I love spring

Today got a lot better.  My meeting downtown went smoothly (all I had to do was be there, anyway), and we were done in just over an hour.  I had a very pleasant drive home from DC.  I took the GW Parkway to the beltway.  It’s beautiful.  The trees are all leafed out and it’s wonderfully shady.  It’s a really nice day today.  Upper 60’s, sunny skies, a little breezy – this is my favorite kind of day.

I got home and took the dogs out for a walk that turned into more of a jog.  It was just so nice!  Oh, I almost forgot.  We were on Claiborne heading towards where the W&OD trail crosses over the road, and I looked up and saw a horse on the trail.  Totally weird.  I mean, I’ve seen signs for horse crossings on the trail before, but where in suburban Ashburn could someone keep a horse?  I guess they could have been heading back to Leesburg…  Wherever they came from, It was very strange to see someone riding a horse over Claiborne Parkway, about a mile from my house.

Speaking of weird sightings, as I left the Department of Education building this afternoon, there was a guy outside, wearing only red shorts and shoes, doing pushups on the sidewalk.  Who on earth would decide to drop and do pushups, wearing no shirt, immediately outside the main entrance of the Department of Education building?

John isn’t feeling well today (scratchy throat, stuffy head), so I’m heading out to get him soup for dinner.  (He actually asked for soup!  I’m totally wearing him down!)

Wake up already!

Six hours is not enough sleep for me.  Only my anal sense of punctuality (can you have a sense of punctuality?  Is there a phrase I should be using here that I can’t think of because my brain isn’t working?  You know what I mean, right?) got me out of bed this morning.  I get paranoid about being late for most things, but I’m worst about work and airplanes.  Anyway, I’m having a really hard time focusing.  I’m a little better now (after Starbucks and a croissant).  We’ll see how long I have before the crash.  At least I’m not comfortable today.  I’m wearing a suit ’cause I have to go downtown for a meeting this afternoon.  On the bright side, I may be able to go straight home from that rather than come back to the office.  It depends on how short the meeting is.  If it lasts at least an hour, I’ll be heading home.  Less than that and I can’t really justify not going back to work.

I was just telling Christina about the program we used to get Mom new ringtones for her cell phone, and now I have “Sweet Pea” stuck in my head.  I can deal with that.  I like this song.  🙂  Mom, if you’re reading, can you email me the mp3?

Who likes Mondays?

At the risk of sounding like Garfield, Mondays suck.  (I’m paraphrasing.)  Tuesdays are usually better, but I don’t have my hopes up for tomorrow.  We’ll see.

Not much else to talk about, really.  Tonight was John’s Theory of Algorithms final.  He’s not back yet (it’s later than usual), and I don’t know if that’s a good sign or a bad sign.  Or not a sign at all.  But this was his last final, so he’s free until fall.

Happy 2nd Sunday in May!

(That’s Mother’s Day to most of you.  My mother doesn’t believe in Mother’s Day.)  It’s been a beautiful day here.  Unfortunately, John isn’t able to enjoy it (and neither is Roxy, but for entirely different reasons).  John has been (and still is) studying for his last final.  It’s tomorrow night, and he’s not feeling all that confident.  He didn’t have a lot of time to study yesterday (because we were having a wonderful afternoon in DC with Chuck, Jess, and Cody), and not having the answers to his practice questions keeps him guessing about whether or not he’s getting them right.

Roxy is not studying.  She, poor thing, threw up all night and hasn’t really been feeling well all day.  We woke up this morning to several messes downstairs, and when we got her outside, she threw up some more.  She was finally able to keep a little water down, and I gave her her medicine.  After a while, I made her some rice and chicken broth.  She ate a few bites, but she didn’t want anymore (which is the real cause for alarm, I think).  At least she kept it down.  I’ll give her more later, and when John is free to help me, I’ll try to take her temperature.  That should be fun.  She’s been crashed out on the floor all day, looking pathetic, barely wagging her tail.  She spends most days crashed out on the floor, but she usually doesn’t look this miserable.

Update: I went over to check on her and she wagged her tail and played with me a little.  I gave her some rice and she scarfed it down.  I think she’s feeling better.  🙂  She’s looking around for more, but I want to make sure she can keep it down first.  TMI a little?  Sorry.

