I love summer

You want to know what I’m doing right now?  Right this very second?  Well, I’m typing on my laptop (obvs), sitting in a chair in my backyard, with corn on the grill (John says it’s a barbecue because it’s charcoal not gas, but I don’t think that distinction has anything to do with reality), soon to be joined by steak (the corn, not me – the steak will not be joining me until I eat it, and then we two will become one), listening to John strum his banjo.  The only thing that would make this better, right this very second, is if I were drinking wine instead of water, but I’m doing the smart thing and avoiding those empty calories tonight because I did not avoid the empty calories of buttered banana bread at lunchtime.  Gotta make choices, and I choose banana bread and corn and steak.  The wine will still be there next week.  Or when the banana bread is gone, whichever comes first.  Willpower!

Some blathering

I gave myself a papercut just below the nail on my middle finger while wrapping a present.  That’ll teach me to buy presents for people.

Why would I say “I gave myself” the papercut?  I got a papercut.  The vindictive wrapping paper gave me the papercut.  It was revenge for the scissors use.

Inanimate objects around here have agendas.  I have to be on alert.

I have posters and things to hang on walls.  We’re moving in less than three months.  Seems silly to hang things up now.  Might do it anyway.  Just not today.

The mighty motormouth

I couldn’t make myself stop talking today.  (Yeah, yeah, you’re a bunch of comedians.)

I talked the ears off people in my work meetings, I asked a ton of questions during my riding lesson, and I kept up a constant stream of chatter directed at Tigger when Wendy wasn’t handy.  I’m usually self-conscious about talking to the horse, which is why the nonstop babbling caught my attention.  I talked to him while catching him, walking him to the stable, grooming him, walking him to the arena, while cooling him off and walking him back to the stable and feeding him treats.  He didn’t toss me today, so I hope that means he appreciated the attention.

It’s more likely I wore him down so much he didn’t have the energy to shake me loose.

Can’t brain today

Staring blankly at the screen is not going to make an idea appear.  It’s like watching a pot, and MAN that was a hard one for me to think up.  First sentence written, second sentence totally blocked.  I got stuck on the pot adjective.  It’s like watching what KIND of pot?  What describes the pot?  This is a saying – “like watching a _____ pot” – what’s the missing word?

Oh, right.

A watched pot.  Totally screwed up that idiom.  (You’re an idiom.  Your MOM’S an idiom.)  I think maybe I need some sleep.  6am felt earlier today than usual, and work felt more overwhelming, and I went to yoga for the first time in a week, and I could feel it, and 6am is going to come even earlier tomorrow, so I’m out.  Me and my watched pot are going to bed.

Self-motivation

It’s raining outside.  It’s cold outside.  Two reasons not to run outside, even though it’s my running day.  I should go to the gym instead.

I hate running on the treadmill.

Well, I don’t have to use the treadmill.  I could use the elliptical thing that’s not an elliptical that I like.

But it’s at the gym and I have to go the gym to use it.

Yeah, but I was going to have to go to the trail to run on it, so what’s the difference?

It’s the gym.

The gym has wi-fi and I can watch an episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend while I work out.

Yeah, but…that’s a compelling argument.  Fine.  I’ll go to the gym.

Our fine feathered friend

So…this happened today.  (Apologies to those of you who saw this on Twitter already.)

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I’ve been meaning to write about the turkey in our neighborhood.  We think it’s someone’s pet, but it seems to have the run of the block.  We’ve seen it in the alley in the middle of the block and on each of the four streets surrounding us.  And it’s definitely bigger than it used to be.

I hope it doesn’t turn into someone’s dinner.

Habits

I occasionally think about changing my blogging habits and writing in the morning instead of the afternoon or evening, but I think that might not be a good idea.  If I write in the morning, the posts will be about the mornings.  When it’s really early, I’ll bitch and moan about the dark and the cold and oh it’s so early and I want to go back to bed.  If the sun is up, I’ll rhapsodize about the sun and the sky and the birds and how wonderful it is to be up and awake and alive.  You know – you’ve read both types of posts here before.

