John has found our new anthem.
Also, I am a giant child. I take gummy vitamins. They’re for adults, really!
What were you expecting?
John has found our new anthem.
Also, I am a giant child. I take gummy vitamins. They’re for adults, really!
My phone thinks I’m stupid. I use the swype keyboard, and it usually works great. The other day, though, I was trying to text John that I needed to download something, and autocorrect refused to recognize that what I was trying to type was the word “download”. It kept correcting it to “get”. “Get” totally worked in context, so I KNOW my phone understood what I was trying to type. Why not just correct it for me? Why dumb it down? Why hurt my feelings, phone? What’s that about?
What’s the point of all these changes? The point is to have time. We want to have more control over our time. Right now, we are living for the weekends, and then we spend those weekends running errands and cleaning the house and mowing the lawn and doing things we HAVE to do. Where is the time to do the things we want to do? I have a whole list of things I’d rather be doing with my time than working and commuting and doing house-upkeep things, and John has more hobbies than you can shake a stick at. (What is that even supposed to mean? Why is that a phrase that means anything? You’ve never seen me shake a stick. I can shake a stick at all KINDS of things, and fast, too. Why would you want to shake a stick at lots of things? Or even one thing? I don’t understand. Google’s results are inconclusive.) Yes, I’m aware that everyone feels this way, but that doesn’t mean we have to. Not if we can do something about it. So we are.
The point is to have time. We’ll remove owning a house from the equation. Suddenly, we don’t have to paint the porch columns or mulch the flower beds or mow the lawn or stain the deck. We’ll save money, money we could use to things we WANT to do (like travel and take lessons). Our rent will be less than our mortgage, we won’t be paying HOA fees. Over (not too much) time, we’ll pay off Riley’s medical bills and the air conditioner we replaced in the spring. I’ve done the math. With an estimate for rent, just moving out of house will save us approximately $1700 a month (possibly more). Moving out of the area (and paying off those two items) will save us another $1000. Putting our plan in motion will eventually save us nearly $3000 a month, regardless of how much money we make in these hypothetical new jobs. And we won’t HAVE to make as much money in those hypothetical new jobs because we won’t be living in one of the most expensive areas in the country.
With saved money and extra time, what can’t we do?
I skipped April Fool’s Day this year. I mean, I was there for it. I was awake and active in the world or whatever, but it completely slipped my mind until fairly late in the evening, and I wasn’t aware of a single prank. This morning, John showed me the Firefly one on Reddit (which I can’t find right now). That was a good one, if mean. Oh, and I saw the Google Nose thing after I got home last night. I don’t mind missing it. I don’t usually do April Fool’s. It makes me wonder if that’s how April is going to go, though. Am I going to miss every other day? Or rush through the whole month? Maybe I’ll just view everything through my congested fog. That’ll be fun.
I have decided to stop feeling like I’m behind on everything. I’m not behind on the internet; now I’ve got lots of wonderful things to catch up on. I’m not behind on reading (now that I’ve finished my book club book); I’m reading at my own leisurely pace. I’m not behind at work; I’ve just suddenly got two jobs to do, and I’m keeping up as best I can. I’m not behind on blogging, either. It’s not like I can go back and post something for all those days my mind was elsewhere. I’m where I’m supposed to be, and that’s okay.
Yoga class was nice last night. Can you tell?
Why are you so big? You make it very hard for me to keep up some weeks. Don’t misunderstand; I’m THRILLED you’re as big as you are because that means there’s always something new to find. Lately, though, I don’t have time during the day, and I don’t have the energy after work. I’m missing out on so much. I haven’t visited my bloggy buddies (I think I’m stealing that from Wombat – Wombat, can I steal this please?) in forever, and I certainly don’t mean to neglect them. Some evenings I open tabs for all of my favorite websites and I still don’t get to them all. Also, why does WordPress insist that I’m misspelling favorite? Also, why is “Moves Like Jagger” allowed to be used in commercials? I’ve managed to avoid hearing it for weeks and weeks, but now it’s back and stuck in my brain. Also also, if happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why, oh why can’t I? That may help with my song-stuck-in-brain syndrome.
Oh, wait, this is a letter.
What? I love the internet.
