Odds and ends

I’ve been trying to think of the weirdest combination of things I’ve ever bought at the grocery store.  You know, when you’re out of milk, toilet paper, and batteries or something and you don’t need anything else.  But that’s not all that strange, really.  Yesterday, I went to Bloom for milk and grated cheese.  Just that.  But still, not all that weird.  Today, the guy in front of me at Wegman’s bought two 1-liter bottles of flavored water (like Propel, only not), a package of Klondike bars, and twelve little cans of cat food.  That’s it.  I think that might qualify as weird.

I finished September just now.  It was such a nice book.  I’m going to start The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell, when I go up to bed.  Which will be any minute.  I’m afraid that if I stay up any later, I’ll start to worry about work and our future.  I can feel the anxiety mounting, and if I can just get to bed, I’ll be able to put off worrying until tomorrow.  I think.

That’s the plan.  I’ll let you know if it works.

Making money is somewhat important

So I’m trying to get back in the habit of posting every day, but once again, not much happened today and everything that goes through my head sounds inane.  More than usual, anyway.  I have some standards.

Actually, all I can think about is getting back to my book.  And my book makes me wish I lived in Scotland.  And I’ve also been reconsidering a career as a librarian of some sort.  I need to do some more research.  I’ll start with the ALA website tomorrow.  In his presentation on Saturday, the CakeLove guy talked about how he realized that what he really loved to do was bake, so he decided to quit his job as a lawyer and open his first bakery.  I’m a little jealous.  How do I make a living doing what I love?  Ooh.  If I get an MLS, can I be a librarian in Scotland?  That would be cool.  🙂

And now I’m SO glad to be home

John and I just spent the last five (six?) days at a resort in Cambridge, Maryland (Eastern Shore) for work.  Poor us, I know.  Our company (the one at which we are still employed) sends everyone to some hotel, somewhere, every summer.  We don’t like to call it a retreat, but that’s really what it is.  It was fun, but not entirely relaxing, if only because you can never fully relax when your boss and her boss AND the owner/president of the company are hanging out with you.

John and I got there Tuesday afternoon, had band rehearsal that evening, and then dinner with the band.  Always a good time.  We went to a seafood place on the water (naturally, being on the bay in MD), and almost every one of us had crab cakes.  Again, naturally.  They were good crab cakes.  We had Wednesday to ourselves until 8pm, so we slept in for the first time in I don’t know how long and found a local diner for breakfast.  We wandered around historic Cambridge for a little bit (not long – it’s not that big), and then went to the pool.  Eventually, we went out to dinner with a few band members and couple other people who had arrived by then (band members had to be there on Tuesday, but the rest of the first session people showed up Wednesday afternoon/evening).  This time we went to an oyster bar, where again, I think most of us had crab cakes.  Wednesday night was our first get-together with everyone there for the first session, so we hung out by the firepit (next to the pool) and melted s’mores.  Thursday was our first full meeting day.  Activities in the morning (lots of icebreakers), lunch, and then in the afternoon, we broke into teams and built (and raced) boats out of cardboard and duct tape.  One person from each team had to get in the boat and row it out to a buoy and back.  In the bay.  River.  Whatever it was.  My team lost.  Our boat sank as soon as our team member climbed in.

Thursday night, we went to a crab-picking/processing factory.  I’m not sure what to call it, actually.  They catch crabs, then people open them up, get the crab meat out, and package it for sale.  We went for dinner.  They had four long tables, with the professionals set up at the end, and they showed everyone how to tear those crabs apart and find the meat.  And eat them.  I ran into my whole-animal thing in the middle of tearing apart my first crab.  I pulled the shell off, pulled the claws and legs off, but then woman said, “Now, cut off the mouth,” and my stomach turned.  I left the crab-picking to everyone else.

Friday was a half-day for the first session, unless you were in the band.  We sat through some presentations in the morning and were done before eleven.  So the band headed over for our last rehearsal and lunch.  Thursday night, after the crab factory, a bunch of us were at the hotel bar when we decided to add a Michael Jackson song to our set as a tribute.  So we trooped over to the band room from the bar and learned “Billie Jean”.  I love the band.  We had so much fun.  Anyway, we played Friday night for the whole company.  It was more of a club setting then a concert (thankfully), and I think we were actually good.  People danced!  Of course, we had a cash bar, which is a step up from previous years.  It was fun for us, and I think it was fun for other people, and I really like to play when someone is out there enjoying it.  And I really like the people in the band.  We had a really good time.