It’s really early now (and it’s dark and it’s cold), but I’m avoiding the trap because I am self-aware (and self-congratulatory), and I noticed that what I was inspired to type is the same thing that I think to myself nearly every morning, and I have written about it several times before.  I’m also self-aware enough to know that I fell right into the trap in the previous sentence, but I’m giving myself a pass on that because I’m in a forgiving mood.

The light! It burns!

I am going outside.  I know – AGAIN.  But it’s the first time today, so you know I’m not overdoing it.  We wouldn’t want that.

I’m just going to sit in the backyard for a few minutes to read.  The backyard that needs mowing and watering and weeding.

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The front yard needs almost as much work, but I cleverly took a picture that shows the sidewalk and the neighbor’s yard up the street instead.

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Some thoughts

Simone Biles is wearing glitter eyeliner, and it’s making my eyes water.  How is glitter not getting in her eyes?  Maybe it’s magic glitter eyeliner.  She’s got connections.

I helped an old lady with the treadmill at the gym today.  She thought I was 30.  She’s my new best friend.

When I went outside to take the trash out to the curb, I found a scary looking spider in the middle of a web that was stretched between the trash bin and the recycling bin.  Both had to go to the street, so I had to destroy the web.  I’m afraid that spider will be looking for revenge.  Better put my spider traps out tonight.*

*Yeah, I don’t know.  I don’t have spider traps.

Totally useless

I’ve known for a long time that I can’t listen to music with words when I’m working because I end up typing what I’m hearing (or singing along to) instead of, you know, work stuff.  Apparently, this is also a problem when blogging.  Or it could just be that I don’t have anything specific to say today, so I’m easily sidetracked.  I was going to write something about Pokémon Go (I saw teenagers playing in the park today, I think), but that went nowhere, mostly because “I saw people playing it” is all I have to say, and then there was something about boiling eggs and having one explode in the pot every time, but really – where was I going with that?  Nowhere, according to Regina Spektor, who was determined to have me type about breaking her heart instead of exploding eggs.  It’s not all about you, Regina!  Sometimes it’s about being unable to boil eggs correctly.  I gotta go talk to Julia Child.

Empty-headed

Moan moan moan, bitch bitch bitch.  I just scrapped two paragraphs of complaining about not being able to run.  You can thank me later.

Instead, I’ll treat you to a few minutes of the nonsense that lives in my brain.  Fun.

Ready?  Here we go.

“Shake Your Groove Thing” is the last thing I heard before I got out of the car today, so I’ll be randomly shouting “yeah, yeah” for the next several days.  I know I’m supposed to think of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert when I hear it, but I always go to That 70s Show first, then Drew Carey, then Priscilla.  [Edited to point out that those are links to YouTube videos (fun), not IMDB (boring).]  I’m sure that means something about pop culture, and probably isn’t a positive for me, but since I end up with all three, I’ll call it a win.  I don’t like how Priscilla is spelled.  Makes me think of cilia and pisces, and I get stuck with uncomfortable images of slimy sea creatures with lots of legs or maybe tentacles.  Unpleasant.  I would never name someone Priscilla.  What kind of a nickname would she have?  Prissy?  Awful.  Silly, but spelled Scilly?  Or Cilly?  Please no.  And if she spelled it Scilly and wrote it down that way, she’d get called “Skilly”.  No matter what version of her name she used with people who know her, she’d become one of those people who gives a fake name like Jane or Carol at restaurants and coffee shops because people never say or spell her name right.  True story: I once gave my name as Alice at the IHOP in Ashburn.  I figured that was an easy one.  Easy to say, easy to spell.*  I glanced down at the list and saw that the hostess had spelled it “Alys”.  Can’t win.  And the problem with fake names is remembering which one you used.  You can miss your table (or your coffee) that way.  Hasn’t happened to me yet, but I usually take the even easier way out and make John give his name for us.  Works every time.

And scene.

*No exaggeration: I typed “slepp” instead of “spell” three times before I got it right.

