Hi

This has been one of my worst years, if not the worst, for blogging.  I don’t really have a reason for it.  I mean, I’ve been pregnant the entire year so far, and I’m sure that has plenty to do with it, but I’m not sure exactly in what way.  It’s not like I don’t sit in front of a computer all day, every day (still), and it’s not like there aren’t things to talk about.  I suppose I’ve been trying not to be all-pregnancy, all-the-time around here, sometimes consciously, sometimes not.

I have no intention of stopping (the blog – I have every intention of not being pregnant anymore REAL SOON NOW), but it seems kind of sad that I’ve been so absent THIS year of all years.  In a couple of months, we’ll be looking at the 10th anniversary of my blog, and I feel like this year shouldn’t count.  Especially since I can’t imagine I’ll be writing all that much while the baby is tiny.  Maybe I’ll surprise myself (and everyone else).

My plan, that I will not stress myself into sticking to, is to not worry about whether I’m all-pregnancy or all-baby or all-books or whatever and just write something.  For nearly 10 years, my only theme has been that there is no theme (and no standards – thank goodness I set that expectation up from the start!), so why worry about it now?

Anyway, hi.

Too lazy to take pictures

This has been a busy week for contractors.  The painters were here Tuesday through today, painting the main living spaces downstairs (not the kitchen), our bedroom, and the baby’s room, a plumber came Tuesday to fix the leaking kitchen sink (and a few other things while he was here), and the yard people came today (just left), and WOW what a difference having work done makes.  I mean, hello, that’s obvious, but it’s so nice to see the changes.  We can walk out the back door without being attacked by bushes and trees, we can see whole flower beds we didn’t know we had, and we can see much of the low stone wall around the front of the house.  I can’t wait until those guys come back.  Too bad I don’t know when that will be – they have a couple of jobs to take care of next week, and everything else in the schedule is weather-dependent.  The guy in charge (Dana) definitely understands what we’re after, though, which means we are completely comfortable letting him loose.

I was not that comfortable with our lead painter after a day or two.  We had to ask for another coat of paint over the section of wall downstairs where the chalkboard paint had been because we could still the difference between that part of the wall and parts next to it, and then yesterday, he messed up one of the bedroom walls.  In the master, we wanted the two walls with windows to be dark blue and the two without windows to be a lighter blue.  I even diagrammed the room and included that, and he had that diagram on his phone.  So yesterday, I went in to take a look and I found that one wall of each color was the wrong color.  His excuse was that the day before, I had said I wanted to the two lighter walls (the room was already two colors) to be the darker blue and the two darker walls to be the light blue.  First of all, I said no such thing.  Second of all, when you come in to start painting and you realize that you have conflicting instructions from the homeowner, wouldn’t you check one more time to be sure?  Anyway, he fixed it, but he didn’t seem happy about it, which annoyed me even more.

What he’ll never know, because we’ll never tell him, is that now that we’ve had a day to live with the room in two colors, we think we like the darker color MUCH better, and we’ll probably make all four walls that color ourselves.  He doesn’t need to know that.   Besides, I got the impression that he’s as glad to be done with this job as we are to have him not in the house anymore.  Three and a half days of strangers in the house all the time was way too much.

Blogs and books and bears – okay, no bears

My blogging muscle appears to have atrophied.  I don’t know if I just don’t have anything to say, or if I’m avoiding it because I’m a little single-minded lately and I don’t want to be repetitive, or if I just haven’t felt like it and when I think about it, I decide I’d rather be reading.

It’s a little of all three and a lot of the last one, which is kind of funny because I’ve also fallen into a book funk.  AND my book list broke because it got too big and I’m going to have to change the format of it, and I need a test version of my site so I can poke around and try things, and I haven’t gotten around to doing that, and maybe that’s also a little bit of why I’ve stayed away?

Anyway, the book funk.  The last book I read that I LOVED was 13 books ago.  Of the 12 since then, including the one I’m reading now, I liked six okay, really liked only one (The Trespasser by Tana French), thought two were meh but finished them anyway, and I gave up on three.