Oh my god, guys, the high for Sunday is only going to be 51 degrees. It’s 80 today. Is the world insane? (Yes, but for other reasons.) Are we all going to get sick now from the temperature ups and downs? (Again, yes.) Am I going to make sure I spend some time enjoying the warm air this evening? (Very much yes.) I may also stop by DSW on my way home. The weather may be nice for the last time this year, but I’ve got priorities.
I think I’m forgetting things more often lately. Or having more frequent airhead moments. I’m not sure if this is something I should be worrying about or not. Is it really happening more? Or am I just noticing it more? Yesterday’s example is fairly mundane. I was making a list on my phone for groceries. While upstairs, I remembered that I needed to get Listerine, Zyrtec, and contact solution. I repeated those three things to myself on my way down the stairs and added them to my list. No problem. I got to the store and made it to the right section. Picked up the Listerine. Thought to myself, “I’ll go down the aisle this way, turn the corner for the Zyrtec, and then come around the other end for the contact solution.” Then I checked off all three items on my list. Before I picked up the other two. Why? I don’t know – to save time? Couldn’t tell you. I got the Zyrtec and then headed to the other end of the store (in search of peanut butter and cereal, if you must know. Turns out the peanut butter has moved into the coffee aisle. I’m not crazy about the new look at my Wegmans.). I got home, put everything away, and went about the rest of the day. Then bedtime came around, and it was time to take my contacts out. THAT’S when I noticed I didn’t buy any contact solution, and THAT’S when I remembered crossing it off my list and then NOT picking it up. Ridiculous, but not really worrisome by itself.
A few weeks ago, I went to pick up dinner. This place typically gives us bread and their really good, really garlicky, olive oil and parmesan dip, whether we ask for it or not. John had specifically requested it, so I when I got in the car, I checked the bag. More specifically, I leaned over the big paper bag, reached in, pulled out the little bag with the bread, looked at the two salads we’d ordered, and thought, “Hmm. I guess they didn’t give us any bread.” My left hand moved to put the bread bag back in with the salads, and I stopped, looked at the bag in my hand and said, “Holy shit. I’m losing my mind.” I can’t believe I did that.
Wanna know the punchline? Those are only two examples, and while I know I’ve done other similar things, I can’t remember the details.
Today didn’t turn out quite like I thought it would. We were out late last night (we met Emily at her new place for dinner), so we slept late this morning, dawdled about breakfast, and kinda puttered around all day. It’s been a nice day, don’t get me wrong, but I kinda had plans for it that I never put into action.
I did go to Wegmans, though, so I was able to do something productive. Actual grocery shopping that resulted in real healthy food at home will certainly help us eat right this week. But it’s not going to keep us from having nachos for dinner. Because we’re stupid.
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.
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?
#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?
The only thing I can say for sure about the person who owns this car is that she (possibly he, but I’m going with she because someone has to make a decision here, and I really hate using they) loves to knit. Or crochet. Or whatever it is you do with yarn. Or maybe she’s just really into wool. And/or sheep. Maybe it’s goat wool. Does yarn have to be made out of wool? I assume not – I’m sure there’s such a thing as synthetic yarn. What I’m really interested in knowing, though, is if she’s a pirate or a zombie.
She might wander around the area squinting her eyes and asking strangers, “Ahoy matey, do you know where I can find the new yarrrrrn store? Me parrot’s in dire need of a new sweater vest.” Or else she shuffles down the block after the poor scared little lamb, with a blank stare and her jaw hanging open, mumbling “Yarrrrrnnnn…” Poor scared little lamb. I’ll protect you.
Next time I see, I’m going to ask. I’m going to hop right out of my car, knock on her window, hope the light is still red, and ask her which end of the zombie/pirate spectrum she prefers. Of course, she doesn’t have to choose. Maybe she’s into zombie pirates. Or pirate zombies. (How do you tell the difference?) Or ninjas. Maybe that’s the sound a pirate makes when he’s killed by a ninja. Or maybe she just likes yarn, and when she says yarn, she says it the way Homer does when he thinks about donuts.
I’m out of ideas, so let’s hope I see her again soon.
