Oops

I can’t believe I skipped three days.  And I can’t even use vacation as an excuse.

I am officially shopped out.  I met Jess at Tysons early Saturday so we could find shoes for her and a dress for me to wear to her wedding.  I get tired of trying on clothes pretty quickly, so it was good that I found the dress in the second store.  Third, really, but I didn’t try anything on in Macy’s.  Too disorganized.  I don’t have the patience for that.  But I love the dress I found.  Of course, then we had to find shoes.  Nordstrom has a shoe department on every floor (three floors at Tysons), and we found that the shoes get cheaper as you head downstairs.  A shoe salesman on the top floor tried to show me $500 Jimmy Choos!  We practically ran for the lower floors.  Anyway, we had lunch and then continued with the shoe shopping.  Jess found a pair (gold, strappy, sparkly – gorgeous) at Bloomingdale’s, but she was going to try them on when she got home to make sure they’d look good with her dress.  Verdict?  I don’t know yet.  It was fun.  We must have walked the length of the mall at least four times.  And we started the day by browsing through Levenger’s, of course.  🙂  Oh, and Jess brought me a book, ’cause she’s cool like that.  We traded, since I remembered to bring her copy of A Three Dog Life.  She brought me Gentlemen and Players, which I am now reading.

Sunday I went to the mall again (different mall) ’cause I realized I needed another suit.  I went to Lord & Taylor and discovered that I love Anne Klein (brand, not person).  🙂  Anne Klein very definitely thinks I’m a size 8.  Tahari thinks I’m a 10.  Plus, Anne Klein makes one-button suits, which are my favorite.  So now I have a black one, too.  But seriously, that’s all the clothes shopping I can take in one weekend.

Shopping was not the only thing that exhausted me these last few days, though.  Saturday night we went into DC to meet Ryan Evans and his girlfriend, Laura.  We haven’t seen Ryan and Laura since Brian’s wedding two and a half years ago.  Laura was in town for a conference, so when Ryan came up for the weekend, we made sure we were free to see them.  I like them.  We camped out at the District Chop House for about four hours (until they closed and kicked us out at midnight), and then hung out in the lobby of their hotel until about 1:30.  We got home around 2:15.  We had a really good time, but god that was late.  I’m old.  Oh!  We saw Helen Thomas at the hotel!  There was some kind of formal event just ending when we got back from dinner (a little after midnight).  There were a ton of people coming off the elevator and going through the lobby.  The men were all in white tie and the women were all in formal gowns.

Ah.  Mystery solved.  It was the annual Gridiron Club dinner.  And that explains the motorcade, the line of black SUVs parked outside, and the secret service in the lobby.  Senators and presidents attend and sometimes speak at this thing, although apparently Obama did not go to this one.  Anyway, shortly before John and I left, the four of us were standing in the lobby.  I was facing the elevators, and I looked around Ryan, elbowed John, and whispered (loudly, I’m sure), “Isn’t that Helen Thomas?”  It so totally was.  And that was totally cool.

I’ve started my spring and summer grocery shopping.  All that really means is that I go to Wegman’s and buy stuff to grill.  🙂  But it also means I eat healthy stuff!  Last night we grilled steak kabobs.  Tonight, I grilled salmon, mushrooms, asparagus, and two pineapple slices.  Add a little teriyaki sauce, a little soy sauce…delicious.  And good for me.  And I’ll probably do the same for both of us tomorrow night, since I got more salmon.  Maybe broccoli, since John’s not crazy about asparagus unless it’s wrapped in bacon.  🙂  John is taking his Theory of Algorithms midterm tonight.  He studied all weekend (while I was shopping) and all last week, and I think he spent most of today trying to get time to move faster so he could get the test over with.

Oh, so I started Gentlemen and Players today because I finished the third Mistborn book last night.  It really surprised me.  I mean, I got to the end, found something out about a plot point that truly surprised me, and then realized that the author had been telling me that little secret through the ENTIRE book.  Looking back, it’s so clear, but I really didn’t get it at all until Sanderson (author) was ready to tell me.  I’m impressed.