The books I gave up on:

  • Magic Bites, the first Kate Daniels book, by Ilona Andrews.  It’s urban fantasy, or maybe paranormal romance, or maybe both.  I like that genre (duh), but I just didn’t care about this one.  Couldn’t get into it.  There’s one series like this that I heard was really good starting with the second book, but I can’t remember if it was this one, and Twitter wasn’t able to help me when I asked.  So I gave it up.  There are lots of other books in the sea.
  • A Window Opens, by Elizabeth Egan.  Supposed to be in the vein of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which I LOVED, and Today Will Be Different, which I strongly disliked (both by Maria Semple).  This one fell into the strongly dislike category.  The main character and the overall situation should be relatable, but I just can’t with her character, her decisions, her choices.  So I quit halfway through.
  • The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware.  It’s a thriller, but I didn’t like the protagonist, and the whole thing felt weirdly paced and plotted.  I don’t think I made it a third of the way in.

Thankfully, the book I picked up after giving up on those last two IN A ROW was one of the Hugo nominees, and while it had a slow start, I ended up liking it just fine.  Now I’m reading one that I’m enjoying, but I don’t love – I don’t have that need to drop everything else so I can have more time to read.

I am confident that I can climb out of my book funk, though.  There’s a Tanya Huff trilogy I haven’t read yet staring at me from the shelf, and the Hugo Voter Packet should arrive soonish, which is SUPER exciting and which I’ll tell you all about when it gets here.

Highly unlikely

For about a day, I seriously considered doing this challenge: sending something in the mail to someone every day during the month of February.  It can be a note, a letter, a postcard, or whatever, as long as it goes in the mail.  I went so far as planning to shop this weekend to buy supplies like stamps and postcards.

But then, I remembered that we don’t have a mailbox.  We have a mail slot next to the front door and no way to put mail out for pickup here at the house.

I think it’s a really nice idea, but I am LAZY.  There is no way I’m going to go outside and walk to the nearest mailbox (which I think is six blocks away) every single day of FEBRUARY, a month that always has the WORST weather.

If I remember, I’ll try it out next time we live somewhere with a mailbox.  Or maybe here, but when the weather is nicer.

Actors and accents and quirks and other fascinating things I’m not going to write about

I am fascinated by actors and accents, probably because I am terrible at both.  Like, really really bad. So, since I can’t think straight while the band practices in the basement, I’m going to cheat and give you videos about those fascinating things that I find fascinating (because they are fascinating and how many times can I use the word fascinating before you become fascinated by how I’ve managed to spell fascinating correctly every single time I’ve typed it?).  Yes, the videos are kind of long, but really – they’re fascinating.

Should I stay or should I go

We had an ice storm today.  Well, we didn’t, but there was an ice storm in parts of Oregon today.  And we had enough sleet that we’ve got little icicles hanging from the gutters and the trees are covered in ice and the poor rosebushes are weighed down by the ice.

It’s icy is what I’m saying.  Also cold.

We’re slow-cooking for dinner (good day for it), and The Bloggess made me laugh.

We are considering sticking around Eugene for a little bit longer than originally planned.  Partly, it’s because John is excited about his new band (which still needs a name) and wants to give it a real shot, but mostly it’s because we’re not ready.  We haven’t made much of an effort to figure out where we’d go next or how we’d make it happen, and if we go right when our lease is up (which is less than four months from now), we have to be moving at full speed on that right now.

I don’t want to do that, and neither does John.  We still like our plan (possibly with modifications), and we still don’t plan on staying in Eugene forever, but we feel like we just got here.  There are still things to do.  So maybe we’ll stay a little longer.

On the other hand, John is sick again (congested and miserable), for the third time in five months.  Maybe it’s the house and maybe we should move.

The nothing at the end of the week

The last two days have been…something.  Some good (I’m running more than 4 miles again – YAY – and I’m done with physical therapy – DOUBLE YAY), some sucky (my nose hurts and work has been super-stressful).

It’s Friday, and I’m going to make pasta for dinner and have a glass of wine and try to make this weekend last longer than its sad two little days.  Maybe we’ll do something festive.

I can’t make my brain do much right now.  I’m hungry and easily distracted, and John is playing the blues down the hall.  It’s great, but I keep stopping to listen and when I focus on the screen again, whatever scraps of coherent thought I had (if I had any – who can tell?) are gone.

The news is all bad.  I think I’ll go read about some dragons.