Funny tidbit

You know how when you call a business from your cell phone, your screen shows you information about that business, like their number, maybe their hours, and their address?  I never pay much attention to it because I’m ON the phone and that info is pressed against my cheek.  Today, I called the Massage Envy I used to go to in Virginia because I needed to update my credit card information, and I used my headset so the phone was on the desk.  As I hung up, I noticed that it told me how far away the Massage Envy is from me.  Right now.  Like I needed to know that Massage Envy is 2335 miles away.  Maybe it’s so if I make an appointment I’ll give myself plenty of time to get there.

2335 miles doesn’t seem far enough…aaaaaannnnd it’s not.  Google Maps says it’s 2800 miles away.  You’d think my phone would use Google Maps.  It IS a Google Android phone.  Maybe I read the screen wrong.  Anyway, I’m tickled.

I laugh, therefore I am

I amuse myself.  As in, I think I’m funny.  I don’t think I’m FUNNY-funny.  I’m not comedian-funny.  And I fail (like falling down and landing with a thud fail) when I TRY to be funny.  But I think I’m funny.  I make myself laugh.

Is that weird?  I feel like it would be sad if I couldn’t make myself laugh.  I can tell myself a joke, and I’ll laugh at it.  (I don’t do that often.)  It’s comforting.  It’s like I’m company for myself.  It’s enough for me that I’m funny enough for me.  It’s okay if other people don’t find me funny because I’m not trying to be funny for other people.  I’m not asking you if you think I’m funny because that’s not really a question I want to ask – it’s not what I’m about.  I’m not trying to be funny for me, either – I just sometimes find myself very amusing.  Does that sound smug?  I’m afraid it sounds smug.  I’m not trying to be smug.

I will stop with the naval-gazing now.  Sorry.  Not smug, just self-absorbed.  🙂

 

Those who falter and those who fall

May I have your attention, please? Attention, please.  I have accomplished a great feat of laundry tonight.  And juggling.  I would appreciate it if you would hold your applause until the end.

After three months of living in this apartment, doing laundry in the dank smelly basement with a folding table (that I don’t use) that has a ring of dirt on it (from a potted plant, maybe) and a floor that I know has flooded at least twice since we’ve been here, I have FINALLY managed to do a complete load of laundry (complete meaning both washers followed by both dryers, since they are NOT full-size units) WITHOUT dropping a single article of clothing on the gross, icky floor.

Your applause would be welcome now.

I will admit that it was a close thing.  One pair of my underwear landed on my shoulder on its way from the dryer to the laundry bag.  My shoulder is infinitely more preferable than the floor, so I forgave it.

Usually, a sock lands on the floor and I start yelling (“EW!  Grossgrossgrossgrossgrossyuckewgrossugh”) as I swoop down to pick it up (hopefully not dropping anything else in the meantime) and shake it SO very forcefully.  The yelling helps de-grossify it, and the harder I can shake it, the more I’m convinced the grossness falls away.  I have not yet resorted to running anything through the wash again, but it’s only a matter of time.

It’s too soon to tell if I have crossed a threshold, but now that I’ve managed to set this record, I’ll work twice as hard to defend it.  No more clean clothing of ours will hit that disgusting floor.  This I swear.  This I swear by…the stars.

Another mystery solved

Yesterday, I explained where your missing socks are (too bad they can’t carry cameras – their vacation pictures are probably pretty good), and today I got a request to find out where the missing mittens are.  Mittens are pretty much the opposite of socks, right?  Socks go on your feet, mittens go on your hands.  Total opposites.  Socks run away and have adventures, but mittens aren’t like that.  They’re timid, fearful.  They have self-esteem problems.  All they want to do is hide (the LAST thing they want to do is go out in the cold and have snowball fights), and the ones that go missing are the ones that have wished SO hard for a good hiding place that they’ve turned themselves invisible.  Your mittens haven’t gotten lost or run away – they’ve disappeared.  You’ll find them if you feel around for them, but you’ll look pretty weird when you wear them outside.  Well, maybe not weird.  Bare hands don’t look weird.  But if you’re wearing invisible mittens you’ll have flipper hands (like The Penguin!), and that would be odd, so yes.  Weird. But warm!

Have a heart.  Leave your mittens in the closet.  They’re happier there.

