To do this weekend:

  1. TAXES!!!!!!  Yes, I waited until the last minute.
  2. Update book and movies lists.
  3. Yardwork.  Lots of it.  I hate it, but there’s a lot that needs to be done.

Okay, yardwork needs to be in the #2 spot, and I’m sure I’ll add more to this list later.  Right now, I need to get to work.

Save the polar bears!

Today was much better than yesterday.  Yesterday I couldn’t keep my eyes open most of the day.  I desperately needed a nap around midday, and then I nearly fell asleep in the dentist chair.  Went to bed early, slept in instead of running.  I’m still tired, but it’s much more of a normal kind of tired today.

Noah Wyle is trying to get me to help save the polar bears.  Cute videos of baby polar bears go a long way towards convincing me to donate.

I really need to stop trying to write while sitting in front of the TV.  Concentrating is impossible.  Of course, it would help if I had anything to talk about.

I like talking to strangers.

There must be something wrong with me.  I like working for campaigns.  I mean, even doing the low-level stuff like calling strangers about supporting the candidate and entering the results of those calls into the database.  I like the people who work on the campaigns.  And my buddy Jordan (from the Leesburg office for the Obama campaign) is an intern in the Loudoun office!  So that’s cool.  I don’t plan to give them as much time as I did for Obama last fall, but I definitely want to help out.  I’m still really tired, but I feel so much better about going over there tonight.  I’m very glad I went.

Get some sleep!

I stayed up entirely too late last night watching the game.  It was only the second basketball game I’ve watched in years, i think.  I’d like to watch the women’s championship game tonight (woo Louisville!), but I promised to volunteer for the gubernatorial campaign from 7-9.  I have to leave in less than 20 minutes, and I SO don’t want to.  I’m really tired, and I just don’t want to leave the house again.

I’m watching Girl, Interrupted, and it’s really freaking me out that the main character’s name is Susannah.  She doesn’t spell it right, though.  No time to finish the movie now, either.  Gotta go volunteer!

Driving in rain and fog

We made it safely to the bed and breakfast ( yesterday afternoon with enough time for John to make sure he could get on the internet (since he had to give a presentation on a conference call at four).  It was wet and rainy, but the inn is beautiful.  It’s three miles past civilization, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and now that the rain and fog have cleared a bit, I can actually see them (the mountains) from the window in our bedroom.

I don’t think I could say our first evening here was relaxing.  We all rushed out to dinner (minus John, on his call) because Carole (Jess’s mom) thought it was an hour later than it really was (meaning we were really late).  Once we got to the restaurant we got the time thing straightened out, which pretty much meant we were right on schedule, but without much time to spare.  We came back to the Inn after eating to drop off those of us who weren’t going to the play and to pick up John.  Then we packed ourselves up into two cars and began the harrowing trek to Staunton.  It was awful.  Chuck was driving his car with Cody, Meredith (Jess’s sister), and Rachel (Jess’s sister-in-law), and I was following with John, Jess, and Carole.  The roads around here are twisty, windy, barely two-lane roads, but that was okay.  It was rainy, but not pouring, and it wasn’t foggy.  At least, not in the valley.  Then we got onto 64.  We got into the mountains and the fog rolled in.  Maybe it was already there and we rolled into the fog.  Whatever, it was getting darker and foggier and we were on a twisty interstate with lots of cars going faster than it seemed they should be going.  And we were late.  It wasn’t totally dark, though, and we got to the theater in one piece, albeit about 15 minutes after the play started.  Thankfully, they let us in anyway.  It’s a small, Elizabethan-style theater, and we took up the entire third row.  The play, Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead, was really good, very funny, and I’m very glad we made it.  At one point, Rozencrantz came into the audience and sat down next to John.  Gildenstern asked him if he saw anything interesting, and he looked right at John and said, “No.”  Funny.

The way back was less fun.  It was completely dark and if anything, the fog was worse.  There were lights in the roadbed along the guardrails, but they looked like oncoming headlights, so I was freaked out the whole time we were on the interstate.  And it took a LONG time to get back.  Oh, and it was raining a lot harder. 

I started writing this before breakfast this morning.  It’s now after 10, and we’re all pretty much exhausted.  We went to five wineries this afternoon and had a great time, but we all needed naps (that we didn’t get) when we got back.  Dinner was mooseburgers (brought from Alaska in Daniel’s luggage).  Then we hung around the living room, mostly comatose.  Certainly not being all that loud.  We were chastised by the owner (nicely chastised) and asked to keep our voices down since there is one couple staying here who doesn’t belong to us.  That wouldn’t really have been a problem except that Jess and Chuck overheard the owners in the kitchen.  They seem to be pretty unhappy with us, but I’m not sure what we’ve done.  We haven’t destroyed anything or broken anything.  Maybe we’ll find out more tomorrow. 