Short-lived

Well, that didn’t last long.  I have deactivated my Facebook account.  Oh, you didn’t know I had one?  That’s because, once again, I didn’t use it.  I signed up to get the Messenger app so I could keep up with band chatter.  That is no longer a thing I do, so I scrapped the account.  I responded to one or two comments (seriously, no more than three, I think), liked two things, maybe? and used the Messenger app.  A family friend of John’s had to comment on my profile picture because it was the only thing I posted.

So yeah, that’s over.  I’m okay with it.

Slug

It’s Tuesday.  We’ve been done with work for an hour or so.  Neither of us has moved from our desks, but at least we’re not working.  We should go for a bike ride, but the weather has been unreliable today.  It has rained for a bit at least once an hour all day long.  And it’s chilly.  Chilly rain – no, thank you.  We could go for a walk, but we have the same weather problem.  We should go to the grocery store, but we’ve managed to convince ourselves it can wait.  We have a frozen pizza in the fridge – dinner.  I’m meeting Christina for lunch tomorrow – I can bring something home for John.  Tomorrow night, we have plans and we can get dinner while we’re out.  Thursday night, we have better plans, and we’re actually planning a nice dinner out.  Friday – well, hopefully we’ll be on the coast somewhere for the weekend, and that means we don’t have to worry about groceries until next week.

Surely we can muddle through breakfast and lunch the rest of the week on the granola bars, oatmeal, bread, and eggs we’ve got in the house.  Laziness is motivating, even if it sounds like an oxymoron.

Now, I have a headache, so I’m going to read.  Stop making so much noise, please.

Because I’m supposed to

Hi, Dad!  I’m sitting across from you, and I’ve been talking to you and/or watching TV with you most of today, but I’ll know you’ve give me a hard time if I don’t post for you, so here.  This is for you.  Hi.  Now stop reading this and go watch more Supernatural.  You’ll like it if you can just get through the first few episodes.  I promise.

RESIST

I have seen a lot of cute kittens on the internet lately (more than usual, I should say – kittens OWN the internet), and I keep having these short-lived lapses of judgment.  I do NOT want a kitten.  I do NOT want cat hair everywhere, and I do NOT want a litter box in an apartment, and with all the moving, I do NOT want the added hassle of finding places that allow cats, and I most certainly do NOT want anything to complicate leaving the country (which we are SO totally still going to do).

Do I sound like I mean it?  Because I really REALLY mean it.  Except for a few seconds now and then, when I see an adorable kitten snuggling up to someone (or some owl – you must have seen THOSE adorable pictures, right?).  As long as those few seconds don’t turn into a few days, I’m safe.  Right?  NO KITTENS.

Get it together!

Things I did today:

  • Work
  • Ordered new sheets for our bed
  • Met Jess for lunch (I don’t think that counts, but it got me out of the apartment)
  • Talked to Mom and Dad (not sure that should count, either – no, it totally counts because we decided on dates for my next visit)

Things I didn’t do today:

  • Run (or work out in any way)
  • Laundry
  • Buy groceries
  • Look for a new job
  • Read my book
  • Play on the internet (this doesn’t count)
  • Write a book
  • Fly a plane
  • Ride a horse
  • Paint a picture
  • Build a house
  • Cure a disease
  • Sing at Carnegie Hall
  • Reach through my computer and strangle someone – oh, wait.  It’s good that I didn’t do that one.

Not every day can be the perfect example of how I want to live my life (yesterday was pretty darn close – it needed more John), but today fell disappointingly short.  It’s my own fault.  I didn’t get out of bed to run, and then I couldn’t get out of my head to enjoy the day, and then I let the rain keep me from the store.  Going to the store wouldn’t have been exciting in any way, but it needs doing, and I’ll feel better when it’s done.

I will just have to do better tomorrow.

Problem

Our new mattress is great, but it has one big flaw: it’s too comfortable.  It is getting increasingly harder to get out of bed in the morning.  Yesterday, I didn’t get up until 8, but I excused it by running at lunch.  Today, though, no running before work AND I didn’t run at lunch AND I’m not running this evening.  This has to stop!

