Wonderful snowy morning

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

Two more movies

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

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

Bad movie

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

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

Working for the weekend

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

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

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

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

Mostly John Cusack

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

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

Dentist, sleeping in, and a new book

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

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

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

Identity theft? Or just theft?

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

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

Confirming a suspicion I had.

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

The pizza was REALLY good.

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

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

And I thought today would be better…

I woke up this morning determined to have a good day. I ran, I did other exercises, and when I was done, I felt great. I even told John that. “I feel great,” I said.

The morning went by just fine. We looked at our options for getting to NC for my birthday. Did some work. We had a staff meeting that went okay. And when I went to give the weakest member of our team some helpful hints, I found out he had completely dropped the ball for five hours.  Annoying, but not the end of the world.  I helped him wade through the work.  And then we had another meeting.  That started more than half an hour late.  And went more than an hour longer than scheduled.  The meeting itself was okay (we got some stuff done), but it ended abruptly when our boss got a phone call on her cell, left the room to take it, and never came back.  I could work where I was, so I did, and after about ten minutes John and Ross went to find out if she was coming back.  She wasn’t.  The meeting was over, apparently.  And it was about 5:15.  Because we’d been in there so long (the meeting was only supposed to go to 4), John had a lot of work to do, so we weren’t able to leave until almost seven.  We vented about the idiot who dropped the ball and our boss on the way home.  And we’ve decided we won’t talk about work again until Monday.  Except for tomorrow, when we meet with Joe and fill him in on the gossip.  But that’s it.

It doesn’t sound like a lot when I put it that way, but I’m leaving out all the frustrating, crazy-making details.  It took a lot out of me.

John has a rum and coke, I have a glass of wine, and a pizza is on the way.  Oh, this pizza.  I hope it’s as good as it sounds.  Tomato sauce, spinach, roasted garlic, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, grilled chicken, mozzarella, romano, and feta (only on John’s half).  Maybe this pizza will turn my day around at the last minute.  It’s a large burden to place on a pizza, but I think it can handle it.


John and I were listening to the BBC Newshour this morning on our way to work.  A news story led off with,

“As you know, reporting in Sri Lanka is notoriously difficult.”

That statement alone, from the British newsreader (and when I replay it in my head now, I hear John Cleese), was enough to make us start giggling.  (If you need me to explain just why we thought that was funny, ask me in the comments.)  Next, the announcer said something like (I don’t remember the exact statistic, except that it was high), “one in ten members of the media have been shot and killed in recent months.” And then the opening statement became the understatement of the week.  It is rather difficult to report when you’re dead.  And, because we’re not totally heartless, it became a little less funny.

There is nothing special about Wednesdays.

Feel free to disagree.

Yesterday went by at a breakneck pace.  Today, not so much.  We slept in until 7:30 this morning, listening to the rain.  Should have gotten up for Yoga Booty Ballet.  Didn’t.  Got out the door in plenty of time to make my 9:30 conference call at work.  Plodded through the rest of the day.

If anyone needs proof of how lazy we both are, here you go: we haven’t done the laundry I’ve been promising to do since the weekend (we still have clean clothes, so desperation hasn’t driven us to it yet) AND – this is the big one – our Christmas tree is still up.

While cooking our tortellini for dinner this evening, I noticed that it smelled like wet dog.  Has this ever happened to anyone?  It didn’t taste like wet dog.  ‘Tis a mystery.

Bad Day

Not the worst day ever, but not a good one either. Had to be downtown by 9am this morning (I wasn’t really needed until 10, but being early would be helpful.), so I left the house at 7:30. Ran into a little bit of traffic on the toll road, but nothing huge. I remembered while on the toll road that I couldn’t take 66 in like I planned because it’s HOV only until 9am. So I got on the beltway to take the GW Parkway. Not a problem. The GW Parkway was fine, too, until it came to an abrupt halt at 123. I don’t mind sitting in traffic, but I do mind being late. At 8:45 I called my boss, since the woman I was meeting downtown didn’t respond to my email asking for her cell phone number until I was in the car this morning. Not helpful. My boss contacted the lady, so she knew I was stuck in traffic. So I didn’t fret anymore about being late. And I got there by 9:30. Two hours to go 36 miles.

I found my way to the training room I would be spending the day in and said hello to the woman I was meeting.  Let’s just call her Space Cadet.  She’s completely scatter-brained, and everything she touches falls to pieces.  And that includes me, apparently.  My purpose today was to be on hand to help the testers whenever they ran into something they either didn’t understand or they thought might be a defect.  And that part of the day was fine.  I headed off some user-error issues before they could blow up and handled some actual defects with the system.  Not a problem.  My frustration came from my internet connection, mostly.  I’m not allowed to connect to the LAN because my computer does not belong to them.  I had a wireless modem, but the signal was awful.  And inconsistent.  I could connect, but then I couldn’t get anywhere, or I could go to one site, but not check my work email…and not being able to check my work email, or rather send any work email, was the biggest problem.  So I took my laptop out to a lounge area in the hallway, both to try to get a better signal (through the window) and to call my boss to get her opinion on a potential enhancement to the system.  I got her answer and then tried to send an email with an attachment, necessary for a meeting that was going to start in about 15 minutes.  I managed to send the email, but when Space Cadet opened it, we realized I had sent an older version of the attachment.  And then I couldn’t connect to my email.  Again.  I could connect on a local computer, but I couldn’t transfer the file from my laptop to that computer.  The local computer wouldn’t recognize my thumb drive.  We were able to have the meeting using the older attachment anyway (I just described the changes over the phone), but we were delayed and Space Cadet was really flustered.  (The delay was mostly her not understanding that I could just talk about the missing parts of the attachment because I had the updated document right there in front me.)

