I think I have blisters.

I shoveled snow!  And ice.  Mostly ice.  But I did it!  John is at school, so when I got home today (not very long ago), I decided to try to clear the driveway and sidewalk of the packed ice that appeared after last night’s and this morning’s freezing rain.  John shoveled the snow away last night.  It was pretty easy to get the shovel all the way under it, but ice is heavy!  And my back started to hurt (towards the side, and mostly on the left side even though I made a point of switching my grip on the shovel) before I was halfway done.  At least my neighbors think I’m less of a girly girl now.  Both Mike, the crazy guy who lives behind us, and Mark, the boyfriend of Mike’s ex-wife who lives across the street from us, said I was doing a good job and decided to shovel their own sidewalks.  Anyway, I’m hot and sweaty (ick), my hands hurt (I wasn’t wearing gloves – stupid, I know), my arms are a little weak, and my back hurts.  All from shoveling ice for about 20-25 minutes.  I am a WIMP!  The worst part is that the sidewalk is still wet and all that moisture is just going to freeze again overnight.  So unless it warms up enough to melt and dry up tomorrow, we’re going to be looking at icy sidewalks for a few more days.

Filler. And dogs.

I’m just posting tonight so I can say I did.  I don’t like this kind of  post, but I left it to the last minute and I really don’t want to start skipping days for no good reason.  Nothing really exciting happened today.  I was sort of busy at work, but not crazy busy.  It snowed last night and much of today.  We had about an inch on the ground by the time we got home.  We’re getting freezing rain tonight and tomorrow, warming up to regular rain, so the snow will be gone soon.  And we’ll get to drive to work tomorrow on ice.  Yippee.

The dogs really like the snow.  While John shoveled the sidewalk, I took them out to run around the backyard.  They ran.  I stood in one place and encouraged them.  And Riley proved to me (again) just how dumb he is.  He’s not very good at playing fetch.  I mean, he’ll chase the ball, but he doesn’t bring it back.  So I picked up a handful of snow, got his attention, and threw it.  I didn’t bother packing it, and it drifted back down the ground within two feet of me, but Riley didn’t notice.  He ran to back of the yard, and when he got to the back fence, he started looking for it, but not on the ground.  He knew it never hit the ground, so he was looking up, at the sky, at the trees – did he think it flew away?  Who knows.  The best part was how he was running.  You know how Pepe Le Pew bounds after the cat he’s always chasing?  Ears up, all four legs off the ground at the same time?  That’s how Riley made it the back fence.  We repeated this over and over again, maybe 12 times, before my hands got too cold to pick up snow.   What kind of dog chases a nonexistent ball?

Writing in the margins

Jess mentioned on her blog yesterday that she loves marginalia.  I have to agree.  I usually don’t write in my books (and John thinks it’s sacrilege to deface a book in any way), but that’s part of why I love used books.  I like to read what other people may have been thinking when they read the book that’s in my hands.  What was important enough to them to point it out in the margins?  Was it for school?  I found an old book of Sherlock Holmes stories that had several pages of someone’s notes for a book report in it.  My copy of A Handmaid’s Tale was Mom’s, and it looks like she used it to teach a class.  Unfortunately, her notes are so cryptic that I can’t tell why she marked particular passages.  (You’re going to have to walk me through it sometime, Mom.)

In other news, I just watched Waitress.  I really liked it.  It’s quirky, funny, sweet.  There aren’t any one-note characters.  I just really liked it.  It made me feel good.  You should see it.

Lazy weekend

I love library sales.  We bought 20 or so books for $24.  This was yesterday (Saturday).  We got there around noon, maybe a little before.  The books were organized by genre, mostly, but that’s it.  I didn’t find anything I was looking for, but I found plenty of books I’m interested in.  That’s pretty much how it usually goes.  The books are spread out on table tops and in shallow boxes under the tables, so I spent about half of our time there on the floor under the tables, trying not to trip the people around me.

Today I was planning on going to DC to see Jess, but Chuck got sick last night (hope you’re feeling better, Chuck!) and Jess decided to stay home with him, both to take care of him and to catch up on the sleep she missed since he was so sick.  Disappointing not to be able to hang out, but it turned out okay since I was feeling very very lazy today.  Very.  I was already up relatively early (9ish), so I didn’t go back to bed or anything.  Actually, John went for a run and I went to the grocery store.  All errands were done by 1:30 or so, and I pretty much haven’t moved from the couch since then.  I read for a while, and John did his homework.  Then we played a game of chess (I had to be retaught).  He won, but I think I made it a little bit of a challenge for him.  Oh, we’ve had a fire going all afternoon, too.  It’s been very pleasant.  Now John is cooking dinner, and I don’t plan to make it a late night.

Not very exciting, I know.  Sorry.

