I hope my face doesn’t freeze like that

My facial person moved to LA last month, so I had my first facial with my new facial person (aesthetician is too formal) last week, and I’m not sure I like her.  I certainly don’t like her as much, but we didn’t click very well.  It was all awkward chitchat and too much of it.  She rallied at the end of the hour when she massaged my face.

No one has ever massaged my face before.  It’s a weird thing to do.  Rub temples, sure.  Gently move in circles while applying products, yes.  This was an all-out massage.  Both hands on, whole face covered, pressure added.  I could feel my whole face contorting as she rubbed and twisted and IT WAS SO GREAT.  I would never have put that on a list of things I wanted, but now I want it again.

So yes, very young person with the awkward chitchat, I will see you again next month.  And then I might cancel my membership because I have other priorities for that money.  But she doesn’t have to know that.

Goal achieved

I got up this morning, trying not to think too hard about my actual age, and set ONE goal for the day.

I WILL ONLY EAT SWEET THINGS TODAY.

Breakfast: I went to Allan Bros (the local coffee place about six blocks from the house with the view of the prison) and had a French Toast latte and a giant eclair.  I mean, this thing was enormous.  It was about 3/4 the length of my forearm.  I read my book, I messed around on my laptop, and I went home in time to gather up John and head for lunch.

Lunch: We went to Mom’s Pies and had a slice of pie each.  Me: berry medley (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries).  John: apple.  They were out of ice cream, which was a little disappointing, but the pies were really good.  We got there just in time – the owner is closing the store in a few weeks in favor of his wholesale business.  He said we can buy them frozen to bake at home from a couple of local grocery stores so we won’t be completely bereft.

Dinner: Cake.  John baked me a cake (yellow cake, chocolate frosting), and that’s what I ate for dinner.   With a glass of milk, of course.  It was delicious.

All sugar, all day.  Happy birthday to me!

Customers think they can get away with anything

THREE-DAY WEEKEND IS HERE and I am very happy about it.  I got yelled at by two different clients on Friday, like with actual yelling, and I need a good long break.  The first time was around 7am my time, and with a client I’ve never talked to before.  Apparently, this is how she communicates.  I think she’s from New Jersey.  She wasn’t actually mad, or least wasn’t really yelling AT us – it wasn’t personal.  It was still unpleasant.  The second time was just before noon my time, and it was somewhat personal and it was totally uncalled for and thank everything that is good in the world that Harry (one of our VPs) was on the phone and did not take ANY of that crap from the customer.  It was wonderful, and he’s my hero.  And later, he congratulated me on remaining calm and reasonable throughout the call.  I would like to have him in every client meeting forever and ever, amen.

So. Work is done, I get three days off, AND Monday is my birthday, AND we’re in Portland today for a comic con, and I plan to enjoy every minute of this weekend.

The right kind of Saturday

Rough outline of today:

  • Slept in all the way until 9!  Of course, it was 2am when we went to bed.
  • Rode our bikes about 4 miles to a good bagel place.
  • Spent 2-3 hours sitting outside said bagel place with bagels and coffee, reading our books.
  • Rode 4 miles back home.
  • John worked on fun computer things, and I ran (outside again!).
  • Heading out to drink and play video games at an arcade and local bars for Will’s birthday.

We’re walking over to meet everyone (it’s about a mile and a half away, and we don’t want to have to drive home), so we have to get moving, but I plan to have time to write tomorrow.  I hope everyone else’s Saturday has been as pleasant as ours!

Who’s rushing?

We got to Orlando late last night (after midnight), found our way to a hotel near the airport, and crashed.  This morning (Thursday) we slept in a little and then transferred to the Hard Rock Hotel, which is WAY COOL.  Our room wasn’t ready (we were early), so we left our bags and walked over the City Walk just outside Universal Studios.  Got a drink, and now we’re sitting outside in the shade with a breeze, just sitting.  Reading a little.  People-watching a little.  We’re waiting for our room, waiting to hear back from Evans and other friends about when John can try on his tux, just waiting.  No pressure, no rush.  Sure, we want to get into the park, but Evans has the tickets and if that happens later or tomorrow, no big deal.

Like, really, no big deal.  It’s life-changing.

U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” just came on and you can see the tension leave both of us.  Happy vacation, us.

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Sitting in comfort

We bought a couch (on Sunday)!  And it arrived today!  And it’s comfortable!  Technically, it’s a double chair (not even a loveseat), but it’s big and it’s cushy, and it’s chocolate brown and kind of stripey/soft corduroy.