We’re having a really good time (despite our general sleepiness).  I’m enjoying Jess’s family, and we’re in a beautiful spot.  Tomorrow, Jess and Rachel and I are going to get lunch, mani/pedis, and the cake, and the wedding will be around 5:30.

Getting better all the time

This week has been…not so good.  But it’s getting better by the minute!  I don’t have to get up early tomorrow, we’ll run, then we’ll drive to Charlottesville for a weekend with Jess and Chuck and Jess’s family.  We’re going to have a great time, but to get there, I need to get some sleep.

Can I stay home tomorrow?

Today was TOO long.  We got up before 5:30, left the house by 6:30, so we could get downtown in time to have some breakfast before the conference started at 8:30.  We got there with time to spare, which was nice.  I hate being late.  But the rest of the day took FOREVER.  And I couldn’t even leave once it was over for the day.  John had to get to class, so I waited for Wendy to finish up.  We didn’t leave until around 6:15 or 6:30.  And traffic was awful, so it was 8 o’clock before I got home.  Thankfully, Christina was able to swing by after she got off work to let the dogs out, so I didn’t come home to any disasters.  Thanks, Christina!

I’m just so very tired, and poor John is even worse shape.  I don’t know how he’ll manage to stay awake during class tonight.  Tomorrow will start the same, but hopefully we won’t go as late.

My eyes are not staying open (and I really don’t want to relive my day as I look for something to write about.  It wasn’t that much fun.), so I’m going to bed.  I’ll let the dogs come upstairs with me.  I always let them come up on nights John is away.  They love it.  Then John gets home, they go rushing downstairs to greet him, and they don’t really notice that he doesn’t let them back up.  (They’re not very bright.  But they are adorable.)

Two books, one day

I finished Gentlemen and Players last night.  No, night before last.  It was the first time in a long time that I just stayed up in bed reading until I was done.  I was too close to the end to put it down.  I enjoyed it, and I will definitely be looking for more books by Joanne Harris.  Actually, I recommended this one to Joe and Megan yesterday.  (And they told me I should read Caleb Carr’s The Alienist.  I’ve gotta remember that.)  Thanks, Jess!  I’ll bring it back to you next weekend.  So last night I started my book club book, The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama.  It’s one of those serene novels, where some stuff happens, but it’s all at a slight remove.  I liked it, but I didn’t love it.  (I finished it about an hour ago.  Not a very long book.)  Now it’s time for me to return to the Otherland series.

John and Dan (Short, from RI) have been in the garage since around 11 this morning.  Other than lunch (late, around 3 – I made burgers), I haven’t really seen them.  There’s been a lot of noise, and lately, a lot of engine revving, so I think things are going well.  🙂

Tomorrow and Tuesday are going to be very long days.  We’re both going to the spring conference for work in DC, and we have to be there by about eight.  John has class tomorrow night, so I’ll be coming home with our boss, whenever she’s ready to leave.  I have no idea how late she tends to stay at these things.  But at least it’ll be a short work week.  Two days at the conference, Wednesday at work, and then we leave Thursday morning to head for Charlottesville for the wedding.  Yay wedding!

First 5K of the year

Yesterday was a good day.  We slept in a little bit, did a little shopping (John has a new suit, but no new running shoes.  Surprise – no one carries size 14, 4E running shoes.), and then headed to Falls Church for the race.  We parked in a cul de sac around the corner from the trail (the race was on the W&OD trail), in front of this really cool Tudor house.  I love Tudor houses.  So does John.  Neat house.  Anyway, it was overcast and a little chilly as we walked to the building next to the trail where we could get our numbers.  My number for this race?  42.  Woo!

This race had timing chips, or whatever you call them, so we had to tie those to our shoes.  I think they only use them for finish times.  If you start anywhere but in the front of the pack, your time isn’t really going to be accurate.  When they started the race, a guy at the official start line counted seconds so we knew when we crossed.  My official start time (which doesn’t figure into my official finish time, which annoys me a bit) was 18 or 19 seconds after the starting gun.  Actually, that works for me ’cause it means my actual official finish time was below 30 minutes, if you subtract 19 seconds.