Things people should do

I think I should write more thank-you notes.  You know, as a general rule.  It’s a nice thing to do and people like getting them.  I should also call/email more of my relatives.  And if I’m going to get into a list of all the things I don’t do that I should, we’ll be here all night, so I’m stopping there.

Of course, there’s one other thing everyone should do simply because you get a reaction.  Go in a Starbucks (or some other place where you have to walk by a bunch of people to get to the restroom).  Wear one outfit on your way in and change clothes in the bathroom so when you come out, you’re wearing something completely different.  And I mean completely.  You’ll probably get a couple of double-takes.  It’s kinda funny.

And another thing – if you’re jogging or walking or walking your dog or whatever and someone else jogs by you and nods/says good morning/waves, acknowledge that person!  She’s just being friendly.  Being ignored doesn’t feel good.

How about this one: when you’re driving and someone lets you ahead of them, especially in traffic, wave!  It’s not hard.  They were being nice to you!

Okay, that’s enough.  Today was a VERY long day (but successful!), and tomorrow starts very early.  I’m going to go get a better night’s sleep than I had last night.

Another new TV show

It’s too early to tell yet if this one is going to be good.  The first part of the pilot episode was AWFUL.  The second half was much better.  Oh, I’m talking about Castle.  It’s yet another cop show, and John thinks it’s trying to play off the success of The Mentalist.  It’s also similar to Lie to Me, in the sense that all three shows are (mostly) crime-driven, with the cops bringing on a non-law enforcement specialist to help them solve that week’s crime.  Anyway, the second episode of Castle was pretty good.  Nathan Fillion is in it, and he’s pretty cute.  He’s what made the first half of the pilot so awful, though.  They really over did the skirt-chaser aspect of his character’s personality.  It was much more understated in the second episode.  I’ve only seen him in Waitress, which I loved, and I think he was in Firefly, but I’ve never seen that show.  We’ll give this one another couple of episodes before we decide to keep it or quit.

I went a little link-happy today.  Makes my post more colorful. 🙂  I have to go help John study.  No, really!  He said he wanted to run part of some proof by me (the math part).  I’m good for some of that.

Did you wear green today?

This is going to be short because I’m reading one of those books I just can’t put down.  I mean, I generally really like the books I read (because in most cases I’ll stop reading a book if I’m not enjoying it – life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy if you don’t have to), but I love it when I can’t wait to get back to one. Even if that book doesn’t make it to my list of favorites, it’s still a wonderful feeling.  I get involved.

John started his midterm prep today.  From now until Monday night, all of his free time will be devoted to studying.  This is for his scary Theory of Algorithms class.  I don’t even like to spell algorithms.  I keep looking for another vowel.  So John is up in his office, trying to concentrate, and I will do my best not to get in his way.  I think that’s the only way I can help.

Waltzing Cinderalla

So I was waltzing around my kitchen tonight (what else can you do when The Rascals’ “How Can I Be Sure?” comes on and you have a broom in your hands?) when I realized…I hope none of my neighbors are looking in my windows this evening.  I may have embarrassed myself.  I was sweeping the house, since Charles (the roomba) is having issues), and the dogs were alternating between between staring at me quizzically and trying to keep up with the dancing.  They need practice.

I went to the used bookstore near the office today looking for the next Otherland book.  I figured why buy it new if I can find it used?  It was going to be a quick trip; if they didn’t have the book I was looking for, I was going to leave.  And I was successful!  I found my book!  And three others.  (I’ll be reading Tad Williams for a while.)  Of course, I got distracted by the last Mistborn book, which was written by the guy who is writing the last Wheel of Time book (since Robert Jordan died before he could write it – John jinxed him).  And on top of that distraction, I’m doing something I never do.  I’m reading TWO books at once.  When I’m not reading Hero of Ages (cheesy title, I know), I’m reading The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life, a book Jess let me borrow.  I’d probably just read that straight through, except that it keeps inspiring me to read.  And for some reason, it doesn’t count as the book to read.  I’m not sure that makes sense now that I’ve written it out.  Maybe it does.