Yesterday, we saw Arcadia at the theater at the Folger Shakespeare Library with Jess, Chuck, and Cody.  It was so good.  I’ve seen it twice before, once with Corey as Septimus Hodge in Lexington and once at GW.  The actor playing Septimus this time was really good and very Corey-like in his movements and expressions.  Is it just that the character has to be played that way?  Whatever.  I like it.  And the woman who played Thomasina was fantastic.  Oh, they all were.  We all really enjoyed it.

We went to the Sonoma Wine Bar for dinner immediately after (the play was at 2pm).  It was five after 5, and there were two, maybe three other parties already there.  We had to convince the hostess to seat us (yes, we’ll be done by 8, sorry to inconvenience you), and then a couple of items we wanted to order weren’t available anymore (but still on the menu), but other than those minor things, it was really good.  Expensive, yes, but very good.  John had the ribeye, Jess and I had the filet, we all had ceviche, sashimi, and beef carpaccio to start, and mozzarella risotto with dinner.  Everything we had was delicious, including my wine, but I’ve already forgotten what I was drinking, which is a shame.  (My choice of wine was one of the items no longer available, so while I remember what I wanted, I don’t remember what I had.)

We followed dinner with a five-block trek to the Baskin Robbins on 8th Street for dessert.  ‘Cause, you know, we hadn’t eaten enough yet.  🙂  I certainly don’t regret the ice cream (an Oreo cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream cone is totally worth the calories), but the walk there and back killed my feet.  I love those shoes, but they’re better for standing around and looking nice.  Hiking ten blocks is not what they were made for.  I’ve been walking a bit gingerly today, but I think I’ll be fine for running tomorrow.

We fell asleep last night while watching Shakespeare in Love (can’t get enough Tom Stoppard), so we might finish that tonight.  John is on the phone with his mom and he just started to mess with what might be the inside of the $5 amp he bought from a garage sale on his run yesterday, so I think he’s done studying for the day.  That’s my cue to fire up the grill.  Salmon, asparagus, portabello mushrooms, and a caprese salad.  All from Wegman’s, all fresh and delicious.

Why can’t my dogs sleep through the night?

So, I tried to let the dogs sleep upstairs last night, but that didn’t last long.  John went to PA yesterday morning to surprise his mom and see Emily before she headed back to Pittsburgh (he gets back tonight), leaving me I was alone in the house.  I’m easily unnerved, so I try to keep the dogs close.  We didn’t even make it to midnight.  Roxy got up and shoved repeatedly against the mattress with her chest.  I’m not sleeping through that, so I kicked them out.  Back downstairs for them.

I had arranged to come in to work late today, so I was able to sleep in this morning.  It was great.  No alarm clock, I woke up to beautiful blue skies, and I had more than enough time to run, have a leisurely breakfast (I watched another episode of Fringe), shower, and get to work with time to spare before our 1pm meeting.  The rest of the day has been a little crazy though, with several additional meetings and last minute requests from the client for data.  But it’s officially over now and I’m heading out to dinner with some people from work.

I really will watch just about anything

Heather Graham makes some really bad movies.  I mean, just awful.  But I have discovered who I wish I looked like.  Bridget Moynihan is beautiful – tall, thin, gorgeous, great smile.  If I were going to (and able to) look like anybody else, it would be her.  I watched Gray Matters today (that’s the bad movie that triggered the mean Heather Graham comment), and although it really was bad, Alan Cumming was adorable in it.

More TV:

I know I said Cupid is a dumb show (and I still think so), but the episode I just watched made me cry.

Sorry for the disjointed post.  I didn’t write it all at the same time.  Only one thing of note actually happened today (which is one more than most days, I guess).  I finally met our new neighbors on the uphill side.  Our realtor neighbor with the adopted Russian kids moved out sometime in March, and our new neighbors moved in shortly after that, but we’d hardly even seen them.  They were never in the backyard, and we only caught a couple of glimpses of them out front.  Their yard (front and back) was turning quickly into a jungle, and last weekend, the guy tried to mow his jungle/lawn with an electric lawn mower.  He didn’t get far before some other neighbors came over with a gas lawn mower to help out.  (We came home while this pow-wow was going on the driveway.)  Anyway, John is convinced they’ve never had a yard to take care of before, and that this guy has never used a lawn mower.  The next day we saw him in the backyard, mowing (attempting to mow – seriously the grass is almost two feet high in some places) in khakis and a button down shirt.

