Wegman’s makes a mean broccoli quiche.  I just thought you should know.

I got to play with MS Project today at work.  I’ve seen it before, but never really used it.  I like playing with new (to me) applications, figuring them out.  I’m not sure I like Project, but it’s still fun to mess around.

Yeah, that was exciting.  Sorry, audience, that’s all I can share tonight.

Just call me a slacker

I’ve skipped a lot of days.  They weren’t particularly exciting days.  I had a very quiet, very nice weekend.  John went to PA for his brother’s birthday.  My plans fell through at the last minute, so I had some time to kill.  I finally made it to the Ashburn farmers market (bought some yummy apple cinnamon pound cake), and then I went to the Loudoun County Animal Shelter.  Big place.  (They have horses, too.)  No new pets for us, though.  Two dogs are enough, it seems.

Saturday was mostly overcast and rainy, so I spent the rest of the day inside with the dogs, reading my book and keeping Riley from licking his paw.  He doesn’t seem to understand that it won’t heal (just a little scratch) if he won’t leave it alone.  I FINALLY finished the Mars trilogy.  I thought it would never end.  I liked it, I really did, but I was SO ready for something else.  I started the third Inda book (fantasy – love these books) Saturday afternoon and finished it before dinner Sunday night.  (I really did almost nothing but read this weekend.)  Tried the new Indian restaurant in Ashburn for dinner.  It was okay.  I like our regular one better.

Sunday was a BEAUtiful day.  I spent most of it outside.  Reading, but outside.  I had breakfast on the deck, and then I blocked off the front steps of the porch so the dogs could join me and sat out on the porch swing (reading).  Riley got a little anxious (I have no idea why) and climbed up in the swing with me.  When I got tired of that (and of Riley’s restlessness), I moved us all into the backyard.  Grabbed a blanket, spread it out in the shade of the little trees in the back corner, ran back inside to get the bug spray, and then I settled down to read some more.

It was perfect weather.  Warm enough for shorts, perfectly blue sky, and Roxy hung out with me next to the blanket (and on it, when I brought my pb&J outside for lunch).  And I couldn’t put my book down.  Finally, I was reading something I was excited about.  Unfortunately, it was the third book in a four-book series.  The fourth book came out last month, but only in hardcover.  Unless I can find it at the library, I’m waiting for the paperback.  Sadly.

While I’m waiting for that, though, I have plenty of other books to read.  I just started The Magicians, by Lev Grossman.  The plot so far (I’m only a few chapters in) seems to be a cross between The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Harry Potter.  But with older kids.  And I like it.  Yay!

Hungry dog

Riley barely waited for me to let go of the bowl before he attacked his food tonight.  Poor guy.  We’ve caught Roxy eating out of his bowl lately instead of hers, so maybe he just hasn’t been eating regularly.  Of course, if she eats his food, hers is still there, so if he were hungry enough, I’m sure he’d eat it.

I hate mosquitoes.  They don’t just ruin your day when they bite you; they ruin your WHOLE WEEK.  Seriously, I got bitten five or six times on Saturday, and I’m still fighting it.  Do they have any redeeming value?  I mean, I REALLY don’t like spiders, but at least they eat other bugs I don’t like (like flies and maybe mosquitoes, right?).  Do mosquitoes do any good?

Google to the rescue: mosquitoes work as population control, by carrying diseases, for people and animals.  They’re also food for birds, bats, frogs, etc, so they might starve if we got rid of mosquitoes.  And apparently, they’re pollinators.  So not enTIREly useless.  But I still hate them.

One last thing: the microwave works like a champ.  I steamed broccoli in it last night and it came out just right.

Garfield was wrong

Tuesdays are worse than Mondays.  At least lately.  A lot of annoyances piled up today.  Not much fun.  But I am not going to dwell on it anymore.  I vented plenty (thanks, Mom and Dad!), so I’m trying to be over it.


Not dwelling on the whole day makes it hard to come up with anything else to write about.