Gloom and Dollhouse

This has been a very lonely, very gloomy Sunday.  It’s been overcast, not just cloudy, but dark all day, and I haven’t really enjoyed it.  John left to hang out with a friend from high school before I was even fully awake this morning, so I slept in alone.  Got up, had breakfast, watched TV he doesn’t like to watch, and finally got dressed.  I ran my one errand (grocery shopping), but that only took about 20 minutes.  I ran the dishwasher and did the laundry.  I finished my book (the Tad Williams book that was tiding me over until I could get the next Otherland book – also Tad Williams), but I didn’t even really enjoy that.  I mean, I liked the book, but I was in a gloomy mood.  Finally, John called to say he was on his way home.  And I’m a teensy bit happier about my day.  Also, he’s going to pick up that wonderful pizza with the artichoke hearts and spinach for dinner.  🙂

I’ve been watching Dollhouse, the new Joss Whedon show.  It’s been on for maybe five weeks or so.  I like it, but I think it’s going to get cancelled.  I don’t think the ratings are very high.  The premise is interesting, and the episodes are just different enough week to week to keep it from being too repetitive, but Eliza Dushku is just not very good.  She basically plays a different person week to week, and she’s not quite believable sometimes.  Often.  But I like the premise enough that I’ll keep watching.  And the theme music gets stuck in my head.

Dogs are taking over the neighborhood

Today must have been Let Your Dog Escape From Your Yard day.  I didn’t get the memo.  I took the dogs with me on my run this morning, and we met a giant fluffy white dog as we ran by the back of the high school.  Very pretty dog, wearing a harness.  It had tags, but it wouldn’t let me get close enough to read them.  And when I tugged the dogs back onto the sidewalk so we could continue our jog, it didn’t follow us.  There was no owner in sight, no one shouting this dog’s name or anything.  I hope it finds its way home.  Later, in our third mile, a dog (yellow lab mix of some sort) burst out of the tree line by the elementary school and practically skidded into Roxy.  She didn’t follow us when we got back on track, either, and at least I could see the townhouses she came from.  I’m pretty confident she made it back home.  But there was no one running out the door looking for her, either.  How do you not notice that your dog is out?

A little complaining. Sorry.

Paul Rudd is a funny guy.  We just watched his interview on The Daily Show.

Honestly, I don’t have anything to say tonight.  I know I say that every other day, but I’m not quite sure what to do about it.  I’m tired and I’m cold and I just really want to read.  And sleep.  This weekend is going to be somewhat busy (hopefully I’ll be shopping at some point), and it looks like one of John’s friends from high school will be in town next weekend.  I just want to be able to sleep in on Saturday.  Getting up was really hard this morning (now that it’s dark again at 6:30), and I don’t expect it to be any easier tomorrow.

Wow.  Stop whining.  I’m done.  🙂  Happy Birthday, Min!

Trying too hard and banana bread

I’m not the one who’s trying too hard.  (According to Jeff and John, I don’t try hard enough at work to hide my dislike of a couple of people.  I’ll work on that.)  No, I was at the grocery store today and when I got to the check-out, I met the most annoying cashier ever.  It was his first day (he made sure I knew that), and he wouldn’t shut up.  He commented on every item I bought.  Sometimes he just announced the item (“Bread!”).  I bought a bag of sugar and he burst into song.  “Sugar (ba da ba ba ba bum), ah, honey, honey.”  A couple of things and it might have been amusing, but he really did say (or sing) something about EVERYthing I bought.  (“Ooh, flour.  Conditioner!  Hey, toilet paper!”)  I’m sure he was just nervous or something (or maybe he’s always annoying), but I was getting ready to throw something at him.  Maybe my 5 lb bag of sugar.  And lest you think I’m exaggerating, I was not the only one annoyed.  I shared a look with the woman behind me.