Anyway, I met him today because I let the dogs out and Riley started to bark.  I opened the door to tell him to quit it and saw that he was barking at our new neighbor.  So I headed to the fence to introduce myself (and apologize for Riley).  His name is Andy, and they lived in an apartment in Chantilly before moving next door.  His wife (who I haven’t met yet) is Iris, they’re Chinese (he made a point of that, I’m not sure why, since we weren’t talking about anyone’s background), and they’re planning a cruise to Alaska in the next month or so.  He’s a very nice guy (who asked me some basic lawn care questions), and we have tentative plans to have a cookout when they get settled in.  That’s all I know.  Oh, no kids, no dog.  That’s all I know.

My poor toothless dog

Okay, missing one tooth doesn’t really make her toothless.  I just picked Roxy up from the vet, and she’s doing fine.  Not even groggy.  I’ve got all kinds of pain medication and antibiotics to get her through the next few days.

I’m home and happy to be here, but I wish the weekend could get here faster.  Anybody know how to make that happen?  I’m worn out.

Geraldine Brooks needs to write more books

I stayed up late last night to finish People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks.  I can’t believe it took me so long to get around to reading it!  What was I thinking?  I loved it.  I loved it more than March, despite that book’s Pulitzer Prize.  It’s been so long since I read Year of Wonders that I can’t compare the two.  And I can’t find my copy of Year of Wonders, so I can’t re-read it immediately to find out which I loved more.  At the moment, though, I’m leaning towards People of the Book.  🙂

I started The Eyre Affair this morning during breakfast.  I’m only a few pages in, but I think I’m going to really like this one, too.

Think happy thoughts

I said I was going to be positive about today, right?  Okay.

  1. Band rehearsal was scheduled to go until 10pm, but we finished at 9:45!
  2. My head doesn’t hurt as much as it usually does when I’ve been up for 17 hours.
  3. John didn’t wake me up when he came home tonight from class; I only beat him home by 5 minutes.

Hmm.  That last one leans a little negative.  Well, that’s the best I can do.  Ignore the faint whiff of sarcasm from #1.

I love used bookstores

There’s a used bookstore in Falls Church that John swore we had been to before, but I didn’t remember ever going.  We went yesterday afternoon.  It’s a good one.  For me, anyway.  They have a HUGE (for used bookstores, anyway) science fiction/fantasy section, and I remembered my list.  🙂  So I got a lot of books.  Then I walked around a corner into a little nook lined floor to ceiling with hardcover books (I think it may have originally been a closet – oh yeah, the store is a little one-story house) and suddenly remembered standing in that exact spot with John years ago.  So John was right.  I’ve been there before.

The rest of the day was lovely.  I don’t think we did anything we didn’t want to do.  Well, I went to the grocery store, but it was while John was working on his car.  And going to Bloom never takes long.

Roxy was good all weekend (no seizures – yay!), but I’m expecting some misbehavior from both dogs tonight.  It’s going to be a very long day, for all of us.  I’m at work early so I can leave early to get home and take care of the dogs.  I’ll be home maybe an hour (maybe a little more), but then I have to come back to the office because we have band rehearsal tonight.  John will be missing rehearsal because he has to go to class.  I won’t get home until 9:30 at the earliest, and he’ll be another hour after that.  Roxy and Riley tend to misbehave when we go back out.  Nothing major, usually.  They steal things off the countertops.  Bread, bags of coffee beans, plastic containers, whatever.  They don’t even eat them.  Just steal them.

Anyway, I’m trying to be positive about today.  It’s a little hard.

Derby Day!

I love Derby Day.  The day itself has not gone like I planned, but that’s okay.  I planned to run this morning, but it started to rain just as I went outside, so we decided to just go ahead and have breakfast.  Which is, of course, when the sun came back out.  Too late.

Today had lots of good things, though, and more to come, I’m sure.  John’s anniversary present to me this year was/is the dance lessons I’ve wanted us to take since before our wedding.  There’s an Arthur Murray studio in Ashburn, so he scheduled our free lesson for today at 12:30.  It was fun!  I like dancing, and I think I’ll really like knowing, you know, how.  John is not as comfortable, but that’s the point of lessons.  He’s doing this for me, and I love him for it.  So we signed up for one of the plans, and we’ll learn everything we can.

After that, John went to the music store with Will (John needed mandolin strings (he snapped one yesterday), and Will was looking for a bass), and since I missed my morning run, I strong-armed Christina into walking with me (and Colin in the stroller, of course) so I could do a long, slow jog.  I like exercising with a buddy.  If Christina is interested, maybe we can meet up regularly.