I think I need a new rule: no posting (trying to post) with the TV on in the background.  VH1 is showing all Beatles, all the time, because of the release of the Beatles Rock Band game (which is a terrible reason for this multi-day marathon – why not show all Beatles just because?  Why does it have to be for a video game?), and Ringo’s Storytellers episode is on now.  Just him talking.  Distracting.

Rained out

We went to the National Symphony Orchestra’s Labor Day concert on the west lawn of the Capitol tonight.  We met Greg, Amanda, Erik, and Margaret for dinner beforehand, and Margaret’s friend Miriam joined us for the concert.  Everything started out okay.  We picked a spot pretty close to the stage (closer than we’ve been in other years, anyway) and settled in on our blankets.  The NSO started with the overture from Gypsy, and then played some songs from South Pacific. Then we got “Liberty Bell”, a Sousa march that also happens to be the theme from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, then music from Star Wars, and then something about Lincoln that was written by Copland (that didn’t do much for me – it included someone reading parts of Lincoln’s speeches, and that never does much for me).  The orchestra went to intermission, and the rain started to come down.  Greg and Amanda ran for their car, Margaret wrapped herself up in one of the blankets, Miriam stayed mostly dry under her umbrella (the only one of us smart enough to bring one), and Erik, John, and I held the other blanket (the one with the waterproof side) over our heads and tried to walk back using it as a tent/umbrella.  It kept our heads dry, but that’s about it.  Anyway, we got mostly soaked, and the concert got rained out, but it was still fun.  The cold and wet drive home was not as fun.

Oh, and then we got home to find that it hadn’t rained here AT ALL.  I’m not sure why that offends me, but it does.

Fixing the microwave for real

John fixed the microwave today!  It works and everything!  We heated up some water as a test.  We might try actually heating up food tomorrow or something.  We’re very proud of him.  (And glad we don’t have to buy a new one.)  We weeded, mowed, and raked the front yard today and bathed both dogs, and all in all, I think we had a very productive day.  We only left the house to go out for sushi this evening.

That reminds me.  A family of five (mom, dad, three boys all younger than ten) were sitting at the table behind John, and we couldn’t help but eavesdrop on some of their conversation.  Our favorites:

The song “Fools Rush In” comes on in the restaurant and the mom asked the kids if they knew who sang it.

Kid: “Duke Ellington?”  Dad: “That’s a terrible guess!”  Mom: “At least he’s heard of Duke Ellington!”

Then, the dad mentioned something about a sumo wrestler who’s not Japanese.

Kid: “Did he have to move to China?”  Dad, completely baffled: “Why would he have to move to China?”  Kid: “Didn’t he have to move to China to be a sumo wrestler?”

John and I missed the dad’s response ’cause we were laughing too hard.

Making plans and fixing microwaves

I like having things planned.  I wouldn’t say that I really enjoy making the plans, but I like having an event of some kind to look forward to.  Today, I bought plane tickets and booked the dogs into the kennel so we can visit Mom and Dad for a weekend at the end of September.  I always feel better when I know for sure that there is travel (fun, vacation-like travel) in my future.  I hate driving by the airport and not even being able to guess when I’ll be flying somewhere.

John is puzzling over the microwave (the one above the stove that hasn’t worked in almost three years).  (He didn’t want me to say he was fighting with it, although when I wrote that sentence, he was trying pretty hard to pry the grill/vent thing off the top.  Looked like fighting to me.)  We’ve been talking about getting a new one pretty much since then, but since we have a backup in the dining room, it’s never been that urgent (and it’s not now).  I googled the model number the other day and found that other people have had the same issues (and fixed them), so now John is seeing what he can do.  But I think he’s close to giving up…

Ready to move on

You know that feeling you get when you’re about to move to a new place, start a new school, end the school year for summer?  You’re done with what you’ve been doing, where you’ve been living, you’ve already moved on in your head, but you still have to plod through the days until it’s actually over and you can really move on.  I have that feeling now (and John does, too, big time) about work.  Our contract is winding down and we’re looking forward to starting new projects really, really soon, but we still have to finish this one.  Why isn’t it done yet?  On top of that, we haven’t been very busy these last few days, so each one lasts that much longer.   It’s crazy-making.