Book sale and working late on a Friday again – poor dogs

What was I doing last Friday? Ah, yes. Working late. What am I doing today (also Friday)?  Working late.  For a short week, it sure did last a long time.  Today was busy again, the good kind, but I’m done now.  I’m ready to go.  John is not.  So maybe I should say I’m AT work late.  At least it is Friday, and I can sleep in tomorrow and be lazy for two days and figure out how and when we can see our friends next.  Now that classes have started, I’ll have to take John’s homework and study load into account.  Of course, I don’t always have bring him.  But I like that we have friends.  It’s not just my friends or his friends.

Oh!  Exciting!  The Ashburn Library Book Sale is this weekend!  Well, now I’m happy about that.  They sell their books for $2 or less.  I missed it last year (this is not the big Loudoun County sale – that’s in June, and it didn’t happen last year), so I am definitely going this weekend.   Ooh, I should print my book list.  Yes, I keep a list of books I run across on websites and in reviews that look interesting to me.  And then I never have it when I’m going to a bookstore or a sale or even Amazon.  Silly me.  Except that this sale won’t be organized at all, except maybe by genre, so my list may not help me at all.

Head in the clouds

Every time I run down this one little hill, just before the corner, it’s almost easy.  Effortless.  I’m not aware of the work my legs, my lungs, my arms are doing.  It only lasts for about 30 seconds, but that’s the feeling I reach for every time I run.  And on this particular stretch of sidewalk, it always catches me by surprise.  I don’t realize I’m in that perfect place until I round the corner and all of a sudden there’s a slight rise and it feels like work again.  I just don’t know how to get to that place on purpose (and it’s not just about going downhill – other hills don’t feel like that).  I only even know I was there after the feeling is gone.  It’s almost…sad when I realize I’ve just wrenched myself out of my perfect running headspace.  I try to remember what I was thinking, so maybe I can get lost whatever daydream it was, but I’ve never been able to get it back once it’s gone.

Fringe

I watch Fringe, and it just started up again yesterday.  I think the guy who plays the scientist’s son (whose name I can never remember) is deliberately trying to be a charming younger George Clooney.  He’s only sometimes successful.  Can’t think of his name.  I keep thinking of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, but I know that’s not right.  Got it.  Joshua Jackson.  From Dawson’s Creek.  And I didn’t even have to resort to IMDB!

Wonderfully busy

Okay, “wonderfully busy” may be a little much. I had a very busy day at work, and it was a nice kind of busy. I should save “wonderfully busy” for a day I spent doing things I enjoy. I was usefully busy today. That’s better.

We had to be at work early this morning, and then he left for his first class, so I was actually able to leave shortly after four today.  I got home before the sun went down!  It was nice to go to work and drive home with the sun up.

I don’t really have a lot to say today.  I need to get over that.  Mom made fun of me the other day for reading Dragonquest again.  What’s to make fun of?  Okay, there’s plenty if I leave it wide open, but she was saying I’ve read it a million times, so why read it again?  My answer?  I’m not just reading that book again, Mom.  I’m reading the whole series again.  🙂  Where’s the fun in owning books if you’re not going to reread them?  And I have two additional reasons for wanting to reread this particular series:

  1. It’s been years since the last time I picked up a Pern book, so I’m due a refresher.
  2. I’ve had a hard time getting really involved in what I’ve been reading lately.  I mean involved to the point of hoping to get stuck at stoplights so I can read while the light is red.  (I don’t read while the car is moving, I promise.)
  3. (Okay, I have three reasons.)  I love these books.

Happy Inauguration Day!

I will be watching as much of the inauguration as I can from my computer at work today.  (It helps that my second monitor is a 19-inch.  Oh, and that I have a second monitor, so I can still work from my first one.)  I keep hearing snippets of “Beautiful Day” (U2) and “Brand New Day” (Sting) in my head, and if I let myself listen to them (still in my head), I will cry.  Happy tears.

Update (just after 11am): It doesn’t feel inevitable yet.  I’m watching MSNBC (CNN was doing stories I didn’t care about, and MSNBC has been pretty tightly focused), watching everyone arrive, listening to the USMC band (I wonder if Heather is playing today), and I’m getting more and more wound up.  Tense.

Dick Cheney is in a wheelchair today, reportedly because he strained his back lifting boxes.  I’m supposed to believe he actually lifted a box?  Please.

Update (11:20am): Awesome.  The Clintons got lots of applause when they came out.  The senior Bushes did not.  Of course, the crowd does lean Democratic.  Just a bit.  🙂

Gotta say, I’m not all that crazy about the color of Michelle Obama’s dress.  She wears it well, of course (she wears everything well) – I just don’t like the color.  Ooh, and the gloves are worse.  The color of the dress looks better when compared to those UGLY gloves.