Oh, Roxy news.  The results of the bloodwork show that her dosage does not need to be changed, and the condition of her liver has actually improved since last year.  (The medicine that does the best job of controlling her seizures also causes long-term liver damage.  She started taking a supplement a year ago to combat that, and it appears to be working.)  Unless she really starts having seizures more often or that are more violent, we’re treating Thursday’s cluster seizures as an isolated event.  Assuming she doesn’t have any more in the next few days, she’ll have her fractured tooth removed this Wednesday.  In the meantime, she’s getting treated to delicious wet food twice a day and begging for more.

The Derby was all good news this year, no tragedies, and a great race.  Very fun to watch.  Tonight is for staying in and relaxing.  Tomorrow, we might do some of the things we originally scheduled for today (like weeding my flower bed and buying the plants that will go in it, studying for John’s AI final, and checking out a used bookstore in Falls Church).  Maybe.

The Friday Night Roxy Update

Roxy’s doing fine.  She didn’t have any seizures at the vet today, and she seems fine now that she’s home.  We’ll get results from the blood tests tomorrow (hopefully), so we’ll see what we need to do about her medication.   She’ll be going back to the vet soon, though, because she managed to crack one of her molars during all those convulsions yesterday.  The vet found it during the exam today.  There’s apparently a whole chunk missing, but I haven’t looked yet ’cause I’m afraid I’ll hurt her.  John and I tried, kind of.  He held her and I grabbed her head and started to lift her lip, but she hates being confined like that and she was wriggling too much.  I don’t want to inadvertently hit her where she’s sensitive, so I’m just not going to look.  John bought a bunch of wet, canned dog food.  Dry food would not be a good idea.  She inhaled it.  Riley did, too.  (We added some to his food.  We don’t like to leave him out.)  Of course, she was probably starving; she hadn’t eaten since last night.  She had to fast for the bloodwork.  And here’s a recent picture of her (taken the day we got back from Jess’s wedding).

Roxy, age 6 (almost), 4/5/09

Roxy, age 6 (almost), 4/5/09

Tonight is for relaxing.  We’ll baby Roxy a bit, order a pizza, and watch TV or movies.  Tomorrow is Derby Day, and oh!  Well, if you even noticed it was coming, you probably noticed we’re not having a Derby party this year.  I didn’t even think of it until midweek, so we decided not to this year.  I’m a little bummed that I didn’t plan ahead for this, but we’ll just have to make it up later.  I’m certainly still planning on watching the Derby, and I hope you all are, too.  🙂

Great news!

One of my favorite people just got a promotion!  Our good buddy Chuck (Jess’s wonderful husband Chuck) is now Master Chief Clark!  Way to go, Chuck!

What can I get away with now that I know a Master Chief?  Nothing, you say?  Oh.  🙂

Congratulations, Chuck!

Everybody hurts

I hurt. I’m being punished for adding squats and lunges to my routine yesterday.  I could feel it when I ran this morning, but it wasn’t until I got back and squatted down to feed the dogs that my legs really started to ache.  It’s a good ache, but it’s going to be very hard to repeat those exercises tomorrow morning.  At least I seem to have solved my shoe problem.  I loosened the laces a ton this morning, leaving just enough to tie a tiny bow, and my feet didn’t hurt.   Yay!

I finally watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog the other day.  Love it!  And I want more.  Neil Patrick Harris is just too cool.  I watched Enchanted yesterday, too.  It was surprisingly good.  Not great, but there are parts of it I want to see again.  Like the big musical number in Central Park.  And I think I really like Amy Adams.  Junebug and Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day are on my Netflix list.

Race results

My official race time was 30:51.  That’s not great.  I need to be much better about getting my ass out of bed in the morning to run.

Anyway, Sunday morning.  We made it to Alexandria and parked in Old Town with plenty of time to spare.  Caught the shuttle bus to the starting line on the GW Parkway, and as we walked towards the tent to pick up our race packets, someone shouted my name.  Preethy was there!  This was her first race (and she beat me by almost 2 minutes).  So that was really cool.  We had over an hour to wait before the race started, so we hung out with Preethy and her friend.  I hadn’t seen Preethy since her wedding last August.  (And her new husband, Bob, was nowhere to be found.  He apparently decided to sleep in rather than cheer her on.  I’m sure you can guess my opinion on that.)

