Apparently, Thriller flash mobs the Saturday before Halloween are a thing, and they’re a thing in Eugene. We saw them two Saturdays ago when we were out for Will’s birthday, and they’re gathering people to do it on October 29th. It was a lot of fun to watch that night, and it looks like it would be a lot of fun to join. The night we saw them, there was no doubt that I was going to join them. (I was quite enthusiastic.) Now…well, I get lazy. They’re practicing in the evenings once a week, and I would have to leave the house… Who wants to leave the house at night? So, I’m lazy. This week. Maybe next week.
Gin: not the grossest alcohol on the planet.
Let’s not get too excited about this, gin drinkers. I still think gin by itself tastes like pine sap, and gin and tonics taste like rubbing alcohol, so those of you who like it that way (Mom and Dad, Mel, Will) – yeah, you’re still crazy.
HOWEVER, I have discovered that I like some drinks that have gin in them, like the gimlet. I had a vodka gimlet in Annapolis one night with Jess that was pretty good, and in the spirit of adventure, I tried a gin gimlet a few weeks ago and liked it. Better, I think. That’s basic, right? Gin, lime juice, and sugar. Surprisingly yum. I haven’t tried making one myself, so I have no idea about proportions. I’ve also tried experimenting with different gins, but last night’s experiments were made by different bartenders, too, so the whole thing wasn’t very scientific.
Three gimlets, three different gins, three different bartenders (same bar – the band had a gig)…so for one thing, each bartender might have made them differently. For another thing, that means I had three gimlets last night. Did I like the third one best because it used Hendricks instead of Bombay (the first gimlet, my second favorite) or Tanqueray (the second gimlet, my third favorite)? Or did I like the third one best because it was the third one and of COURSE I liked the third one? Also not scientific: last week, the gimlets I drank at the arcade with the 90s music and the flash mob (did I tell you about the flash mob?) were made with New Amsterdam gin, and I liked those very much. More than the Hendricks one? I have NO idea.
Also, I’m not experimenting again for at least a week because three gimlets is my limit. Oh, I had a gin cocktail with dinner Friday night: rosemary-infused gin, lemon, grenadine, ginger soda, bitters. It was pretty good. Conclusion: add sugar in some form and gin tastes good!
Last night’s show was SO MUCH FUN. I can’t overstate it. My whole face hurt from laughing so hard. Nearly two hours of Whose Line Is It Anyway games, all improvised by Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops, who’ve been on the TV show FOREVER, Jeff Davis, who was vaguely familiar to us from later seasons of the show, and Joel Murray, who was a complete surprise to us. He’s funny? Yes, he is! (I mean, we know who he is, but we didn’t expect him to be up for improv.)
We had great seats in the fifth row – close enough to be able to see everything, just barely far enough away to be safe from being picked to go on stage. It was surreal being 20 feet away from these people we’ve seen on TV for years.
Also totally weird to remember (again – this is one of those facts I keep forgetting) that Joel Murray is Bill Murray’s youngest brother). He said something last night that was dead-on Bill Murray. And his impression of Dan Aykroyd was pretty good, too.
I’m not going to bother trying to tell you any of the funny things that happened because they won’t translate (and I suck at telling stories, as you all know). I wish you could have been there.
The show is still touring, but they’re going to CO and then CA only, so they’re a bit out of reach for most of you (and us – I’d see it again in a heartbeat). We’ll just have to content ourselves with YouTube.
It was so great. And weirdly, it continued the pattern of reliving the 90s in Eugene. I started watching the show in 1994, maybe 1995, after my academic team friends introduced me to it. (Yes, I know, super nerdy. To make it nerdier, it was at an academic team party, and we were playing games from the show.) It was on Comedy Central all the time. Seeing it live last night, with two of the comedians who were on it then, was oddly flashback-y. And totally awesome.
My hair will never not be flat. Not never, but what fullness I can get out of it I only keep for five minutes (ten, if I’m lucky). We’re about to go out to dinner and a show (Whose Line Is It Anyway – so excited!), so I used my hair dryer and some volumizing…stuff and right now, right this second, my hair looks good. By the time we get wherever it is we’re going for dinner, it will be right back to its normal flatness.