There was another woman with a weird pace in this race.  She was wearing pink and black (pink hat, black pants, pink shirt, black jacket), nicely coordinated.  She started out just ahead of me in the pack, but then she stopped to walk.  So I passed her.  A few minutes later, she passed me at a jog again.  Then she walked and I passed her.  That’s really annoying.  I passed her sometime after the first mile, and I didn’t see her again until the race was over, so I ended up beating her, but I don’t like leap-frogging with people who walk.  It means their jogging pace is way faster than mine.  Speaking of people who walk, I’m half-convinced this one guy was actually triplets.  I passed him once (he was walking), and then a few minutes later, I passed him again (he was walking).  I never saw him jog past to me to get ahead.  Then it happened a third time, and I really started to think there was more than one of him.  How did I not see him get ahead of me?  Very weird.  But the weirdest person was the guy I saw near the back of the pack (the race was out 2.5K and back along the same path, so after I turned around at the halfway mark I went by everyone who was behind me), running in khaki cargo pants, a button down, and a jacket, carrying a little umbrella (folded up).  Not exactly what i would choose to go for a run in.

Oh!  Before I hit the halfway point, I saw the front-runner coming back towards the finish.  He was tall, thin, black, fast, and all I could think was, “Kenyan?  Could he be Kenyan?  What’s he doing in our rinky-dink race?”  And then I immediately thought, “Yeah, sure, just ’cause he’s black, fast, and clearly a REAL runner, he must be from Kenya?  What is wrong with you?”  And just ’cause I turned out to be right (he is Kenyan, and he won the race in 15:51) doesn’t my assumption any better.  But I still don’t know what brought him to this particular race.

I googled him.  He’s in town to run marathons and half-marathons and win prize money.  Seems to be how he makes a living, which is just really cool.  John mentioned this morning that 15:51 isn’t really all that fast for a 5K (not for medium distance runners), but it makes sense now that I know the guy is a marathoner.  Endurance, not so much speed.  Of course, he’s still twice as fast as me, so what do I know.

Best part?  It RAINED the whole time.  Actually, it wasn’t that bad.  It was something more than a mist, but without actual raindrops.  It was nice and cool just when we were heating up, but we did end up mostly soaked.  The course was mostly flat, except when we went over Rte 7.  But the bridge over 7 was wooden, and I think the change in texture was enough of a distraction so that I didn’t really notice the hill.  I’m glad I did it.  It was hard, and I was concentrating on keeping my legs moving (“No walking, no walking, keep breathing, it doesn’t hurt that bad, no walking, no walking…”), but it felt really good to finish.  I saw the line coming up and I stretched my legs out and passed another four people in the last tenth of a mile…and then I stumbled to a stop and tried to untie my left shoe with fumbling fingers and wobbly legs so I could give them my timing tag/chip thing.  But it felt good.  Our next race is in a month in Alexandria.

I’ll be ready.

Short version

John and I ran out first 5K of year today in Falls Church.  We did better that we expected, but we probably won’t see official times until tomorrow.  By my stopwatch, I finished in 29:45 (which makes me happy).  After the race, we called Joe and Megan (since we were nearby) and stopped by their house.  I had a book to drop off, and we spent the rest of the afternoon and part of the evening with them and their boys.  Always a good time.

Also, we watched this week’s Lost tonight, so Mindy and Erik, I’ll call you tomorrow to discuss.  I’ll also have more details about the race tomorrow.

Not enough time to read!

Today was a good day, I think.  Busy at work, but the good kind of busy.  We’re home with no more responsibilities.  We ordered Italian for dinner (should be here soon) and we’ll either watch Lost or maybe a movie.  Tomorrow we have a couple of errands to run and then a race.  And Sunday, Dan is coming up to help John work on his Camaro.   I will probably read.  I almost have to read.  I love it.  🙂  My next book club meeting is Tuesday night, and I haven’t started the book.  It’s not very long, and if I have all day Sunday, I’m sure I can finish it by Tuesday, but I don’t want to put Gentlemen and Players down to do it.  So I’m going to try to finish that one by Saturday night.  Which means I can’t waste time here tonight.

Damn.  That was dinner.  I mean, you know, good.  But it means I don’t have time to read first.

I can’t skip on purpose

I was considering not posting tonight, since I really have nothing to say, but I decided that I can’t deliberately skip a day.  Forgetting is one thing.  The downside is that I’m done now.  This is it, and it’s not really worth it.  I might have to reconsider my policy on posting when I can’t even babble for a couple of paragraphs (like yesterday).  I’m tired, and I’m going to bed.