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We thought about the couch (it was only $100 more), but it was enormous, even bigger than our old couch, and we are not making a purchase of that physical size again until we stop moving around.  This is plenty big enough for the two of us, even with those big cushions on it, and most importantly, it fit through the front door with no issues.

Cozy

Today was a reading day.  I got up, made my (decaf) coffee, and sat in a chair for nearly two hours reading.  We went out, ran a couple of errands, and when we came back, I tucked myself back into my chair for another few hours to read.

It was wonderful.

John spent most of the day doing computer-y things.  Pleasant, very quiet, and it was raining for the first half of the day and overcast for the rest, so really, the perfect day to stay in and read.  Would have been nicer if our gas fireplace put out any heat, but I guess you can’t have everything.  (Honestly, I didn’t even remember we had one until just now, so I didn’t miss it.)

Maybe I’ll get to do it again tomorrow.

Rubber ducky

This morning, I noticed a friendly little duck hanging out on the edge of our shower.

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John spent some time working on his car last weekend and got grease and grime under his fingernails for the first time in months, so he dug out the cute little nail brushes with ducks on top that we got as stocking stuffers last Christmas.  I had completely forgotten about them, but how cute is that little guy?  The other one is pink.

Makes me think I should get a rubber ducky or two for my bathtub in Oregon.

I love having no plans

This weekend is officially a no-plans weekend, and so far, it’s glorious.  We slept until 9, had a light breakfast, picked up the apartment.  I had lunch with Jess, who just happened to text, and John took his laptop off to a coffee shop to program some stuff.  Jess and I bought some wine, took a walk, and then I met John back at the apartment.  Quick trip to CVS, and now we’re home, probably in for the rest of the day.  I plan to read or maybe watch that show I borrowed from Nathan at work, and then we’ll watch Agent Carter and eat pizza and go to bed.

Tomorrow: brunch.  And groceries.  Maybe laundry.  It’s so nice to be home.

Decadent

This is the life (but better if John were here):

I traveled to the office today.  After spending the day at work (both stressful (didn’t get enough done) and pleasant (saw a lot of people I like)), I went out to get a drink with some coworkers.  From there, I checked into my hotel, where they gave me a warm chocolate chip cookie.  Now, I’m going to take a bath in a bathtub WAY nicer than the one in our apartment.  This might be my first bath since we moved to Annapolis.

Can that possibly be true?

I think it is.  I’m going to take a bath.  With a chocolate chip cookie.

Maybe I should have titled this post “Wine and Cookies”.

No children read this, right? They shouldn’t start with this post.

I was sitting at my desk in the early evening the other day.  It was pretty dark out already.  The overhead light was on (I don’t remember turning it on, but there it was), and my keyboard was in shadow.  It was getting hard to see the keys.  I have a desk lamp, and I reached over to turn it on.  Nothing.  It wasn’t plugged in.  I wouldn’t even have to get up to do it, but I just…didn’t.  Too much effort.  Instead, I listened to this YouTube video, and I felt much better.

Still didn’t plug in the lamp.

It’s a start

I attempted meditation today.  (I just tried to type “medication” instead of “meditation”.  I did not attempt medication today.  I’m perfectly capable of taking my medicine.  Attempts are not necessary.)  I was not exactly successful.  I understand that it’s something you have to practice, that you can’t just jump in one day like “Hey, I meditate now!”, but it wasn’t a total failure, either.

It was early this afternoon, and I was in a weird mood to begin with, didn’t really know what I wanted to do with myself (and I’ve just started a new book, and even though I’m 100 pages in, I’m not convinced it’s what I want to read), and I thought that some quiet time might be what I’m looking for, maybe with peaceful music, alone with my thoughts.

I left John practicing his guitar in the front room of the apartment, borrowed some headphones from him, found a YouTube video that plays 6 hours of meditation music (not medication music – my fingers will not stay on topic), and unrolled my yoga mat on the floor of our bedroom (the back room of the apartment).

Then what?  How to begin?  I stretched a little, and then I sat down on the mat, legs crossed, eyes closed, palms up.  I wasn’t really comfortable, so I tried lying down on my back.  Better, but only for all of five minutes because that’s when my phone rang.  Note to self: when meditating, turn off ringer.  It was Molly, venting about work.  Half an hour later, we hung up, and I tried again, but only for another ten minutes or so.  The moment had passed.  Those first five minutes were good, though.  I’ll have to try again.