I guess that’s okay – I’m certainly used to it – but it looks so much better with a little oomph. I’m totally jealous of people like Margaret and Jess whose hair is naturally voluminous. Volume-full. Volume-y. Big. But not, like, 80s big. Just right big.
The other day, when I ran and freaked myself out while listening to a podcast, I was running on Pre’s Trail. I don’t think he ever ran there (and certainly not on the trail as it exists now – it was built after he died), but it was built as a tribute to him. It was his idea, inspired by the soft-surface running trails he had seen in Scandinavia. The soft surface is why I’m running on it now. Well, that and it’s Pre’s Trail and it’s close to our house. I’m still working my way back up to normal running, and I think technically I’m still supposed to be on a treadmill, but I really wanted to get outside, and the wood chip-covered trail is way better for me than the hard paths in the park. What I didn’t anticipate is how dusty and dirty I’d get. Until this past week or so, all of my outside running, for years, has been on paved paths. Unless there are puddles, you just don’t get dirty on paved paths. On this bark and dirt path, though, every step I take kicks up dust and pieces of wood, and it gets everywhere. When I get home, I have to take my shoes off outside and shake them out. My socks are brown with the dirt that sifted into my shoes, and when I take my socks off, my toes are covered with the dirt that somehow sifted through the fabric of my socks. And my calves! All dirt up to my knees. When I take my socks off, I look like I have a really dark tan line right around my ankle. I assure you, I do not. It’s straight-up dirt, so it’s pretty much directly into the shower for me when I get back every time. Do not stop and rest, do not go into the kitchen, DO NOT PASS GO.
Even with the dirt, though, I like it. My feet don’t hurt, and it’s pretty. I’m in and out of woods, sometimes next to a pond or a canal. The paved paths are pretty, too, and since this trail is only 4 miles long, I’ll probably go back to them once I get back to that distance, but I think it’ll be a while. I’m still following my physical therapist’s instructions and sticking to 30 minutes only. I think I have one more run at 1 minute walk, 5 minutes running, and then I’ll graduate to 20 minutes of running, no walking. I’ll do that three times, every other day, then 25 minutes three times, then 30 minutes three times, and then I’m back to normal. I hope. Then I can go back to working on distance. Just in time for winter. Can’t wait!
I went to the store today and picked up one of those rolls of cookie dough (among other things). I figured we could use a treat, and I didn’t have time to make them from scratch. You know? They’re pretty good this way and WAY easier.
I didn’t space them out appropriately, so they all kind melted together, but I can pretend I was making a cookie cake, right?
They’re not as good as mine, but they’ll do. And it was awfully nice to have fresh warm cookies after dinner tonight.
I am going outside. I know – AGAIN. But it’s the first time today, so you know I’m not overdoing it. We wouldn’t want that.
I’m just going to sit in the backyard for a few minutes to read. The backyard that needs mowing and watering and weeding.
The front yard needs almost as much work, but I cleverly took a picture that shows the sidewalk and the neighbor’s yard up the street instead.
Some days, the whole getting up really early and immediately working thing is hard. It’s dark, it’s chilly, and I want to go back to bed. It’s going to get darker and chillier (not today – that would be apocalyptic). I need to start searching for a really good incentive. Right now, I’ve been awake for 40 minutes, contacts in for 20 of those minutes, and I’m about to start a 90-minute conference call. Maybe they won’t notice that I’m barely following along.
I was a little blue when I left the house for my run today, but being outside (or running or time or podcasts or ducks) lifted my mood. My run was chock full of what passes for excitement during the week. First, I freaked myself out. I ran on a new part of the path, and just as I entered this very cool tunnel of trees, where it got darker and atmospherically creepy, a character in my podcast started describing the time she saw a little boy at the end of her bed, and you know what? I’m not going to keep telling that story because I’m in bed now and I’m freaking myself out again. Trust me – it was scary and I was in a scary part of the trail that I didn’t know existed and now kind of want to avoid. Except it was cool.