Update (noon): Go Joe!  It’s kinda weird that for a few minutes we have a new Vice President and an old President.  And Aretha was great, as expected.  Loved her hat. 🙂

Update (12:05): I kinda love that President Obama (how cool is that?!?) needed a little help with the Oath of Office.

Update (12:12): “We will restore science to its rightful place.”  Damn right.

Update (12:25): “We will extend a hand, if you are willing to unclench your fist.”  Man, I missed the end of the speech.  That’s what I get for coming to work today, I guess.  Work got in the way.  But hey, they’ll rebroadcast this a million times today, and I can watch it in HD at home later.

It’s a beautiful day.  And I can’t stop smiling.

Wonderful snowy morning

I hate being cold, but I love being snuggled up inside when it’s snowing outside.  I got to spend part of my afternoon curled up on the couch under a blanket, with one of my favorite books and a mug of hot chocolate, while I watched snow drift down out the window.  It’s not snowing anymore, and we didn’t get very much (and it’s starting to melt away already), but I just like to see it come down.  Unfortunately, I don’t get to spend the entire day inside.  The grocery store beckons.

Two more movies

I forgot to mention yesterday that we finally watched The Golden Compass.  I read the books a while back (maybe a year or two ago) and loved them.  The movie is…okay.  Fun.  But it misses so much of the story.  It really couldn’t help but be disappointing, I think.  The most jarring part of the movie, though, was the ending.  The movie ended before the book did.  That may have been a good choice for the movie.  I remember being surprised and a little dissatisfied with the ending of the book.  (It helped that I already had the next book, of course.)  The ending of the first book goes very well with the beginning of the second, so, if they’re planning a second movie, it kind of makes sense to put it there.  Anyway, I wasn’t expecting it to end where it did (the movie).  So that was a little weird.

Today, we went out to the movies to see Last Chance Harvey (Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman).  It was a really nice movie.  And I LOVE Emma Thompson.  No crying (although I did tear up once – no, twice).  It’s set in London, and John spent the entire movie working out how we can move there.  The current plan is for him to pursue his doctorate there.  I need to work out how I can be friends with Emma Thompson.  🙂

Bad movie

I saw Twilight (the movie) today with Christina.  Didn’t like it very much.  And I really didn’t like the actor who played the male lead.  I ended up agreeing with John’s assessment (from the previews only); his portrayal made me want to punch him in the face.  I’m not even sure if I want to punch the actor or the character.  Maybe both.  Either way, I didn’t think the movie was very well done.  I don’t think it stands on its own.  And the more of the series I read (I’m on the third book now), the less I like the characters.  The climax of each book (well, twice now in the first two books) keeps me on the edge of my seat, but once the action is over, I go back to being really annoyed by the characters.

John and I went to Bob Evans (down on the farm) for breakfast this morning, where I was overwhelmed by a swimming pool-sized bowl of sausage gravy.  I may have nightmares about it.

Working for the weekend

Why do Fridays always have to be so busy? We were at work before 8 o’clock this morning (John had the morning shift), and we were hoping to have everything done so we could leave closer to four. You know, after eight hours of work (we generally don’t take lunch breaks). But no. John’s shift was fairly busy, so he couldn’t do his regular work, and of course everyone interrupted him all day (because he knows everything here and everyone needs his help), which delayed his work even more. And a couple of extra things got dropped in his lap at the (somewhat) last minute this afternoon. Poor John, so in demand. I don’t blame him. It’s not his fault he’s always willing to drop what he’s doing to help his coworkers. (Wait – yes it is! But I like that about him.) It’s just a shame we don’t get paid overtime, since we put in a ten-hour day today.

Surprisingly, this ten-hour day did not drag. I wasn’t having a good time, but I didn’t stare at the clock. Much.

Three-day weekend! Woohoo! Lots of nothing (and a couple of somethings) planned.

Update: The worst part about working more than ten hours is that we left the dogs locked up for almost 12.  Poor things.  They raced for the backyard.

Mostly John Cusack

I am drawing a complete blank.  Which makes me chuckle a little.  (It’s a line from Grosse Point Blank, a movie I love.)  But it doesn’t really give me anything to write about.  Unless I write about John Cusack movies.  Most of which I love.  I wasn’t crazy about High Fidelity, though.  I liked the supporting characters, but Cusack’s character bugged me.  The book didn’t do much for me, either.  John really likes both.  I think he prefers the book (safe guess).  It’s by Nick Hornby, who wrote About A Boy (I’ve seen the movie – painful to watch (that poor kid), but good – but I haven’t read the book).  Recently, though, John Cusack has done some not-so-good movies.  Must Love Dogs was pretty bad, and I tried pretty hard to like it (I like Diane Lane, and Captain Von Trapp was in it!).  Martian Child wasn’t bad, but it was a transparent tearjerker.  I’m not saying I didn’t like it.  🙂  I’m just saying it wasn’t a great movie.  So maybe it was an exaggeration to say that I love most John Cusack movies.  I’ll rephrase to say that I will watch and enjoy almost any movie that he is in.  And I love that Joan Cusack is usually cast with him.  I really like watching the two of them together.  Do I really need to mention Say AnythingPushing Tin, Being John Malkovich, Serendipity…I’m not going to list all of his movies.  And I haven’t seen them all.  Maybe I should make that a priority.  And I want to see Identity again.  That’s one that should reveal more during the second viewing.