It’s pretty darn nice here

I had the best morning today.  Getting up was a little difficult, but I got up and out and went for a run.  Ran over the Naval Academy Bridge (across the Severn River), went a little past and up to a scenic overlook.  I was skeptical, since it seemed like it would just look out over the road (yay road?), but no, they know what they’re talking about when they say there’s a scenic overlook.  There’s a view of the river and the bridge and the academy on the other side.  Scenic.  That was my halfway point, so I came back home thinking I’d grab John and we’d go have breakfast, but he wasn’t back yet.  (He went to Pax River last night to see Shorty and ended up staying.)  So I grabbed my phone and my key, went to Starbucks, and looked for a place to enjoy the sunshine and people-watch.  Found the city dock instead (where we saw a band Thursday night), so I plunked myself down right on the edge with my back to a support post, and talked to Mom and Dad for a half-hour or so.  It was SO nice.  Warm, but not hot, sunny, breezy (no bugs!), me with my iced white mocha.

See my shoes?  Proof I was there!

See my shoes? Proof I was there!

Better view, but not great.  The sun was in the wrong place.  Move, sun! (Yes, let's blame the sun.)

Better view, but not great. The sun was in the wrong place. Move, sun! (Yes, let’s blame the sun.)

I took a few blurry pictures of sailboats that I won’t subject you to, and I tried to get a picture of the guy who was sitting near the top of his big sailboat’s mast doing…something, but that picture didn’t come out well at all.

My terrible photos aside, it was SO pleasant, SO nice, and then as I was walking back to the apartment, I went down the street John usually parks on to see if he made it back, and there he was, driving up the street looking for a spot.  Perfect timing.  After we got his car safely parallel-parked next to a gigantic tree, we headed to West St to check out the flea market (underwhelming, but then, flea markets aren’t really our thing – it might have been an awesome flea market as those things go), and then we had coffee and breakfast at a spot down the road.

Every Saturday morning needs to go like this.  Every morning would be nice, but that might be asking too much.

Not quite rainbows and puppies, but I’ll take it

Today was a good day with good things in it.

Thing the first: I wasn’t able to leave work early enough to go for a run before dinner, but I did get out of the office to enjoy the weather a little bit.  I had an appointment in the late morning (quick trim), so I headed out (running late) and rushed over.  Got there just in time.  It was fast, so I felt like I could take some time to myself before going back to the office.  I walked over to Starbucks, picked up an iced chai latte, and sat on a bench with my book for about 15 minutes.  It was SUCH a nice day.  All the trees are still in bloom, I FINALLY saw lots of daffodils, the sky was blue and clear, and the air was warm-ish.  I would have stayed a little longer, but a landscaping company showed up and started making a TON of noise.  It got a lot less peaceful, so I headed back to work.  Just as well, I guess.

Thing the second: My officemate has decided she’s getting too worked up over every little thing, so she’s going to let all those annoyances roll off.   I’m supposed to help her remember that.  It’ll help me remember it, too.  Now we’re listening to soothing sounds on YouTube.  All we need is a palm tree.  (“I just wanna see some paaaalm trees.“)

Thing the third: my friend (and coworker) Stephanie asked me to check on something that hasn’t been working lately, and when we found that it IS working now, she sent this back to me in her emailed reply:

internet high-five

I’m sure it’s not new, but it was exactly what I needed to see, and now I laugh every time I look at it.  (Did I high-five my screen?  Yes.  Yes, I did.  And I might do it again right now.)

Update (8:08pm): I just found out today was National High Five Day.  So many things are clearer now.  Except why, exactly, we have a National High Five Day.  Happy Random Holiday Day!

What a difference a mortgage makes

It’s amazing how much more relaxed I feel now that we’ve closed on the house.  It’s noticeable, apparently.  Several people at work have commented on it.  I was stressed about not having a contract on the house.  Then we got a contract, and I was stressed about our buyers not having a contract.  Then they got a contract, and I was stressed about packing and moving and timing and holding both deals together until closing.  That’s all over, we’re 100% moved, and I have fewer things to be stressed about.  It’s a wonderful thing.  AND I don’t have to worry about looking for a new job for a while.  Even better.  AND AND spring is coming.  It’s warmer, the days are longer, the sun is out, the birds are chirping* – I should stop before I jinx everything.

*Someone said that yesterday (the birds are chirping), and another coworker told us that her dad always said “the chirds are burping”.  Ruined forever (you’re welcome).  He also calls a parking spot a “sparking pot”, and it has rubbed off on her.  Dads are annoying that way, Dad.  Anyone: “What’s today?”  Me: “Friday.  Unless it rains.”  I do it EVERY TIME.