Later, I saw a heron/stork-type bird (skinny legs, long beak) staring intently into the rapids of this little creek. He looked like he was fishing, like he might dart forward and grab a fish any second, so I stopped to watch. He gave me a look, went back to staring at the water. Gave me another look, stared at the water. After the third look, I left. I was cramping his style.
On my way home, I saw a family of four feeding dozens of ducks while leaning on the sign that describes the harmful effects of feeding the waterfowl. The ducks didn’t seem to mind.
That’s it. That’s my exciting afternoon. Don’t mock – I felt better.
I’d like to start by assuring you all that we did NOT watch anything scary Friday night, unless you consider Gilmore Girls scary. Christina loves that show, and I had never seen it, so we started it from the beginning and watched five episodes before getting sleepy enough to quit for the night. I like it, enough that I watched three more episodes this afternoon.
It’s funny – it’s somehow both exactly what I expected and not at all what I expected, and I am so far kind of surprised that it did as well as it did. It’s not bad, I don’t mean that. It’s just not a sweeping drama or a comedy or anything big. It’s quiet, and it’s kind of funny, and Lorelai Gilmore is occasionally irritating (but I expected that because that’s mostly how I feel about Lauren Graham), and it’s hilarious to see Sam Winchester in baby form with his brother’s name. And the town is ridiculously cute.
Anyway, my weekend has been at 30% Gilmore Girls, and that’s okay. It’s been raining off and on all day today – perfect weather for watching some light TV and finishing my book. Oh, I didn’t really like my book (Girls On Fire). Too much over the top teenage drama: violent, emotionally charged, and trying to be realistic but carrying the plot points too far so that I couldn’t just treat it like a thriller and go along for the ride. I’m glad it’s done, and my next book will be a silly novel about a woman on her 20s who protects the not-really-harmful monsters in NYC from humanity and sometimes has to protect NYC from the actually-harmful monsters. Much more fun.
Rough outline of today:
- Slept in all the way until 9! Of course, it was 2am when we went to bed.
- Rode our bikes about 4 miles to a good bagel place.
- Spent 2-3 hours sitting outside said bagel place with bagels and coffee, reading our books.
- Rode 4 miles back home.
- John worked on fun computer things, and I ran (outside again!).
- Heading out to drink and play video games at an arcade and local bars for Will’s birthday.
We’re walking over to meet everyone (it’s about a mile and a half away, and we don’t want to have to drive home), so we have to get moving, but I plan to have time to write tomorrow. I hope everyone else’s Saturday has been as pleasant as ours!
John and Will have a gig tonight, a late one, so I’m going to hang out with Christina, eat Indian food, drink wine, and maybe watch a movie or something. That is a perfect night out. Hey, it’s out for me – not my house.
I just have to make sure it’s not a scary movie (I don’t think that’ll be a problem) because the Black Tapes podcast keeps creeping me out. Just a little. And John will be out late, so I’ll probably be coming home to a dark, empty house. Happy movies for me!
I really don’t know why I keep getting this urge to watch scary movies. I don’t want to watch the gory ones. I want to watch the scary thrillers, or the ones that are just different enough, like Cabin in the Woods. But when even Stranger Things can get to me, it seems really stupid to want to watch more things like that. And seriously, Stranger Things isn’t scary. It just had that one thing that got stuck in my imagination.
So worst case scenario: I come home, it’s dark, and I’m scared. Solution: Watch Friends on Netflix downstairs with all the lights on until John comes home. That’ll do.
I was only disappointed by one thing at Disney World – we missed the Main Street Electrical Parade. They don’t do it every night anymore (and they didn’t do it the nights we were at the Magic Kingdom), and they’re moving it to only Disneyland after October 9th this year (thank you, Brian, for breaking the news to us). There’s a Fantasyland parade they do every day at 3pm, but it’s not the same. First of all, it’s at 3pm. Second of all, it’s mostly princesses and not much else (from what I remember, anyway). I mean, I liked it, and the mechanical Maleficent-as-dragon is pretty darn cool, but nothing can replace the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Oh no! I just looked it up, and it’s only going to Disneyland for a “limited-time encore engagement.” What the hell, Disney? You can’t retire that parade! Maybe there’s a petition I can sign.