Then I came home and made banana bread.

Long day

Today was a very long day.  We got to work early so we could leave early, but we weren’t able to get home until around 7:30.  Christina saved the dogs for us by letting them out after she left work.  Thanks, Christina!  I’m sure the dogs were grateful, and surprisingly, they didn’t steal anything off the counter in the time they were left alone (after Christina left and before we got home).  Of course, they probably spent most of that time upstairs on our bed, since I forgot to put the baby gate in front of the stairs this morning.   Our evening’s adventure was promising, actually, and even if nothing comes of it, it’ll at least get us moving.  I am SO tired.  Tomorrow is another early day, and for John it’ll be even longer.  Tomorrow is the day his class got moved from mid-afternoon to early evening because his professor is a jerk with no regard for his students.  He’s not even supposed to be holding class this week because it’s Spring Break, and on top of having class, he changed the time three days ago and expects his students to be there.  Anyway, John won’t get home until 9 or 10 tomorrow night, after having to be at work before 8am.  Poor guy.  I’m sleepy, so that’s enough for tonight.

Home, safe and sound

The guy at security in the Pensacola airport totally made fun of my pink laptop!  I took it out of the bag and put it in the bin to go through the x-ray machine, and he looked at me, raised an eyebrow, and said, “Raspberry?  Really?”  I was like, “Yeah.  What’s your point?  I’ll never grab someone’s laptop thinking it’s mine, will I?”  He agreed that I had a point, and I tried not to give him any dirty looks.  Also, I didn’t give him quite that much attitude, but that was the gist of the exchange.  🙂  I love my pink laptop!

Everyone needs to live closer (to me, anyway).  I’m not endorsing Mom’s dream of a family compound, but I would like to be within a couple of hours of everyone.

I think they just delayed my flight for an hour (out of Pensacola).  It was a little hard to understand the announcement, though.

Later: Yeah, we left Pensacola about an hour late.  Not a big deal for me, though.  I had two hours in Atlanta to waste, so cutting it back to one hour was just fine.  Got some food, read a little, got on the plane.  Anyway, you know how I was babbling the other day about how much I like to travel?  Well, that’s still true, but the trip home has a very different feel to it than the trip out.  Going home always seems to take a little too long.  It’s harder to enjoy traveling when you’re wishing you were already there.  I’m not saying this exactly right, but you probably know what I mean.  Because of course I always want to get to wherever I was going faster, too, but since it’s the beginning of the trip, I can enjoy the excitement of getting there.  Getting home is a little less exciting (the travel part) and a little more tedious.  On the other hand, it’s a beautiful day out the window on the left side of the plane, wherever it is we are right now.  Probably over southern Virginia or northern Tennessee, judging by the time.

Hey, I watched Body of Lies with Mom and Dad last night.  Not a very good movie.  If you’re thinking about seeing it, don’t waste your time unless you’re a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio (meaning you need to see every movie he makes).  The acting was fine, but the story was disjointed.  The plot wasn’t very clear, and the ending was not satisfying.  Mom gave up on it with maybe 40 minutes to go (also, it’s WAY too long to have such a disappointing ending – more than two hours of my time is forever gone), but then, as Corey said, she’s a quitter.  🙂  Dad and I stuck it out.

I’m home and very happy to be back with John.  🙂  Yay home.

A little sunburn

Of course I got a little bit of a sunburn.  I spent about three hours on a boat today.  🙂  We went on the Fish River.  It was a beautiful day, nice and warm, and we had lunch (fried chicken and deviled eggs).  Then we fished.  Well, Dad and Corey fished.  Gaby played with her toy fishing rod and Mom told her stories (The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Three Little Pigs, etc).  I don’t particularly like to fish, but Corey told me he would bait the hook and just hand me the pole.  I could cast and fish, and if I caught anything, he’d reel it in and take it from there.  I thought that was a pretty good deal, since I don’t really want to do anything messy.  Or slimy.  Or involving hooks.  No one caught anything, though.