I don’t remember Saturday morning at all right now.  In the afternoon, we played a game (based on “What’s My Line”), and then the guy who owns a local chain of bakeries (CakeLove) gave a presentation.  He was really cool, very personable, and he gave a good speech.  AND (most importantly), he gave us cupcakes.  REALLY good cupcakes.  We had a couple hours free after that (I read by the pool, John napped), and then we had our big corporate dinner.  More crabs and crab cakes, of course, along with steak and chicken and other yummy things.  The owner gave little speeches about the employees who reached their 10th and 15th years with the company this year (each employee gets a polo shirt of a certain color at their 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20-year anniversary, and the owner always talks about each employee when they’re given the new shirt), and when she got to our boss (who reached 15 years this summer), the owner also announced her promotion to executive vice president.  Surprise!  So I’m thinking that despite losing our contract (not that it was her fault, of course), her job is safe.

It was a fun night, and everyone stayed up late.  This morning we had breakfast and then listed to the annual State of the Company address from the owner.  Admittedly, we were all VERY interested in it this year.  She touched on the issues we’re facing and some possible solutions, but only in a very positive, somewhat vague way.

John and I got home a little after two today and have done as little as possible all afternoon.  We hardly checked email at all this week, so I’m putting that off until tomorrow.  I’m very tired, and I want a vacation.  A real one, with no tension and no stress.  No watching what I say or who I say it to.  Office politics are exhausting.  We both feel a little better about our status in the company (pretty confident we’ll be able to stay there), but that’s not certain yet, so we can’t relax about it.

I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

I finished The Secret of Lost Things a couple of days ago.  I liked the beginning better than the end.  It didn’t turn out to be what I expected.  Okay, but not great.  So I started a Rosamunde Pilcher novel (September), and I’ve decided that her stories are perfect for peaceful vacations, for lazy afternoons, for any weather…I really like it (and I loved Coming Home).  I like the pacing and I like that they’re sort of cozy stories.  Some drama may eventually occur, but it’s not going to be a crime novel or a thriller.  Family drama, maybe.  I need think about this some more.  But I really like it.

I need to wrap up and go to bed.  The dogs are happy to be home, I’m happy to be home, and I just want to rest up and get everything back to normal.

I am SO ready to go

I haven’t been posting much (sorry), and that trend will most likely continue until next week.  We’re on our way to the annual corporate conference (which should be interesting), and while I should be able to check email regularly, I probably won’t spend enough time in front of the computer to post anything worthwhile.  Not that anything I’ve posted lately has been worth while.  Whatever.  I dropped the dogs off at the kennel this morning and asked them to track what time they actually give Roxy medicine every day.  We’ll see if that has anything to do with her post-kennel seizures.  And then I’ll start looking for a new kennel.  More on that later, if anything comes up.

We’re off!

Wait – almost off.  I completely forgot to mention that I finished The Alienist.  It had a slow start, but once they got to Sing Sing, I couldn’t put it down.  My next book is The Secret of Lost Things, by Sheridan Hay.  I bought it a while ago, and then almost bought it again over the weekend (I remembered in time that I had it already).  If it looks so interesting I try to buy it twice, I really have to read it.  So far, so good.

More eye problems – what is wrong with me?

I decided to wear my glasses today BEFORE I noticed anything weird with my eye, I think.  I mean, the doctor suggested I wear them a little more often and my contacts maybe a little less.  But on the drive to work, I felt like there was something in my left eye.  I checked it out in the mirror once we got there and couldn’t see anything.  I asked John to look – nothing he could see.  But my eye watered all day and it still feels like there’s something in there.  I made an appointment to see my eye doctor, but I can’t get in until tomorrow afternoon.  Today would have been a pretty pleasant day, if not for the constant tears and the stuffy nose that followed.  At least I know this wasn’t caused by dry eyes.

I can’t stare at the computer screen anymore.  I managed to do it all day, but I think my eyes have had enough.  The worst part is that it makes it hard to read.  I mean, really.  What could be worse than that?

Don’t answer that.