The meeting was over by 12:30, which was about when I was planning on heading back to the office.  Space Cadet had one other tester scheduled for 2-4pm, but no one expected me to stick around that late.  That tester, naturally, walked in right then and asked if it would be okay for her to start now, rather than wait until 2.  Space Cadet said she had meetings until 2 or 2:30 and then asked me if I could stay and help the tester if she needed any help.  I agreed because I really didn’t have any reason not to.  I got some stuff done during that almost two hours on a local computer, but I couldn’t check my personal email there (blocked websites).  I tried my luck with the connection on my laptop and was able to check my Yahoo mail.  Thank goodness I did.  I had an email from Dad telling me that the building security people called them.  They have my phone at the front desk.  I hadn’t even missed it!  Apparently, I left it in the hallway around noon when I was trying to send that email before the meeting.  And there’s no telling if I would have noticed it was gone before I left for the day.  So I ran to the security desk and the very nice ladies there gave me my phone.

I really didn’t have it together today.  I tried to leave without my coat, too.  Then I had to sign out at the same security desk and the ladies told me it’s a good thing I have my head screwed on tight, ’cause I probably would have left that somewhere, too.  Too true.

I got stuck in traffic a little on my way back to the office, and then work was nonstop until I left at 6.  All in all, it was a very long day.  Oh, and I didn’t have lunch until around 3:30, when I finally got back to the office.  Somehow, I wasn’t starving.  But lack of food may have added to my crankiness this afternoon.  And now I’m home, and I’m going to have a very boring (but very healthy) dinner of steamed vegetables over rice.  And a glass of wine.  🙂


Work is messing with my plans!  I found out this afternoon that I have to go downtown tomorrow to babysit our client.  They’re testing our application, and my boss decided it would be good for us (and them) if I were there in person to answer questions tomorrow, instead of available by phone and email like I was today.  It’s a pain for me, but the visibility certainly can’t hurt us.  It’s messing with my plans because I’ll have to leave the house no later than 7:30 tomorrow morning, meaning I won’t have time to run.  I was counting on using Thursday as my day off.  It probably doesn’t matter much in the long run (or even the short run, really), but I was on a roll.

I do get to wear some of my new clothes.  (yay!)  And my red coat is still in pretty good shape, so my jacket dilemma has been resolved for now.  (I’ll be wearing gray pants, black shoes, and either a red or navy blue top.  The pants don’t have a matching jacket, and I don’t have a black coat, so I was trying to decide if I could get away with a brown leather jacket as my coat tomorrow.  The answer ranged from “not really” to “definitely not.”  I’m glad my red coat isn’t dirty.)

When I called Dad tonight (it’s his birthday – Happy Birthday, Dad!), I could hear Gaby shrieking in the background (in a she’s-having-fun way, not a she’s-tired-and-cranky way), but she didn’t want to talk to me.  Not unusual.  I wonder if she really knows who I am.  I mean, I know Corey and Candy use family pictures to identify all of her relatives for her, but in her head, am I a distinct person, distinguishable from any other her other aunts?  She’s only 3 years old, and she’s only seen me half a dozen times in her life – at what age do kids really remember people they don’t see every day?  I really don’t know anything about child development.  I know she knows who I am when I’m there.  I just wonder if she really knows who I am when I’m not there.  Whatever.  Rambling.

John’s back from his lesson and I have to get up early.

Slight redesign

Very slight. But I like it better. I also added a page to track my exercise (so now I can publicly humiliate myself when I don’t exercise), and I think I’ve figured out my picture issues. Haven’t fixed it yet, but I think I know how now. I’m going to settle in for the evening with John.

What did we do all day?

For one thing, we stayed up way too late again last night.  I read and John played video games until almost 1 o’clock in the morning.  So our plan for easing back into normal hours wasn’t going well.  We got up around 10 or so, which is not outrageous for a Saturday, but still not normal.  I wanted to run today, if only to convince my legs that squats and lunges from the day before do not automatically mean a break from running.  I didn’t need to go far and we were out of bagels and cream cheese, so I ran to Bloom.  This time I used a backpack stuffed with sweatshirts (so I could pad the bagels and keep them from bouncing around on the way back).  It worked better than the grocery bag I used last time, but it’s still hard to run with a backpack bouncing around.  I either had to let it bounce (annoying) or hold onto the straps, which means I can’t pump my arms.  And that’s just awkward.  I don’t think I’ll be running to Bloom anymore.  And the bagels I bought today are the last bagels allowed in the house for quite some time.  Starting Monday, I am going back to strictly watching everything I eat.