Anyway, we’re back at the house.  Dad is de-veining shrimp, Mom is cooking, and I am ripping mp3s for Dad.  And downloading the soundtrack (original off-Broadway) of Really Rosie for Mom.  Fascinating, I know.  But I’m enjoying my vacation.

Traveling

I love to travel.  I love going places, and I don’t really care how I’m getting there.  I love to fly, but I’m happy in the car on a long road trip, or on a train (although I haven’t done that since college).  I even like to travel alone (it’s fun to try to figure out who everyone else thinks you are, what you’re doing, where you’re going, why, and fun to make up stories you could tell people if they were to ask), but I hate leaving John behind, and I don’t like it when he leaves me behind (even though I usually enjoy the time alone).  We both associate me leaving without him with when I was in the Navy.  Then we’d have to say goodbye for two weeks, or two months, or (worst case for us) six months.  Now, even though we know it’s just for a few days, that initial sense of impending separation comes with the same anxiety that upcoming deployments used to bring.  It doesn’t last (or we’d both be miserable the whole time), but it makes the night before a trip a little difficult.

I sat next to the skinniest girl in the world on my first flight.  She’s a college student going home for Spring Break (another thing I had forgotten – I’m traveling during Spring Break season).  She was shorter than me, maybe a little taller than Jess, and she was twig thin.  Probably wears a size 0 or 2 jeans.  Anyway, our row only had 5 seats, and we were in the two on the right side of the plane. I had the aisle seat.  She folded herself into her seat. It was like watching an accordion close up.  Looked unreal.

Traveling with my laptop is SO cool.  Well, traveling with it and actually using it while traveling is cool.  Just lugging it around is not so cool.  I’m aware that Mom and Dad have at least two, probably three laptops in their house, but I wanted to play with mine en route.  Plus, I wanted to test out my new bag, which I bought specifically so I could have a nice looking, work-ready bag for my laptop and other things.  And it’s a nice carry-on.  Anyway, I wrote the first paragraph up there around 6:15 this morning in the terminal at Dulles.  The rest of this is being written (by some mystery person who likes passive voice, apparently) as we’re flying along at cruising altitude on our way to Pensacola.  I like my laptop.  🙂  Plus I wanted to get this written before I get there so I can just post it.

Update: I made it safe and sound, and in the four or so hours I’ve been here, I’ve been to Lowe’s, had a picnic lunch with Mom, Dad, and Corey, picked Gaby up from school, and read her a story before her nap.  Now, the three of us (Corey went back to work) are all on our laptops, doing whatever.  I think we may go for a walk soon.

What am I forgetting?

I am totally in the grip of eve-of-trip, last-minute list-making.  I’m convinced I was supposed to do something today that I haven’t done or look something up that I can’t remember.  I did remember to arrange a cab to pick me up tomorrow morning, something I  had forgotten until about half an hour ago.  What other things like that are lurking unremembered in my brain?  I haven’t packed, but I know what I’m packing, so that’s not it.  Of the things I can think of, the hardest thing I have to do tonight is pick what book to read next, since I’ll probably finish my current one on the flight.  And that’s hardly hard.  Hardly hard hard.  *giggle*

Lots to do

I had a very productive day, both at work and at home.  My to-do list for this trip feels manageable again.  I finished updating the, ahem, paperwork for the thing next week, registered for that thing, did lots of laundry, and….well, that’s all I did when I got home.  Oh, and I picked up all the stuff that’s been collecting under my window in the bedroom.  Lots of random stuff.  Wow, this is boring.  Sorry, but that’s all I’ve got right now.  I should quit before this gets worse.

