  Ish.  I just need to start the &^$* training plan.)

There are other things that bug me (there are always other things), but those are the three I woke up with this morning.  Peace, serenity, lots of gym time tonight, some studying…I’ve got it under control.

Happy thoughts!

What I don’t want to be when I grow up

Nine professions I’m not well-suited for:

1. Construction worker
Pros – Working outside, lots of exercise
Cons – It’s hard work!  Also, I get sunburned easily.  And I don’t want skin cancer.  And pollution.  All that machinery puts out a LOT of exhaust, and I’d rather not breathe that in all day long.

2. Police officer
Pros – I’d get to keep people safe and chase down bad guys
Cons – I’d have to chase down bad guys, and I wouldn’t be safe.  I don’t particularly want a job that puts me in harm’s way.

3. Baker
Pros – The smell of freshly baked bread every day.
Cons – Trying not to eat that freshly baked bread EVERY DAY.  I’d gain weight like crazy.

4. Butcher
Pros – I like meat.
Cons – I don’t particularly want to wield the cleaver that dismembers Lucy the Lamb and Carl the Cow.  I like my food better when it doesn’t look like the animal it came from.  Becoming a butcher could turn me into a vegetarian.

5. Candlestick maker
Pros – Power outages would not be a problem.
Cons – From what I understand, it’s hot, sticky, smelly work.  So’s being a butcher, I imagine.  Hot, sticky, and smelly are three of my least favorite sensations, especially when they’re combined.

6. CIA agent
Pros – It’s very cool.  (I’m thinking of the Mission: Impossible type, of course.)  All that weapons training and fighting stuff, defensive driving and jumping out of helicopters – very cool.
Cons – DANGEROUS.  And probably pretty boring most of the time.  Because life is not actually a movie.  I don’t want to have to lie about my job to everyone I know.

7. Doctor
Pros – Money.  Helping people.  Saving lives.  Probably not boring.
Cons – I’m a little squeamish, so anything involving bodily fluids is most likely not for me.  And if someone breaks a leg or an arm and the bone is sticking out – I might faint.  LONG hours.

8. Tooth Fairy
Pros – I’d get to wear a tutu and wings (I can fly!) and hell – I’d be a fairy!  That’s pretty cool.  And I’d have so much money I’d be constantly giving it away.
Cons – I’m not a night person.  Working all night, every night does not sound like a good time to me.  Also, I’m crazy clumsy (constantly bruising my knees and elbows), so sneaking around kids’ rooms and reaching under their pillows without waking them up is probably impossible for me.  I’m not qualified.  And what would I do with all those teeth?

9. Lion Tamer
Pros – It’s the circus!  And oh, the baby lions I’d get to train…so cute.
Cons – Adult lions.  Christian the Lion aside, I doubt adult lions would really want to perform in front of huge crowds.  I don’t want to get eaten by my “trained” lions.