I’m a big baby

I watched the last 20 minutes of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix tonight and cried like a baby through most of it.  The next movie is going to kill me.  I am a sap.  It comes out in just a couple of weeks, and then a month later, the movie version of The Time Traveler’s Wife comes out.  And I want to reread it before then, so I’m pretty much dooming myself to a month of crying.  🙂  Maybe not the whole month.

Man, I really need to never watch ABC Family.  It’s a terrible channel with terrible shows and terrible commercials.  I just saw a commercial for a new TV series called 10 Things I Hate About You.  I really enjoyed that movie (a cute high school adaptation (a la Clueless) of The Taming of the Shrew for those of you who never saw it), but it really doesn’t need to be made into a TV show.  And a TV show for ABC Family can only be awful.

Now I’m really annoyed.  Damn you, ABC Family!  You ruined a perfectly good melancholy mood!

They call me Senator Franken

Coleman finally gave in to the inevitable in Minnesota, and Al Franken has a seat in the Senate.  That might be the best news I’ve heard all day.  Our contract (for the project both of us work on) was up for renewal and out for bid (or whatever it’s called).  We found out today that we didn’t win it this time.  At worst, we’re both unemployed in three months.  I don’t expect that to happen, but you never know.  There are possible opportunities (that I hope to find out more about tomorrow) at our company, and of course, we’ll be applying for jobs all over the area during much of our free time.  Three months feels like a long time today, but tomorrow…it’ll get closer every day.  (Funny how that works.)

Well, I’m not going blind

I saw the cornea specialist today, and he says I have Salzmann’s degeneration.  I’ll google it tomorrow, if I have time.  It’s much more treatable than the other thing it might have been, so this is good news.  And it might not really need to be treated beyond eye drops.  We’ll see.  I’m going back in three months.

Rehearsal went pretty well tonight, and we finished early, so it’s only just now 10:30.  I have absolutely nothing to say beyond that except I’m hot and I don’t want to be awake anymore.  I know.  Exciting.

Actually, I am excited about one thing.  Maybe two things.  One, I’m about to finish my book, so I get to choose another one (yay!), and two, this is only a four-day week.  I think.  I hope.  And three (look – three things!), after this four-day (I hope I hope I hope) week and three-day weekend, we only have Monday and then a half-day of work on Tuesday before we drive to the eastern shore for the corporate conference.  Yay almost, not quite, but close enough for now vacation!

I need to buy more bookshelves!

Yesterday, we went to the Loudoun Library Foundation’s annual giant book sale with Jess and Chuck.  It was very much like the first time we went (three years ago, I think), organized and enormous.  John and I came home with close to 70 books.  And I desperately want to organize and shelve them and redo all the downstairs shelves, but I don’t have enough shelf space!  I need more bookshelves before I can put away any of the books I’ve bought in the last six months, let alone the ones we bought yesterday. Unfortunately, a trip to IKEA is not in our immediate future.  And ordering online from them is never an option.  Their shipping charges are outrageous.

John just got back from his run (I went yesterday and will probably take the dogs out later), so it’s breakfast time.  Then lots of practicing (tomorrow night is one of the last few rehearsals we’ll have) and I’ll probably go to the store.  Oh, and tomorrow I’m seeing a cornea specialist, so that should be interesting.


I finished The Pilot’s Wife this morning over breakfast.  It was…not what I expected.  I seem to have lost my ability to judge the tenor of a book or movie.  I kept expecting terrible things to happen while watching In America, and I thought this book was going to be mostly about this woman working through her grief. It was, but I wasn’t expecting anything to happen, particularly not the last thing, and I feel like that may be a flaw in the story.  Or maybe that was the point.  Okay, it’s possible that it was done that way completely on purpose, but if that’s the case, then the flaw is that we didn’t get to know the husband well enough in the beginning.  Anyway, I’ll probably give Anita Shreve another try, because I did enjoy it while I was reading it, but, well, you know.  I said it already.  So.  Mindy, this is not one I recommend for your reading list.  Ooh, but you should read To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis.  It’s in the science fiction section at the bookstore, but it’s only tangientially science-fictionish.  Dad, that’s one I suggested to you, too, last time you were here.