Lack of concentration and the DMV

I’m having a hard time concentrating this week.  Work, that thing for next week, reading…can’t concentrate on it.  I get like this whenever I’m about to travel somewhere.  I’m mentally ready to go several days in advance, so I find it hard to focus on anything not related the trip.  I find myself mentally packing.  Today, I was trying to figure out just how light I could pack to make my run through the Atlanta airport as easy as possible.  (I have a 38-minute layover in Atlanta Friday morning, and my flight out of there is two terminals away from where I’ll land.  I’m packing carry-on luggage only ’cause I don’t think anything I check will make the connection.  Which explains why I’m obsessing a little over what I’m going to pack.  And that’s just a bit ridiculous since I’m only going for a long weekend.  What’s to pack?  Get out of parentheses, please.)  I still have two days of work to get through.  Feels like forever.

Speaking of forever, that’s about how long I spent at the DMV today.  I remembered over the weekend that my license expired on my birthday.  I planned to go to the DMV yesterday, but the one near the office was closed because of the snow, so I went this afternoon.  The website lists wait times for nearby locations, and the one I was going to said the wait time was about 25 minutes.  They LIED.  I waited about 5 minutes in the information line to tell them why I was there and get my number.  Then I sat down with my book.  An hour later (not 25 minutes or anything close), they called my number.  Ten minutes at the counter, and then I sat down to wait for them to call my name for the new picture.  Maybe another ten minutes, took the picture, and then another ten or so before my license was ready.  Despite the annoyance of having to wait that long, I think I enjoyed that part of my day more than any other part until I got home from work.  I had about an hour and a half of uninterrupted time to read my book!  During the work day!  So that was pretty cool.  Yay DMV!  I bet they never hear that.

Snow in March is not cool

So we got more than 4 inches of snow last night.  It’s March.  It should not be snowing in March.  Not here.  School was out, of course, but the federal government didn’t shut down, so we had work as usual.  It just took us a little longer to get there.  John’s class got canceled, though.  It’s a little ridiculous that his evening class was canceled.  I mean, the morning classes, sure, but by early afternoon, all the roads were clear.

I don’t really have anything to say today.  I could complain about our DVR (we recorded Friday’s episode of Battlestar Galactica, but for some reason it won’t play), but I don’t really feel like it.  I don’t really feel like complaining at all, actually.  Surprising.  🙂  I’m just tired.  Today felt stressful, even though there wasn’t anything stressful about it.  I felt rushed this morning because I was supposed to be at work in time for a 10am conference call.  I called in from the car (we didn’t get to work until about 10:15), and the people from the Department never showed up, so that call ended quickly.  Our boss understood our tardiness (the roads were mostly a mess and everyone was driving REALLY slowly even where the roads were clear), so that wasn’t a cause for stress.  And then the day dragged on forever.

That sounded like complaining.

Forced to shop

I had a successful shopping trip today.  It’s a shame I wasn’t in the mood for it.  I don’t think I’m your typical girl when it comes to shopping.  At least, not the stereotype.  Shopping doesn’t brighten my day.  And even when I’m buying stuff for myself, even when I’m thin enough that everything fits (so shopping isn’t a depressing exercise), I still have to be in the mood.  I had to shop today because I need a suit.  I’ll need it a week from Tuesday, and since I’ll be out of town next weekend, this weekend was it.  Had to buy it today.  It wasn’t a bad experience.  The mall wasn’t mobbed or anything.  I just got tired of looking, finding a fitting room, trying things on, and then repeating the whole thing with the next outfit and the next store.  Today, I didn’t have the patience.  The worst part was that the suit was the first thing I needed to get.  So after the fourth store (where I finally bought a suit), I still had to go to two more places to finish my errands.  I just wanted to go home.  But I got a lot done (and I got a haircut!), so I don’t have to worry about anything before I leave on my trip.  That was the big reason for getting everything done this weekend.  And with that goal in mind, it was a successful day.

Now I’m home, waiting for the snow.  (We’re supposed to get 4-6 inches tonight!)  We just ordered a pizza, and John said he’ll come downstairs soon (he’s playing his guitar and messing around with data on various hard drives) and build me a fire.  🙂  He stayed up until after 1am last night working on that quiz (I went to bed before 10), and then spent another couple of hours on it this morning.  It’s done now, so it’s time for everyone to relax.  I’m so glad.