After breakfast, we went down to the basement to do some cleaning up.  We brought some things upstairs (games, picture frames) and threw out a lot.  There’s a lot more to do, but at least we made a dent.  Then we went upstairs and rearranged the guest bedroom.  We’re thinking about getting rid of the two twin beds and replacing them with a futon to create a little more room in there.  For now, we just moved the drum set over so we won’t be tripping over all the cables.  Not much rearranging, actually.

We took the dogs to PetSmart so they could pick out new toys for themselves, and then we left them at home so we could run other errands.  We’ve been to Target, Home Depot, Sears, and Borders tonight.  I’m worn out.  It’s after ten, I do NOT want to stay up late tonight, and we still have a few things to do tomorrow.  Well, I really only have one thing I have to do (grocery shopping).  The rest of the day can be spent however I want, so it will probably include (in no particular order) a run, lots of reading, calling Mom, and getting John to help me with some changes I want to make to this site.

I have stared at that last paragraph for too long without really seeing it.  That’s a signal to me that I’m too tired to keep writing tonight.  Also, I’m out of things to write for now.  🙂  Good night!

Pretty good day

I love days off.  Today we slept in some, but not too late.  Got up, went for a run, had breakfast.  I had a very successful shopping trip to Ann Taylor this afternoon (my gift card from John’s parents took me a LONG way – it was a great present and I need to thank them again).  When I got back, John was in the midst of cleaning out the garage.  After I helped him with his air compressor, he came in and got cleaned up.  Then, best part, we put my new electronic drum set together.  We set it up in the extra bedroom (after shoving the trundle back under the other bed in there) and plugged headphones in.  It was surprisingly quiet.  Too quiet, really.  We went out to Bertucci’s for dinner (I have a weakness for this creamy, cheesy, chicken and tortellini dish they have), and then when we came back, John set up a stereo and speakers for the drum set so you don’t have to have headphones on to hear it.  Also, now it’s louder.  And, even better, we can play together.  He grabbed his guitar and sat in the room with me and we jammed.  🙂  It was really cool.  He needs to practice singing and playing, and I just flat out need to practice, but now we can do that together.  Aw.

We quit after about an hour and a half, and now we’re downstairs on the couch.  I’m on the computer (obviously), and John is playing Star Wars: Battlefront. He’s playing a storm trooper and killing all the good guys!  I think I have a problem with this game.  And Darth Vader just helped him out?!  This is not cool.  On many levels.

Anyway, we’ve had a productive and enjoyable day off.  And we still have two days to go!  Long weekends with no plans are the best.

Happy New Year!

John and I are having the laziest New Year’s Day ever.  We didn’t get out of bed until almost noon (we didn’t go to bed until after 2am last night, but noon is still excessive), and we’ve spent most of the day since then on the couch.  Jess and Chuck crashed with us last night and were gone before we even stirred.  (They needed to get home before the dog exploded.)  I wanted to see them out, and I had assumed I’d hear them, but I must have been out cold.  Didn’t even hear the dogs, who usually go nuts as soon as someone heads down the stairs.  I hope they spent the read of today sleeping.  Jess and Chuck, not the dogs.  I know the dogs slept most of today.

I think our New Year’s Eve party was a success.  We, at least, had a great time, and I think our friends did, too.  🙂  We’ll probably be snacking on leftovers until next week.  I’m glad we managed to clean up a lot before we went to bed.  It was nice to come downstairs today and find the house still looking relatively neat.  Of course, then I went on a search for bagels.  I picked up lox and cream cheese (and capers and tomatoes) at Wegmans yesterday, but I wanted bagels from Panera so I deliberately didn’t buy any.  (And I didn’t have time to go to Panera then.)  Today, however, I paid the price for sleeping in so late.  By the time I got to Panera, they didn’t have any plain or egg bagels left.  I didn’t want any of the fancy flavored ones ’cause I knew John preferred plain for his lox.  So I went to Dunkin Donuts in Leesburg.  Also out of plain and egg and everything else except cinnamon raisin.  I went to Giant.  Thankfully, their bakery makes pretty good bagels and they had both egg and plain.  It just took entirely too long to find bagels.  It was closer to one before we finally ate anything today.

We watched our last recorded episode of The Mentalist over breakfast and then John played video games while I read.  I finished A Three Dog Life (wrenching, but in a good way, and no, I didn’t cry again) and started another Sharon Kay Penman re-read.  I have a whole stack of books to read right now, but nothing is really jumping out at me.  I’m not sure what I’m in the mood for.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to shop a little.  One of my Christmas presents was a gift card to Ann Taylor (yay new clothes!), so I’ll probably head to Tysons or Reston Town Center, depending on whether John comes with me.

I hope everyone got home safe last night and this morning.  Happy New Year!