I am seriously considering using my other phone as my alarm clock and leaving it across the room.  Not running in the morning is practically a crime this time of year – it’s finally cool enough to be really pleasant running weather, and I KNOW I’ll regret not taking advantage of this when it gets cold….I said this about being outside yesterday, didn’t I?  At least I’m consistent.  And if guilt is what it takes to get me up and moving and outside in the mornings (and any time the weather is nice), then I guess I’ll just have to deal with that.  Future Me will feel worse about missing out on this weather in amounts far higher than Present Me’s short-lived feelings of contentment about staying in bed.  Present Me really needs to be more considerate of Future Me.  Past Me has learned that lesson, but Present Me doesn’t always listen.

I want to see you work for it

We have cable in the apartment (it came with the internet), but we still don’t really ever watch it.  I did use it to watch the Kentucky Derby the other day, though, and I kept seeing commercials for car racing (no idea which one(s)).  I have NO interest in car racing, and the juxtaposition finally gave me a reason why.  When you’re watching a horse or a person run (the only other type of racing I like to watch), you can see the effort.  You see them breathing hard, the muscles moving, sweat pouring – it takes visible effort, even when it looks effortless.  Cars driving in an oval?  Eh.

Why couldn’t we have been horse people?  How is it that I grew up in Kentucky, fro age 8-18, and didn’t have any friends with horses?  I’m nowhere near horse-obsessed (I haven’t ridden one in four years or so), but given the opportunity, I think I could be.  I know I could be.

I don’t want to fight

I just had a work conversation with a friend of mine that nearly turned into a fight.  Verbal, of course.  I’d never hit her.  (Hard.  I mean, at all.)  We were discussing an issue, and I told her people were looking into it, and then she started going on about how we were really going to have to tell our customers something because if we were going to do it this way, they need to know.  I agree with her, except that in this case, we’re most likely NOT going to keep doing that thing.  It’s not correct, and I’m sure the people who are looking into it are coming to that conclusion.  So we don’t NEED to tell our customers every time we do it because we’re going to STOP doing it.  I started to say we don’t need to warn our customers every time, but she interrupted me before I could say “because it’s a bug and we’re going to fix it” and got very heated about how it’s not okay NOT to tell them, and I couldn’t get her to stop long enough for me to finish my sentence.  Then she stopped to breathe, I was able to get a word in, and we’re fine.

Yeah, okay, it wasn’t anything close to a fight.  But it was annoying and unnecessary, and it’s a good thing she’s far away and this was a phone call.  Or maybe that made it harder…

I don’t like to fight with people I know.  I don’t really like to fight with anybody, but if you’re on my doorstep (or on the phone) and not listening when I tell you I’m not interested in what you’re selling, I will be direct and I will tell you to go away.  Are you supposed to be providing me a service and you’re doing it badly?  I will not roll over and let you (I am my father’s daughter).  It’s situational, of course.  How annoying is the problem?  How seriously does it affect me?  I usually don’t go all confrontational in restaurants out of worry that someone will do something to my food, and I don’t do it while driving out of fear that the nutjob tailgating me has a gun or something.  Just about anything else is fair game.  I work in customer service, so I try to be fair when I’m talking to someone else in customer service, but that also means that I know how it SHOULD work.  I will switch companies based on that alone (and I have – I’m looking at you, Bank), but I will also let supervisors know when I get really GOOD service.  I emailed United about the super-helpful ticket agent after their fiasco with the canceled flight to Orlando a few years ago, and Navy Federal and USAA provide consistently wonderful service.  Why can’t everyone?  I love ThinkGeek’s customer service, and I’ve heard wonderful things about Zappos (but I’ve never needed to deal with them).  It’s really not hard, people.  Is it telling that I started talking about fighting and moved on to customer service?  Calling customer service shouldn’t have to be a fight!

I’m sorry.  A small annoyance with a work friend turned into a mini-rant about customer service.  It’s IMPORTANT, damn it!

I’ve made no promises!

I just checked, and it turns out I didn’t actually publicly declare my intention to post something here every day in November (my version of NaNoWriMo, which, turns out, is an actual thing, as I discovered by reading Ms. Wombat’s blog).  And it’s good that I didn’t publicly declare my intention because I’ve already failed, having skipped Sunday the 2nd.  So let’s just say I didn’t even privately declare any such intention and move on.  Nothing to see here.  Except when I post something.  Which will happen every once in a while.  “Every once in a while” might look a bit like “every day”, but let’s not raise expectations.  Expectations lead to obligation.  I don’t want any more obligations.