Anyway, I went from straight science fiction (Dune) to summer, light reading, chick lit-type fiction (The Pilot’s Wife), and since I enjoyed the science fiction SO much more, I decided to go right back to it.  I started a book called One Jump Ahead that is about as science-fiction-y as they come (other planets, nanotech, action, spaceships maybe).  Well, I can only barely say I started it.  I haven’t had a chance to read today, so I’m only on page 4.  This was one that Orson Scott Card reviewed favorably, and I’ve had good luck with those.  I’m optimistic.

Oops, it’s late.  I’m getting up EARLY tomorrow to make sure I can run before work, since i have to get there earlier than usual.  And we didn’t run this morning.  Because we’re lazy.  So no being lazy tomorrow!

Titles are hard

John and I went to our last dance lesson tonight.  Hopefully not our last one forever, but certainly our last at Arthur Murray.  It’s prohibitively expensive.  Maybe with the crazy raises that are, oh, not forthcoming this year…hmm.  It was fun, though.

I can’t write anything because all I can think about are the things I need to do.  And since I’m not doing any of those things tonight (well, I could make the beds tonight), it’s just making me crazy.  I think I’m going to go distract myself.

Next time on inanechatter.net: does the title of a post have to have anything to do with the content?

boring and a little random

I saw The Devil Wears Prada in the theater, I think, with Amanda.  I remember not caring about the plot at all, but I really enjoyed watching the clothes.  I caught it tonight while folding laundry, and I found myself disliking the plot instead of not caring.  The clothes are still cool, but it’s not a good movie.  On the other hand, Anne Hathaway did get to kiss Simon Baker.  I like him.  He is kinda slimy here, though.  And, what, we’re supposed to applaud her for getting down to a size 4?  She was only a size 6!  I don’t want to live in a  world where a size 6 is considered fat.  I do want to go to Paris.

I have nothing else to say tonight.  I believe I had plans beyond laundry, but somehow nothing else happened.  That’s….sort of okay with me.

Of course I liked it

I’ve been slacking off again.  Sorry about that.  There isn’t much going on, though.  The weekend was nice and uneventful.  It rained most of the day Saturday, so it was very cozy inside.  I finished Dune this morning.  I liked it, and I was surprised that I liked it, and then I was surprised at being surprised.  Why wouldn’t I like it?  It’s classic science fiction, and I’ve always liked that stuff.  If I run into the books Frank Herbert wrote as sequels, I’ll probably read them.  I’m not in any hurry, though.  I started The Pilot’s Wife (Anita Shreve) tonight.  I’m really hoping, since it starts with tragedy, that things don’t go downhill from there.

John and I watched the last few episodes of The Unusuals last night, and then he went looking for a mystery to read.  We have some Agatha Christie, but he wanted more crime/cop stuff.  I could only find two books on our shelves.  He chose Bloodwork (Connelly) over The Devil’s Teardrop (Deaver).  I need to add books like that to our list for this weekend’s sale.

Yay weekend!

I’m sure I say this every Friday, but I’m really glad the week is over.  It went by pretty quickly, but all I wanted all week was time to do what I want to do, without feeling guilty about not being busy at work.  That’s true of most weeks.  This week, though, I think it means I need a vacation.

Hey, I finished The Android’s Dream yesterday and started DuneDune is one of those books I know too much about without ever having read it.  So far I like it, but I’m having a hard time not picturing the movie.  I don’t think I’ve ever watched the whole thing, but I’ve definitely seen scenes from it.  And I keep flashing to scenes from Total Recall.  Not sure why.  Back to The Android’s Dream.  I liked it.  Fun.  It was kind of a mixture of Douglas Adams strangeness (though not quite as silly) and Bourne Identity-type action.  I am definitely going to look for more stuff by John Scalzi.  And I need to remember to keep an eye out for Joanne Harris.  Books by her.  It’d be kind of hard to keep an eye out for her without knowing what she looks like.  Big book sale next weekend!  Woo!  I need to make a list.  That’s a fun thing I can do this weekend.

Speaking of books, I started watching Veronica Mars this week (episodes are online) and there was an episode where these two guys were in detention.  Their punishment was to organize all the books in the English teacher’s classroom.  They were supposed to put them in alphabetical by author and then title, and they thought it was awful.  That doesn’t sound like punishment to me.  🙂  I was a little jealous, actually.  Although I do still have books to organize.  The fiction downstairs is all in alphabetical order, but the nonfiction upstairs is a big ol’ mess.  So is that sentence, but that’s okay.