I got nothin’

Really.  I have very little to say today.  I wonder if it’s better to just skip posting on days like this.  Is forcing myself to write something, anything, better than not posting at all?  Even if what gets posted is boring, wandering, inane – ah.  Yes, if I keep the name of my website in mind, posting something is better than posting nothing.  Still, inanity with a purpose is better than random inanity (I’m starting to doubt that’s a real word), so unless I come up with something soon, I’ll be keeping this short.  Unlike that sentence.  But very like the sentence after it.  And I’m back to the purposeless inanity (insanity?  not yet) that I never really left behind.

Um…John and I will be running our first 5K of the year this Saturday.  It’s in Falls Church at 4pm.  I’m not expecting to do well.  I know I’ll be able to run the whole thing (no walking for me!) since 3 miles has been my minimum workout for a while now, but my times with the dogs have been awful.  And I’m pretty sure it’s not the dogs’ fault.  We might see Joe, though.  A while back he said he was going to register for this race, but I don’t know if he did.

Well, that was uninspired.  Oh, speaking of uninspired (and Joe for that matter, since he’s such a huge fan), the guest on last night’s Daily Show (which we watched tonight) was Bruce Springsteen.  The interview was not typical for Jon Stewart.  He gushed.  There was no mocking, no gentle joking.  Mostly drool.  I just can’t bring myself to care about Bruce Springsteen.  I don’t think he’s bad, I mean, I get what he’s about.  I just don’t get it.  But he does look much better promoting this album than the last one.  His hair is shorter, cleaner, and it makes him look younger.  Less craggy.  I won’t critique his music, but I have eyes.  I’ll stick to what I know and critique his appearance.  🙂

Sheep (watch the video (with sound))

I need a break from early mornings.  Getting up around 6:30 to go for a run is one thing.  Getting to work by 7:45 (yesterday) or by 7am (today) is another.  I am SO tired, and I didn’t sleep well last night.  I had dreams about losing control (one while driving a car, and another while trying to walk four or five dogs at the same time).

John just turned on The Colbert Report (last night’s episode), and apparently (according to Colbert and TVWeek), the Sci Fi channel is changing its name to “Syfy” because somehow this will make it sound less “geeky”. Give me a break.  They should embrace their geekiness!  Also, Syfy looks like it should be pronounced “siffy”.

I don’t have a whole lot else to contribute tonight.  I didn’t watch Obama on TV.  I’ll watch it tomorrow.  Oh, I saw this awesome video today.  It might be faked, but it’s cool anyway.  Very fun to watch.


I can’t believe I skipped three days.  And I can’t even use vacation as an excuse.

I am officially shopped out.  I met Jess at Tysons early Saturday so we could find shoes for her and a dress for me to wear to her wedding.  I get tired of trying on clothes pretty quickly, so it was good that I found the dress in the second store.  Third, really, but I didn’t try anything on in Macy’s.  Too disorganized.  I don’t have the patience for that.  But I love the dress I found.  Of course, then we had to find shoes.  Nordstrom has a shoe department on every floor (three floors at Tysons), and we found that the shoes get cheaper as you head downstairs.  A shoe salesman on the top floor tried to show me $500 Jimmy Choos!  We practically ran for the lower floors.  Anyway, we had lunch and then continued with the shoe shopping.  Jess found a pair (gold, strappy, sparkly – gorgeous) at Bloomingdale’s, but she was going to try them on when she got home to make sure they’d look good with her dress.  Verdict?  I don’t know yet.  It was fun.  We must have walked the length of the mall at least four times.  And we started the day by browsing through Levenger’s, of course.  🙂  Oh, and Jess brought me a book, ’cause she’s cool like that.  We traded, since I remembered to bring her copy of A Three Dog Life.  She brought me Gentlemen and Players, which I am now reading.

Sunday I went to the mall again (different mall) ’cause I realized I needed another suit.  I went to Lord & Taylor and discovered that I love Anne Klein (brand, not person).  🙂  Anne Klein very definitely thinks I’m a size 8.  Tahari thinks I’m a 10.  Plus, Anne Klein makes one-button suits, which are my favorite.  So now I have a black one, too.  But seriously, that’s all the clothes shopping I can take in one weekend.

Shopping was not the only thing that exhausted me these last few days, though.  Saturday night we went into DC to meet Ryan Evans and his girlfriend, Laura.  We haven’t seen Ryan and Laura since Brian’s wedding two and a half years ago.  Laura was in town for a conference, so when Ryan came up for the weekend, we made sure we were free to see them.  I like them.  We camped out at the District Chop House for about four hours (until they closed and kicked us out at midnight), and then hung out in the lobby of their hotel until about 1:30.  We got home around 2:15.  We had a really good time, but god that was late.  I’m old.  Oh!  We saw Helen Thomas at the hotel!  There was some kind of formal event just ending when we got back from dinner (a little after midnight).  There were a ton of people coming off the elevator and going through the lobby.  The men were all in white tie and the women were all in formal gowns.

