Trying too hard and banana bread

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

Then I came home and made banana bread.

Long day

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

Home, safe and sound

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little sunburn

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

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


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

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

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

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

What am I forgetting?

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

Lots to do

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

Lack of concentration and the DMV

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

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

Snow in March is not cool

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

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

That sounded like complaining.

Forced to shop

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

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

Book Club – First Impression

Tonight was the first meeting of our neighborhood book club.  There were about 12 people there.  Eleven were women.  And there were five or six people who couldn’t make this meeting, but were interested.  Big club.  We decided on a book pretty much by default.  Barbara, the woman who organized this, reserved a book kit from the library, so since we already had enough copies of the kit that came in, we’re going to read The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama.  It looks pretty good.  We’re only meeting once a month, so I’ll probably put off reading it until we get a lot closer to the next meeting.  Anyway, we all introduced ourselves, then we made the book and weekly meeting decisions (first Tuesday of the month), and that was pretty much it except for the chatting.  I met Diana, who was sitting next to me and likes to read all kinds of things, including fantasy.  She has a 25-year-old son who bought World of Warcraft for her a year ago.  She’s addicted to it now, which strikes me as pretty funny.  Anyway, we chatted for a while and then helped Barbara pack up the snacks, since everyone started to leave.

The verdict?  That’ll have to wait until after our first discussion meeting or two.  Also, I’m the youngest person there by 5-8 years, I think.  Not really surprising, I guess.

What a perfect morning!

I’m not going to say it was easy to get out of bed this morning, but once I got outside, I was happy to be up and moving.  It was sunny, 52 degrees, a little windy – perfect for running.  It just felt so good to be outside and active.  Not too hot, not even remotely cold.  The wind even showed up at the right times to cool me off.   I wish every morning could be like today.  Happy Friday!

Moving up?

I’m moving into Joe’s old office tomorrow.  I don’t mind moving, but the only perk is that I’ll have a window.  That office shares a (very thin) wall with our boss’s office, and you can hear everything from the other side.  It’s not really a big deal, except that for the last year or so, everyone has been coming to my office to vent.  It was safe because I was as far from our boss’s office as you could get and still be in the same part of the building.  On the other hand, I get a window.  🙂

Two things, food-related

There are a couple of things I forgot to mention about the weekend.  On Sunday, John and I had a late lunch/early dinner at Woo Lae Oak in Tysons Corner.  Korean barbecue.  I love it.  And I don’t understand why there aren’t any Korean restaurants near us.  Tysons isn’t exactly around the corner.  I think the Pentagon City Woo Lae Oak is still my favorite, but that might be because I’ve been there more times.  I definitely liked this one better than the one in LA (too loud, too echo-y, couldn’t hear anyone).  And the food was super good.

The other thing is Amish Friendship bread.  Christina baked a loaf for me for my birthday.  This stuff is delicious.  It should be illegal.  It’s moist, sugary, covered in cinnamon, and I think Christina said it had vanilla pudding in it.  Unbelievable.  Apparently, somebody gives you the dough and a loaf, and you add to the dough and make more of your own.  But adding to the dough makes a bunch more that you are supposed to pass on to your friends.  And it takes ten days to make.  So Christina, wonderful friend that she is, spared me the chain letter aspect of this whole thing and gave me delicious bread.  I appreciate that.


John made me a delicious cake yesterday.  Butter cake with milk chocolate frosting.  SOOOOO good.  This is a huge test of my willpower.  I’m not even trying to stay away from it.  I’m trying not to eat the whole thing right now.  🙂

Work was uneventful, unless it’s noteworthy that I feel like I actually did something useful today.  I completely missed the Oscars last night.  I thought about it sometime Saturday, and the awards show didn’t cross my mind again until I saw some tidbits after checking my Yahoo mail this morning.  Sounds like I didn’t miss much.

My book is calling out to me.  See ya.

Blues and Comedy

It’s Sunday morning.  John and I are trying to plan our day so that we can do the things that need to get done and still have time to enjoy the day before we start wishing we didn’t have to go to work tomorrow.  He’s looking at his homework, and I’m enjoying the contrast between my bright and sunny yellow flowers and vase (a birthday present from John’s family) and the snow falling outside the window behind them.

Friday night, we met Joe and Megan, Lloyd and Maggie, and Eric and Robin at Constitution Hall in DC to see Buddy Guy and B.B. King.  It was a really cool show.  Buddy Guy has SO much energy.  The crowd was completely with him (people were yelling, singing along) and he was doing all kinds of cool things.  He’d play guitar solos with just his right hand.  With his left hand, he’d lean on a speaker, or drink beer, or just gesture to someone.  It was cool.  Then he left the stage.  During a song.  With his guitar.  He headed to the side and before we knew it, he had waded out into the crowd on the floor.  While playing.  Everyone was on their feet, crowding around him.  You could barely make him out, but you could hear him just fine.  So he wandered around the hall for a while, hanging out with people, hugging them, giving them high fives, and PLAYING the whole time.  Then he disappeared.  He was still playing, the band was still going, but he was in the lobby?  backstage?  whatever.  He was heading back to the stage, where he eventually reappeared.  Every once in a while, he’d stop the band, say something funny, and then go back to a song.  And he’d talk over the band and himself.  He was really funny, and if we go too loud, he’d tell us to shush.  You know, so we could hear him better.  🙂  He had more energy than we did (long day), and he’s 73!  He doesn’t look it.  He ended his set by playing parts of (and imitating) Clapton songs, John Lee Hooker, Hendrix, Albert King, and a couple of others.  It was a great show.

After intermission, B.B. King’s band came out.  There were at least 8 people on stage, but no B.B.  Four guys in the horn section, a guitarist, a drummer, a guy on keyboards (he had at least four keyboards), and a bassist.  They played two songs while the rest of us are trying to figure out where B.B. King was.  Finally, someone brought out a chair and out he came.  The crowd went nuts.  And then he proceeded to tell us stories.  Long, rambling, mostly nonsensical stories.  The band vamped behind him, and he occasionally interrupted himself to tell the drummer, “Don’t rush me, youngster.”  The keyboardist would laugh at something he said, and B.B. would say over his shoulder, “I’ll cut you.  Don’t you laugh, I’ll cut you.”  It was funny and good-natured, but we didn’t have a clue what his stories were supposed to be about.  I think they were supposed to be segues into the first line of the next song, but they rarely made sense.  It was still entertaining, but we think he talked more than he played.  When he did play, it was awesome, and his voice is incredible, powerful, but he’s 83 and it’s starting to show, I think.  Most of us had more fun with Buddy Guy.

Last night we went to the Barns at Wolf Trap with Christina and Will to see the Second City National Touring Company.  There were six cast members, and they did sketch comedy and improv.  I love that stuff, and they were really funny.  I’m not going to try to describe any of the sketches, but there are at least two I’m still laughing about today.  We had a good time, and I’ve had a good birthday weekend.  🙂

30 isn’t old, right?

So I’m 30 today. I don’t feel old, but I feel like I am old.  You know, officially.  Okay, not old, but adult.  Like all the time.

Anyway, John and I are off to DC to see B.B. King and Buddy Guy in concert.  Woo!  With Joe, Megan, Maggie, Lloyd, and a couple of other people.  We are going to have a marvelous time.  🙂

Happy birthday to me!