Aside from that though, things are going well.  Nice and quiet.  And that’s always good.

Can’t stop watching Family Guy

I got nothing.  I could talk about the weather (’cause it’s perfect this week), but that’s boring.  And aside from my doctor using me as a pincushion this morning, nothing happened today.  (Seriously, both my wobles and the back of my hand are bruised.)  Also, John is watching Family Guy (and I’m kinda half-watching), and it’s very distracting.

So distracting, in fact, that I just watched three episodes in a row.  ‘Cause TBS plays this show all night long.


Today’s post will be an exercise in stream-of-consciousness writing.  Which could get me in trouble.  So slightly censored stream-of-consciousness.  Which might be cheating, but whatever.  And I have a really hard time typing “consciousness”.  I can barely say it.  And I might not even mean stream-of-you know what I mean.  Maybe I mean free association.  Related?  Probably.  I could take a break to google it, but I don’t want to.  Should “google”, when used as a verb, be capitalized?  “I Googled free association and that other phrase I’m refusing to type” or “I googled…”  Not sure.  Also, don’t care much.  Today was not very exciting, not at all busy, and mostly very boring.  (Not very exciting = mostly very boring.  Talk about redundant.  I wasn’t, but that’s not the point.  I have no point today.  Which is the point.  Oh crap.  Leave me alone.)

I’m mostly pretty happy that I actually ran four miles this morning.  No, that’s not technically true, either.  I went outside and was active for four miles.  I ran the first one, ran some of the second one, walked pretty much the entire third mile, and ran the fourth one.  But it’s still a mile more that I’ve been doing this week.  And tomorrow I’ll probably have to cut it short, since I’m going to the doctor (routine) and have to be there at 8am.  No breakfast, lots of water.  If I run (and I plan to), I’m going to have to chug water when I get back.  And figure out breakfast on the way to work, since I have to get there by 9:30 tomorrow.  Of course, my doctor visits never take that long.  How long can it really take to draw some blood, listen to my heart, and bang on my knee?  I can’t remember the last time someone actually checked my reflexes like that.  Unless it was me, doing it to myself.  ‘Cause it’s kinda fun to watch your lower leg kick out like that if you hit the right part of the front of your knee.  And I am easily amused.  I’m also hungry.  I added toast with peanut butter to my cereal – that sounds awful.  I mean, in addition to the cereal I normally have for breakfast, I started eating a piece of toast last week because I was practically starving on the drive in to work.  And that’s less than an hour after I ate the cereal.  So the toast was working and I’ve been able to make it to lunchtime without gnawing my arm off, but this morning it just wasn’t enough.  I made it, but my mouse pad was starting to look appetizing.  Usually I have some kind of snack to avoid getting that hungry, but I didn’t think about it today.  (I like to snack on dry cereal – not too many calories (’cause a half a cup is a lot of cereal), but still sweet enough that I feel like I’m eating candy.)  Yeah, I don’t want to talk about food.

New topic.  I don’t have a new topic.  So maybe I’m done for now.  Was this awful?  Should I never do it again?

Dumb movie, poor dog

They should never make movies where dogs die!  I don’t care how old the dog is or how appropriate it might be to the plot.  There is no good reason to kill off a dog in a movie.  None!

I feel better.  Stupid Marley and Me.  I didn’t like the book, don’t know why I bothered to watch the movie, so I have only myself to blame.  And the author.  And the director.  At one point, they kind of forgot the movie was supposed to be about the dog, and then when they remembered, well, the dog was old and bad things happened.  But I’m an easy cryer (crier?  cryer.), so I kept the kleenex close.  And they never did train the dog!  At least in the book, the training came eventually.  In the movie, the dog just settled down (when he was about 8 years old) somehow.