I don’t feel any different

I am officially a resident of Maryland now.  I was a Virginia resident for 12 years.  TWELVE.  So this is big.  My car is registered and titled in Maryland, I have Maryland plates, I have a Maryland license, and I have registered to vote in Maryland.  Maryland Maryland Maryland.  Maryland, My Maryland, which is apparently the state song.  (I had to google that.  Never heard of it.)  Maryland.   That is not my favorite state name.  Lacks imagination.  Even Virginia required a teensy bit of imagination.  (Sorry, Maryland.)  I do think, as far as state names go, that Maryland ranks above New York, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey.  At least the North/South states (and West Virginia) started out as one state.  Splitting and taking a whole new name might have been traumatic.

Boat envy

Spending time in downtown Annapolis means spending time looking at boats.  Big boats, little boats, fancy boats, plain boats.  Mostly fancy boats.  And I like boats.  I don’t want to own one, but I’d like access to one.  Who’s got a boat and lives near me?  I need some new, useful friends.  (Sorry, guys.  You just don’t cut it anymore.)  I need friends with a boat, friends with horses – these could be the same friends, but I’m afraid they’d get tired of me.  Tired of me personally, tired of me using them for their boat and horses…I can be pretty annoying sometimes.  And demanding.  But I’m also fun and lovable!  (I don’t want to turn my new friends off too soon.)  Come, new friends, find me!

You know what would work?  Old friends, buy a boat! And some horses!  I’ll love you extra much.  And in return, I will….um….read to you?  Yes, I’ll read to you.  I’ll fold your laundry.  Do your dishes.  And exercise your horses!

Sometimes you feel like a nut

(Now I want an Almond Joy.)

A friend at work asked me what kind of degrees my interns usually have (or are working on).  Most of them (I’m including interviewees, too) are IT-related, but I’m considering hiring a guy with a sociology degree and a minor in religious studies.  I told my friend that; his response was to tell me I shouldn’t hire another religious nut. (He was clearly joking – no need to be outraged on anyone’s behalf.)

“Having a minor in religious studies does not make him a religious nut.  Wait.  “Another” religious nut?”

“Yeah, like yourself.”

“How, exactly, am I a religious nut?”

“You don’t celebrate Christmas.  Or decorate.”

“I’m an atheist.”

“My point!”

“Are you kidding me?  That might make me an anti-religious nut.  But I’m not militant or anything.”

“I didn’t say you were militant.  Just a nut.”

It was a ridiculous conversation, but there you have it.  I am a nut.

What? Never mind.

Guys, Advil actually works.  (They are not paying me to say this.)  By the end of today, I ached all over.  No idea why.  My legs ached, my lower back ached, my shoulders ached, my head ached – really, all over.  I took Advil before I left work, and by the time I got home, I didn’t hurt anymore!  It’s amazing!  A product that actually worked as advertised!  Modern medicine – it’s a wonderful thing.  Maybe I’m just super-tired and somewhat delirious (NOT from the Advil, I’m certain, and probably not from the one glass of wine I had with dinner) and a little punchy, and you know what?  Maybe I’ll go to bed instead of finishing that thought because I’m pretty sure it didn’t have anywhere to go.  Really – who writes a blog post about the miracle of Advil unless they’re being paid for it?  (I’m not being paid for it.)  That’s just weird.  Hush now, and go to bed.  Okay.

Whoops

We forgot to have pie on Pi Day.  Oh, well.  On the other hand, today was the first Saturday of the rest of our lives.  (Last Saturday we were still moving.)  We got up and went to the gym, then went to Panera for breakfast (and tried to play on our laptops, but their Wi-Fi is really slow), then home to do random stuff (like get clean), then to the grocery store because we’re – wait for it – COOKING DINNER tonight.  Fajitas, if you must know.  We went to the Giant across the street.  That trip reinforced what I already knew – I need to go to Wegmans to buy produce and meat and really anything that should be fresh.  I can still go past a Wegmans on my way home (I have several route options now), and I will be visiting it more often.  Losing Wegmans may very well be the hardest thing about leaving the area.