Anyway, it was hot and humid.  Upper 70s by the time the race started.  TOO hot.  There were over 1000 people running in just the 5K, so you can imagine how long it took for the crush of people to thin out after the start.  The last stretch was just under a mile, all straight, and at some point we could see the finish line, but it was MUCH farther away than it looked.  Or at least it felt that way.  I thought I was never gonna get there.  Erik came out to watch (yay Erik!) and I heard him shout my name as I went by (I smiled and waved for his camera, but I think it came out blurry or something) and then I heard John shout for me from the other side, but by then I couldn’t even look.  It was all I could to just cross the finish line, and then it took everything I had left to keep from throwing up.  But I recovered pretty fast.  John did very well (under 25 minutes and 81st out of over a thousand).  So we (Erik found me pretty quickly) found John and then headed over to pick up our t-shirts and a bagel.  We didn’t stick around for the post-race party, though.  We walked back to our car to pick up clean (dry) shirts and looked for a place to have breakfast.  We stopped at the first place we saw (the Royal Restaurant I mentioned last night).  It really wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t good.  We probably would have been happier at IHOP or something.  But it was good enough.  My calves were starting to tighten up, so we walked around for a bit and then took Erik home.  It was only 10:30 when we headed for home, which seems crazy to me.  How could we be leaving DC at 10:30 in the morning?  Right – we got there before 6:30.  Right.  Crazier.  We stopped on the way home to get a haircut for John (he wasn’t really sweaty anymore and he was wearing a clean shirt.  That’s not gross, right?  I didn’t think so), and then got sweatier and grosser by mowing the lawn.  On a side note, I don’t like dandelions.  I pulled a ton of them Saturday afternoon, and by noon on Sunday there were more!  I couldn’t have missed that many on Saturday.  Anyway, my point is that after the lawn and the grocery store, we didn’t have any other chores to do that day.  It was great.  And, like I said yesterday, we were exhausted, so it’s good we didn’t plan anything big.

John and I watched Be Kind Rewind last night.  It was cute.  Better than I expected, but also a little weirder.  And I just watched another episode of Dollhouse.  It’s not great TV, but I really like it, and I’m hoping they bring it back next year.

Prelude to the GW Parkway Classic

My day was over by about 4pm today.  I’m still awake, yes, so technically my day is still going on, but since I’m essentially sleepwalking, this doesn’t count.  I am SO tired.  We didn’t get to bed early last night like we planned (the last time I remember looking at the clock it was around eleven), and we got up at five this morning.  John thinks we should take credit for 4:30, since that’s about when I got anxious and started bouncing around, according to him.  Anyway, we were out the door by 5:40 to make sure we got to Alexandria in time to park the car and catch the shuttle bus to the starting line of the 25th Annual George Washington Parkway Classic.  (The 5K starting line.  There was a 10-miler, too.)

I’m practically asleep at the keyboard.  I think the details of the race will have to wait until tomorrow.  I just talked to Mom and Dad, who are trying to decide whether or not buy this house in Shelbyville that sounds really nice.

Tonight is definitely going to be an early night.  Oh, breakfast at the Royal Restaurant in Alexandria?  Not good.  I do not recommend it.  Not terrible or anything, but we (me, John, Erik) got the buffet and no one went back for more.

Okay, my eyes are going to kill me if I don’t take out my contacts, and once my contacts are out, I’m pretty much unconscious.  See ya.

And their wheels are bare…

Another very nice day.  I like when they occur one right after the other.  I was planning on doing some planting this weekend, but I think it’s going to be too hot.  Besides, I have a little more research to do for my flower bed.  We will make some tree decisions, though.  Then, because homeowners’ associations SUCK, we have to submit an architectural change application, with landscaping diagram, just to plant three trees!  We need to replace the poor dying one in the front yard, and we’d like to plant a couple near the deck for eventual shade.  I have no idea how long it will take to get this change approved.

But that sounds negative, and I don’t feel negative today.  John is about to head to Leesburg to get some help from a guy at work with something car-related.  I will take the dogs for a walk, and when he gets back, we’ll eat dinner.  It’s a beautiful warm evening, and I think our walk will be very pleasant.  Is it weird for me to say “our walk” instead of “my walk” when that “our” consists of me and two dogs?  It doesn’t feel like just MY walk.  They’ll enjoy it too, I’m sure.

Hooray for Friday nights!

Call it now

I’m calling today a wonderful day now.  I know it’s early, but it’s been really good so far.  My run this morning was very nice (very encouraging, considering how not fun they’ve been the last few days), it’s beautiful outside, and I spent the first hour I was at work rearranging my office.  I have stuff to do today, but one of our deadlines was yesterday, so all the pressure and craziness associated with that is over.  I just feel really good.