I just gave Roxy her medicine, which reminds me…I need to swing by the vet and pick up the prescription for this new stuff we’re going to try instead of one of her current medicines.  Our vet thinks we may have better luck controlling Roxy’s seizures on a different combination of medicines, since the phenobarbitol doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.  She thinks we can do better (fewer) than a seizure a month (especially since it’s been more often since May).  So we’ll try it and see.

A little annoyed

John and I put in the 4th DVD of the first season of The Sopranos tonight, fully expecting to be able to watch at least a couple of episodes, but there was only one!  So we were completely caught off guard by the season finale.  And I just updated my Netflix list so the next season is at the top.

Exciting, I know.

No time to read!

I didn’t have much time to read today, which makes sense now that I think about it…Got up, ran, read a little while eating breakfast, went to work, worked, came home, made dinner, ate dinner, and now I’m on the computer.  When was I going to read?  When do I read during the day any weekday?  But it feels worse today, like I missed out on some special reading time that I can’t remember having any other day.  This makes no sense.  On top of that, I’m trying to get to bed earlier so I can get up earlier, and that means not much time for reading tonight.  Very very sad.

Nothing much happened today.  As Mom said, that’s boring, but also good.  No drama.  I prefer my drama on TV.  Ooh, speaking of TV, we were watching it while eating dinner tonight (and every night – I think we decided we weren’t going to that anymore a while back), and I actually meant speaking of dinner, but I wasn’t, so here we go: we had tuna steaks!  Seared on the grill!  So good.

Time for school!

For the second time today, we have the windows open all over the house.  I’m SO glad it cooled off.  Of course, it IS August, and I’m sure this won’t last.

John’s first class of the semester is tomorrow, and he spent some of the evening getting a head start on his reading.  A guy we work with has taken both of the classes John signed up for this time, and he thinks John is crazy to be taking them at the same time.  That’s making John a little nervous about his workload this semester.  We’ll see how it looks after he’s been to both classes.

I’m going to spend the rest of my evening reading my book and relaxing.  John just settled into the papasan chair to finish the third article he needs to have read for the class tomorrow.  And actually, it’s not due tomorrow.  (I just asked.)  He needs to have it read for next Tuesday’s class.  He really wants to be a week ahead.  See what I mean about being a little nervous?  He does it for classes, I do it for airports.

Catching up

Finally, we got rain.  Friday night, we went to Wolf Trap to see Great Big Sea with Joe, Megan, Rob, Betsy, Will, Jeff, Stephanie, and some couple more friends of Joe’s.  Just as the opening band started to play, the skies opened.  It poured.  John and I crowded under our giant umbrella with Rob, Will, Jeff, and Stephanie, while Megan and Betsy ran for cover, and Joe and one of his friends just stayed out in it and got soaked.  There wasn’t a lot of lightning, so they didn’t call off the show, but it pretty much rained the entire time.  We got home a little before 11:30 – or maybe that’s when we got in the car to go home…I don’t remember.  It was late, but felt later.  Even with the umbrella, we were mostly soaked.

We spent the rainiest part of Saturday in the basement sorting through boxes.  We found a lot of stuff to give away (Purple Heart is picking up tomorrow), including most of my Navy uniforms.  Woohoo!  All gone.  🙂  We went through a lot of stuff down there, but you can’t tell.  And that’s a little depressing.  What we need is a shredder.  At least a third of the boxes stacked down there are old bills, old papers that we filed away, that we don’t need to hold on to anymore.  We also need to buy an external floppy drive.  We found a whole bunch of disks, but we have no way of seeing what’s saved on them.

Today was the opposite of yesterday.  Sunny skies, not too hot, no time spent in the basement….  I got a pedicure today, cleaned up the backyard, weeded a little, mowed the front, and John replaced all the spark plugs and wires in the car.  And I still kinda feel like I didn’t do much.  Where’s my sense of accomplishment?