In other news, Twilight is pretty entertaining.  I’m almost halfway done with it, and I will almost certainly want to finish the series.  At the moment, though, i don’t see this as being something I’ll want/need to reread.

Dentist, sleeping in, and a new book

I went back to the dentist today, where he checked out my teeth and gums and told me that I should keep up whatever I’m doing ’cause everything looks good.  (!)  I’m pretty sure I have never heard that from a dentist before.  Yay for me!

I think our bed is just too comfortable.  I make irrational decisions while trying to rationalize going back to sleep.  This morning, my plan was to get up at the normal time (6:30), run, and get to work by 9 o’clock so I could minimize the number of vacation hours I would have to take for my trip to the dentist.  The alarm went off, and I got up and dressed for running.  The light was on (John was going to get up and run, too) and I even had my shoes on, when I turned to John and said, “You know, I don’t really have to go to work before my dentist appointment.  No one expects me until after noon.  We could go back to bed for another hour…”  He agreed before I even finished my sentence, and I was in bed with the light off within five seconds.  It was SO nice to sleep for another hour.  And because my appointment wasn’t until eleven, I still had time to run.  Too bad I can’t do that every morning.

I finished my book (Red Seas Under Red Skies) this morning over breakfast.  The author has only written two books so far (this was the second in the series), but I really like them.  And now I’ve started Twilight.  We’ll see what all the fuss is about.  Megan (who is slightly obsessed, by her own admission) let me borrow the first book.  Every adult I’ve talked to who has read them has said they’re impossible to put down, and at least three of them are people who have recommended books that I have really enjoyed.  I’ll let you know.

Identity theft? Or just theft?

Work was okay today.  The morning went by fairly quickly, and then my phone shift practically flew by.  (It was busy.)  The only exciting part was bad, though.  Around 12:30, I got an email from my bank saying they think my account has some unauthorized activity.  I checked it out, and sure enough, there’s more than $130 of iTunes charges, all in the last couple of days.  We don’t use iTunes.  I called the bank (fraud department), and they told me that all the activity was from the number on my check card, not John’s.  We think it may have gotten out when I gave the number over the phone to the pizza place.  They shut down that card number immediately, of course, and I shredded my card.  I’ll go to the bank tomorrow to get a temporary card and order the real replacement.  In the meantime, we’re watching the accounts to make sure nothing else happens.

In other news, I’m watching Law and Order.  I haven’t seen any episodes in the last season or two, but in the old(er) ones, there are two actresses I can’t stand.  I don’t like to watch the blond ADA who ends up getting dismissed/fired.  Her voice is annoying and she’s a bad actress.  We just saw her in an episode of The Mentalist.  She was a little better, but I still don’t like her.  And the female detective who partners with Jesse Martin for a while tries too hard to act tough.  (She used to be on Rescue Me.)  It’s laughable and annoying and distracting.

Confirming a suspicion I had.

I went to Old Navy today to buy jeans.  For some reason, with jeans that are the same style, same cut, same size, the darker colors are bigger than the lighter colors.  I’d noticed it in passing before, but had never really checked it out.  I’ve been wearing the darker colors (darker blues instead of faded ones), and when I tried those on today, I’m the next size down!  Woo!  And I decided to try the lighter colors, since I’ve been wearing dark jeans for months and months.  Well.  The light blue jeans that should be identical to the dark ones are substantially smaller.  Can’t wear them.  I suppose I could get them in the size I was wearing before today, but then I wouldn’t be able to say I’m down a size.  🙂  And I really want to be able to say that.  And it’s true, for the dark jeans.  Yay!

The pizza was REALLY good.

Today got away from us a bit.  Got up this morning, not too early.  Went to the Virginia Tech bookstore in Falls Church with John.  And then we went to Joe and Megan’s for lunch.  That’s when the day disappeared.  In a good way.  Joe and John disappeared into the dining room and Megan and I camped out in the living room.  And before we knew it, it was after 5 o’clock.  We left them to get their evening going and headed home.  Sushi for dinner.  Yum.

We really didn’t do anything exciting today.  Hope you don’t mind.  And rather than babble online, I’m going to try to get into my book.  I’ve had a really hard time letting go of everything and just reading lately.  I’ll give it another try.