This weekend is all about catching up on sleep, so I’m going to bed.

Too keyed up

Us and the dogs.  We had a good rehearsal tonight, and we’re both a little too awake.  I’m confident that I can overcome this and go to bed, but the dogs are really keyed up, too.  We need them to relax a little before we head upstairs.  And it had better not rain tomorrow morning.  We planned to run this morning, but it was raining again.  That means I should have gotten up and lifted weights or something, but I didn’t.  I only have the fairly lame excuse that the dogs were running around last night during the thunderstorm and we got up to see what was going on.  No excuses tomorrow!  None!

Typing is hard…

…when your ring finger is wrapped in a band-aid.  It’s huge, and I keep hitting extra keys.  I don’t really need the band-aid anymore, but the tip of the finger is still really sensitive, and typing actually hurts without it.  So I guess I do need the band-aid.

This weekend it was my turn to slice my finger.  John and I drove to PA after work Friday night.  We got there about 10:30, and I cut my finger on something in trunk when I reached for my bag.  Didn’t hurt all that much, but it got my attention when blood started dripping down my hand.  We were still outside (and it was very dark), so I couldn’t see the cut at all.  Anyway, I somehow managed to slice the tip of my finger.  I still don’t know on what.  But it’s been a pain in the butt and it’s taking too long to heal.

The weekend was fun.  Lots of driving, but that part wasn’t so bad.  We drove to and from Long Island with Emily and Molly in the backseat.  It was fun.

John and I took yesterday off from work so we could have a day to ourselves and get some stuff done.  We tackled the first part of the basement, took care of the yard, and I got a pedicure.  I was overdue for that.  We watched In America Sunday night.  That was a sweet movie.  We had no sense of what kind of movie it was supposed to be, so we kept waiting for truly awful things to happen.  I guess I thought it was supposed to be a depressing movie.  Not sure why.

Too hard to type.  I’m fixing too many typos.  I quit.

Let’s go already!

I’m ready to go.  The dogs are at the kennel, our stuff is in the car, my head is already north of Leesburg, but my body is still stuck at work.  Funny how that happens.  We have another 40 minutes to go here, at least, and knowing how Fridays usually turn out, it’s probably more like an hour or more.  Maybe we’ll get lucky.

I feel like I had a very productive morning, but I didn’t really get up any earlier.  I just didn’t go for a run.  I ran errands, instead.  Well, first I finished my book, The Book Thief.  It was really good.  I’m only mentioning that I finished it this morning because that means I started my day off crying.  I mean, crying.  But I’m okay now.  🙂  Mindy, add this to your summer reading list.  Right behind People of the Book.

I started The Android’s Dream, by John Scalzi, but I haven’t gotten far enough yet to decide if I’ll like it.

I can see clearly now…

I forgot to call Mom and Dad to wish them a happy anniversary yesterday.  I called them this morning, apologized, and chatted for about half an hour.  Then I spent the rest of the day working pretty steadily.  Except for the hour I took off to go back to the eye doctor.  They got my lenses in, so I went to try them on and see the doctor.  I can see!  It’s such a big difference.  I’ve been wearing my glasses for the last few days since those other contacts were almost worse than not wearing any contacts.  I haven’t updated the prescription in my glasses yet, so that’s not perfect either, but it was a lot better.  Now, I have the contacts that actually correct for my astigmatism, and everything is clear.  But the doctor wants me to see a cornea specialist.  He thinks I might have Terrien’s Disease.  He said that could be the cause of the rapid change in my eyesight over the last two years.  I’ll google it tomorrow.

We got home from work and pretty much collapsed.  I did laundry and we watched a couple of old episodes of ER.  I never watched it when it was actually on, but John has been recording them, so I watch with him.  I like them the same way I like Law & Order.  It’s not a big deal if I miss episodes, but I enjoy them when they’re on.  Mostly.  I still think ER goes too far with the graphic medical stuff.  I don’t really like to watch those parts.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day.  Getting up early to take the dogs to the kennel, then get the oil changed in the car.  Then to work, and we’ll be there until 6pm at least.  Then we’ll hit the road to go to John’s parents’ house.  Three hours under normal conditions, but probably longer since we’ll hit the tail end of rush hour.  But today was a good day at work, so hopefully tomorrow will be, too.