Trying not to snap

Some people drive me CRAZY.  I don’t understand how they can get through a single day, how they manage to leave their houses in the morning, when they can’t do simple tasks with very simple (and very clear) instructions.  Repeated instructions.  I just don’t get it.  I came home in the WORST mood.  But I’m better now.  We had dinner, watched mindless TV, and got blizzards from DQ.  I’m going to get into bed, read my book, relax, go to sleep, and then do it all over again tomorrow.  At least I won’t have to deal with this next week.  Not with the same kind of urgency anyway.

Finding a book I’ll like

I don’t have anything worth sharing tonight.  My deadline at work got extended to the end of the week, so that helped to keep today from being as stressful as yesterday, but that didn’t make it a good day.  It wasn’t a bad day, either…just kind of blah.  I have a headache, I just finished my book (Oscar Wao), and I need to pick a new one.  Usually I love picking a new book, but I’ve been striking out so much lately that I’m a little nervous.  I think I’m leaning towards science fiction this time.  I’ve heard a lot about the Mars Trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) by Kim Stanley Robinson, so I’ll give it a chance.  While taking a nice, relaxing bath.  And I’m running tomorrow!  (I have goals.)

Branching out isn’t working for me

I finished Promised Land the other day.  I really like Connie Willis, but I had a hard time with this one.  The main character was such a bitch!  And with very little cause.  She came around (in a very predictable way) and became likable, so the story was easier to read, but I almost put it down.  Who wants to read a book when you can’t stand the main character?

So now I’m reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.  I’m enjoying it, mostly, but I’m looking forward to being done with it.  I heard all these wonderful things about it, but it’s just not my style.  That’s been happening to me a lot lately.  I keep trying books that are outside my comfort zone, and I keep getting disappointed.  That’s the wrong reaction.  I’m supposed to be growing!  This one reminds me of 100 Years of Solitude (a book I couldn’t finish) and A Staggering Work of  Heartbreaking Genius (a book I didn’t like very much).

Hey, I found (“remembered to look for” might be more accurate) that wine I tried in April.  Jess’s Aunt Karen had one bottle of it that first night, and she graciously let me have a glass.  It’s a sauvignon blanc from Napa.  Guenoc.  Fruity, not very sweet.  Still good.

The movie

John and I saw The Time Traveler’s Wife yesterday.  It was…not very good.  But somehow, I’m not disappointed.  They didn’t mess with the plot really (didn’t change anything major that would have irritated me), but I didn’t feel…hmm.  Anything, for most of it.  I don’t know if that’s the actors’ fault or the director’s or the screenplay’s or what, but I was never sucked in.  And Eric Bana, while very pretty, has never grabbed me.  I’ve only seen him in a couple of movies, but I haven’t believed him in any of his roles.  It was nice to watch, and I thought Rachel McAdams was pretty good, but I didn’t really care.  And I wanted to.  John and I were talking as we left the theater.  I called it mediocre.  He said I was being too nice.  The movie did get me, though, once.

There’s a scene in the book that rips at my heart every time I read it.  Every time.  And when we got to that scene in the movie, I was braced for it, but apparently they decided to leave that part out.  I actually felt relieved, relieved that this movie wasn’t going to make me feel the way the book does, so I could completely put it (this not all that great movie) out of my mind when it was over.  But no.  They tacked on a version of what kills me in a scene at the end.  It worked, and I was a mess leaving the theater.  I couldn’t even tell John what it is about that part that turns me into a blubbering mess (couldn’t – still can’t – talk about it without getting upset), but we’ve talked about it before (with regard to the book), so he knows.

Long story short: they didn’t ruin it.  It’s not a good movie, but they didn’t ruin the book for me, and it’s entirely possible that if you don’t feel as strongly about the book as I do (or if you haven’t read it), you’ll like it.  It’s not a BAD movie.  It’s just not good, and I can’t tell if it would stand on its own or not.