A pest guy (guy in the pest control business, not a guy who’s a pest – although those guys are usually both) just came by the house selling pest control services (he was conventional like that -it would’ve been more interesting if the pest guy was selling, I don’t know, ANYthing else), and I got rid of him by leading him on a little (“Sure, give me your number. I’ll check the company out online and give you a call if we’re interested.”). I also told him I never make decisions like that on the spot, and as he left he said, “No problem. Just check with your hu – [big pause here] – whoever you need to check with, and let me know.” Nice catch, buddy. Never assume! Although he does still seem to be assuming someone else makes this kind of decision and not me. What? Just because I was home all day today? You don’t know me. I’m sure I’m reading too much into it, but it’s FUN to get hypothetically angry at the hypothetical assumptions the
hypothetical real pest guy was making. How dare he?!
It is time for me to take on the enormous task of catching up on the internet again. It keeps getting away from me. In case you need help with the same task, I’m very happy to tell you that Jess has started blogging again. Like, yesterday (or a couple of days ago), but still – it’s a (re)start.
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.
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.
Do mosquitoes love me or hate me? On the one hand, they can’t stay away from me. On the other hand, they’re harassing me. On the one hand, they think I’m delicious. On the other hand, they make me miserable. Either way, I think I won by moving out of the swamp that is Hampton Roads. High ground = very few mosquitoes. Unfortunately, very few does NOT equal zero, and every once in a while, I still get attacked. I had a bite on my left shin that was taking forEVER to stop itching and go away. I finally got a day or two of relief, but then I lost my head and went outside in the early evening to sit on the deck and read for a couple of minutes while the dogs played in the yard. Silly me. By the time I found my head again it was too late.
Take all of my whining and complaining and woe-is-me attitudes with a grain of salt – I’m utterly and thoroughly and completely and totally and redundantly grateful that I live where and how I live. It’s crazy-hot outside, but I have electricity and air-conditioning. It’s a Monday afternoon that’s not a holiday, but I have a job that allows me to work flexible hours so I can hang out with my brother and niece when they come to visit.
Hm. Upon review, this feels a little odd. I’m grateful, I’m thankful – to who whom? I don’t mean to discount the feeling, although maybe I should describe it differently. I’m happy, I’m relieved, I’m content…but I did this (with John, of course). We are here, living where we do, in our house, in the jobs we have, because of decisions we made, not because of fate or luck or, heaven forbid, God. (Hee.) So who would I be grateful to? Our circumstances? Our parents? Ourselves? All of the above? Or maybe gratitude shouldn’t be involved.
I didn’t really mean to go there. This was supposed to be a light appreciation of staying cool at home when the weather is stifling. It just came out. And I keep wanting to apologize for it, like I don’t want to sound ungrateful (there’s that word again) or cocky or anything other than…what? Assured? Confident? I certainly don’t want to come out the other side to self-righteous. Anything but that. And where is this coming from? I’ve been having a lot of conversations about standing up for yourself, valuing your own contributions, and being appreciated at work lately. The underlying message appears to be bleeding through.
So why can I easily take credit for what I do at work, but when I try to take credit for my life here, I try to apologize? Is my work persona that different? Or is it just the medium?
Just nod if you can hear me.
I went to see my doctor last week to have some blood drawn. No big deal, really quick visit. I was in the examination room for all of five minutes, but in that five minutes, I got really annoyed with my doctor. She didn’t even really do anything – it was just the way she said something. She asked me a question, and I said well, not really, but maybe a tiny bit this, and she jumped at that and said no, that’s wrong, which I heard as what? Are you crazy? Only crazy people would think that. Stop it. So I shut down and yessed her until it was time for me to leave (which was only 30 seconds later). I probably overreacted. In fact, I’m sure I did, but I still think she was wrong and I was right-ish, and now I’m considering finding another doctor. I’ve only been seeing this one for six years… I’ve never felt strongly about her (it was her nurse practitioner I really liked, but she left for bigger and better things years ago), so I don’t really consider this any great loss. It’s just a pain to find someone else. Because I’m lazy. But you already knew that.
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…
They say money can’t buy happiness. I say they’re liars. I can think of a number of ways a nice BIG cash windfall could make me very happy. For starters, if it meant I didn’t have to work, I’d have all the time in the world to do all the things I want to do. As it is, our weekends get over-scheduled in the blink of an eye, and then when we want to squeeze something else in, there’s no time. And it’s not like we don’t want to do the stuff we’ve already planned. For various reasons (seeing friends, doing homework for classes we chose to take, visiting family, hosting family), we really do. I just want MORE TIME. I know – everyone does. I’ll shut up.