Ah.  Mystery solved.  It was the annual Gridiron Club dinner.  And that explains the motorcade, the line of black SUVs parked outside, and the secret service in the lobby.  Senators and presidents attend and sometimes speak at this thing, although apparently Obama did not go to this one.  Anyway, shortly before John and I left, the four of us were standing in the lobby.  I was facing the elevators, and I looked around Ryan, elbowed John, and whispered (loudly, I’m sure), “Isn’t that Helen Thomas?”  It so totally was.  And that was totally cool.

I’ve started my spring and summer grocery shopping.  All that really means is that I go to Wegman’s and buy stuff to grill.  🙂  But it also means I eat healthy stuff!  Last night we grilled steak kabobs.  Tonight, I grilled salmon, mushrooms, asparagus, and two pineapple slices.  Add a little teriyaki sauce, a little soy sauce…delicious.  And good for me.  And I’ll probably do the same for both of us tomorrow night, since I got more salmon.  Maybe broccoli, since John’s not crazy about asparagus unless it’s wrapped in bacon.  🙂  John is taking his Theory of Algorithms midterm tonight.  He studied all weekend (while I was shopping) and all last week, and I think he spent most of today trying to get time to move faster so he could get the test over with.

Oh, so I started Gentlemen and Players today because I finished the third Mistborn book last night.  It really surprised me.  I mean, I got to the end, found something out about a plot point that truly surprised me, and then realized that the author had been telling me that little secret through the ENTIRE book.  Looking back, it’s so clear, but I really didn’t get it at all until Sanderson (author) was ready to tell me.  I’m impressed.

Things people should do

I think I should write more thank-you notes.  You know, as a general rule.  It’s a nice thing to do and people like getting them.  I should also call/email more of my relatives.  And if I’m going to get into a list of all the things I don’t do that I should, we’ll be here all night, so I’m stopping there.

Of course, there’s one other thing everyone should do simply because you get a reaction.  Go in a Starbucks (or some other place where you have to walk by a bunch of people to get to the restroom).  Wear one outfit on your way in and change clothes in the bathroom so when you come out, you’re wearing something completely different.  And I mean completely.  You’ll probably get a couple of double-takes.  It’s kinda funny.

And another thing – if you’re jogging or walking or walking your dog or whatever and someone else jogs by you and nods/says good morning/waves, acknowledge that person!  She’s just being friendly.  Being ignored doesn’t feel good.

How about this one: when you’re driving and someone lets you ahead of them, especially in traffic, wave!  It’s not hard.  They were being nice to you!

Okay, that’s enough.  Today was a VERY long day (but successful!), and tomorrow starts very early.  I’m going to go get a better night’s sleep than I had last night.

Another new TV show

It’s too early to tell yet if this one is going to be good.  The first part of the pilot episode was AWFUL.  The second half was much better.  Oh, I’m talking about Castle.  It’s yet another cop show, and John thinks it’s trying to play off the success of The Mentalist.  It’s also similar to Lie to Me, in the sense that all three shows are (mostly) crime-driven, with the cops bringing on a non-law enforcement specialist to help them solve that week’s crime.  Anyway, the second episode of Castle was pretty good.  Nathan Fillion is in it, and he’s pretty cute.  He’s what made the first half of the pilot so awful, though.  They really over did the skirt-chaser aspect of his character’s personality.  It was much more understated in the second episode.  I’ve only seen him in Waitress, which I loved, and I think he was in Firefly, but I’ve never seen that show.  We’ll give this one another couple of episodes before we decide to keep it or quit.

I went a little link-happy today.  Makes my post more colorful. 🙂  I have to go help John study.  No, really!  He said he wanted to run part of some proof by me (the math part).  I’m good for some of that.

Did you wear green today?

This is going to be short because I’m reading one of those books I just can’t put down.  I mean, I generally really like the books I read (because in most cases I’ll stop reading a book if I’m not enjoying it – life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy if you don’t have to), but I love it when I can’t wait to get back to one. Even if that book doesn’t make it to my list of favorites, it’s still a wonderful feeling.  I get involved.

John started his midterm prep today.  From now until Monday night, all of his free time will be devoted to studying.  This is for his scary Theory of Algorithms class.  I don’t even like to spell algorithms.  I keep looking for another vowel.  So John is up in his office, trying to concentrate, and I will do my best not to get in his way.  I think that’s the only way I can help.