I picked a good day for it

I scheduled a spa day (a spa couple of hours, anyway) right in the middle of my vacation, and it was SO good.  I had an 80-minute deep tissue massage, and the people at the spa said to come an hour early with a bathing suit.  That hour was almost better (definitely as good) as the massage.

Except for the first ten minutes.

I spent the first ten minutes in the steam room.  I had never been in a steam room before, and I found out I don’t like it.  It might have been the lavender scent they added.  I love lavender, but it was a bit strong in there with all that steam.  Then again, I might have felt the same way if it was just unscented steam.  I couldn’t take any deep breaths, so I was pretty much incapable of relaxing while sitting in there.  I had to pop out into the hallway twice in those ten minutes just to clear my lungs and breathe.  On top of that, I was wearing my contacts, and they were fogging up, so I kept my eyes closed, except when I was groping for the door to get a breath of air.  Then I’d take a deep breath of dry air, open the door again, and plunge into the steam looking for my towel so I could sit down.  I don’t know why I didn’t just give up.  No one said I HAD to sit in the steam room.  Seems a little obvious now…  Thank goodness I was alone and that it was only ten minutes.  I was already out in the hall when my valet (I had a valet!) came to get me.

Next was a cold (by comparison) shower with nozzles spraying water at me from sides from my ankles to over my head.  Nice change.  Then the sauna.  That I could handle.  I was about ready to take a nap in there.  After the sauna, my valet brought me to the jacuzzi.  It was inside, but one whole wall was glass with a view of the gulf and the beach).  SO nice.  I was happy enough in the jacuzzi, but I had similar breathing problems – too much heat and steam.  Hm.  So maybe an unscented steam room wouldn’t work for me, either.  After maybe another 10 minutes in the jacuzzi, it was time to get in the pool.  Again, comparatively cold water, but this pool started inside and where the jacuzzi had windows, the pool had glass doors that opened to the outside.  I headed there right away.  So I was in this pool, two stories up (maybe three) in this hotel, outside overlooking the beach and the gulf, all by myself.  And as if that’s not cool enough, there was a storm coming in from the southeast.  I could see where the rain started, and I could see it take over the other hotels (you know, when I couldn’t see the hotels further south down the beach anymore).  It was awesome.  I headed in when the rain started to fall on me.  It was time for my massage anyway, which was really really nice, and then I went back out to find Mel (who sat out the rain on her beach chair, under the umbrella).

It was a good day.

Thank goodness for beach umbrellas

Hello, everyone!  I’m sorry I was missing for a week.  I was in (mostly) sunny, (mostly) warm Cancun with my sister, Ilyana Clover Mel, having a wonderfully relaxing time.  I came home basically the same shade of pale that I was when I left.  I consider that a win.

See how relaxed we look?

See how relaxed we look?

It was great.  Easy to get to (although we had to fly through JFK – wrong direction, guys!), no reason to leave the resort.  Every day was the same, in the best possible way.  We got up early every day so we could watch the sun rise on the beach.  (Sun rise was around 7:20 – getting up in time for that was still sleeping in for both of us.)  I left Mel meditating on the beach (and/or taking pictures – there was time for both) to go to the gym at 8am.  The first day was yoga, on the beach, just me and the instructor.  (It was always just me and the instructor, three days in a row.  I took a well-deserved day off on Thursday, and we left Friday morning.) Yoga on the beach, in the morning before anyone else is out, is SO COOL.  The other two mornings were aerobics/resistance/pilates-type workouts in the gym, and they were HARD.  The instructor (Israel) kicked my ass.  But it made me feel better about all the food I was eating.  Totally worth it.  Anyway, after the class ended (9am), I’d go back to the beach, round up Mel, and we’d go to breakfast.  Mimosas arrived shortly after we were seated and were kept filled.  After breakfast, back to the beach, lunch in one of the beachside restaurants or the grill, more beach time (so much reading), then off to the pool in the midafternoon, where we made friends at the swim-up bar (and Mel practiced her accents and various personalities – she had a LOT of people completely fooled).  Pool until early evening, then shower and dinner, and we were in bed nearly every night by 9:30.  Rinse and repeat.  It was a little bit of a shock to have to return to winter.

This is the sunrise when God gave us our instructions.  "I'm averting my eyes, oh Lord."

This is the sunrise when God gave us our instructions. “I’m averting my eyes, oh Lord.”

Context, for those who need it.