We are grilling steaks tonight! So yeah – that delicious smell that’s wafting through the neighborhood? For once, it’s coming from OUR backyard. Dinner is corn (also grilled), steak, and a salad, and I am SO hungry right now.
This will be the…third(?) time we’ve used our little charcoal grill. Most of that is because it’s a PAIN. Next time, gas grill. Definitely. Forever. Or no grill. With as little use as this one has gotten (and with the rain that is supposed to arrive in a month), we could have gone without. Like we’ve gone without a microwave for over five months now. We hardly miss it. It would make a couple of things easier (like reheating leftovers), but that’s what ovens and stoves are for.
Anyway, dinner will be yum, and it’s almost done, and I have to go eat it.
Lately (and by lately, I mean all summer long), my workouts have been much more enjoyable because I’ve been listening to podcasts. I caught up on Welcome to Night Vale in mid-July, right before the live show, and then they went on hiatus, so I had to find something else. I like the Thrilling Adventure Hour very much (that’s their website, but I download them from here), but I’m not always in the mood for it, and John and I listen to Hello from the Magic Tavern together in the car, so I couldn’t use that. Someone I follow on Twitter was raving about The Bright Sessions, and it looked interesting, so I gave it a try. SO GOOD. The Bright Sessions is about a psychiatrist who only treats “unusual” patients. Her definition of “unusual” is right up my alley. I raced through both seasons, and I’m eagerly awaiting the beginning of the next season. Once I finished The Bright Sessions, to avoid withdrawal before the next season starts, I started another podcast called Ars Paradoxica, about a scientist who accidentally time travels to 1943 while she’s conducting an experiment to do something else. That one is ALSO great, and the only reason I’m not caught up is that I’m having trouble downloading episodes 12 through 16. Not everyone streams all the time, podcasters. So while I figure THAT out, I started a new one called The Black Tapes. It’s also a fictional podcast (all of my favorite podcasts are fiction ones), but it sounds the most like a real radio show. A journalist from a fictional NPR-type station starts a series about people with interesting jobs and gets pulled into investigating supernatural events. The person she works with debunks those events. It’s a little eerie, but it was the fourth one that really creeped me out (just yesterday), so I might limit myself to listening to those outside on sunny days only. I’ve heard those will be in short supply in another month.
There’s good stuff out there!
In the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room…
Stuck in my head forever. I’m not complaining.
Thursday I sat on the front step for 15 minutes. Friday I put on real clothes and went to the store for essentials. John was doing a wonderful job taking care of me, but he started to go downhill Thursday night and was heading towards misery all day Friday. Friday was when I took over as caregiver, and I have survived! Saturday, I attempted (successfully? Ish.) to exercise again because really – it had been over two weeks, and we can’t have that. Then today I actually went OUTSIDE and saw OTHER PEOPLE and, best of all, RODE A HORSE. More on that later.
So yeah, I think I’m improving, healthwise. I’m still congested, and I’m still trying to take it easy, but it’s no longer preventing me from doing normal things. Mostly.
We went into every gift shop in each of the three Disney parks we visited. That’s not an exaggeration – we went into every single one. For the most part, they carry the same stuff. Ride gift shops had some ride-specific toys and shirts, and the other shops had some park-specific stuff, but mostly they were the same. The World Showcase shops in Epcot had the most variation, and it was there I saw the most disturbing thing.
We were in fake Mexico, in the fake market inside. I leaned forward to look at an anklet, and then threw myself backwards when I got a closer look at the mannequin ankle it was displayed on. (I may have overreacted a bit, but it took me by surprise.)
It’s unnerving, right? Is it a heeled shoe with toes? A bare foot with a built-in heel? Makes me shudder just thinking about it. Someone miscalculated with this one.
Seriously, the Star Wars stuff was COOL. The fireworks that night ended with an enormous lightsaber pointing up into the sky. We all lost our minds.
If you stay at a Disney resort, they send you a Magic Band (which I have already shown you) that acts as your park ticket, your room key, and your FastPass (skipping long lines for rides), and if you link your credit card to it (and a PIN), you can use it to pay for EVERYTHING. (If you don’t stay at a resort, you can still buy one and use it the same way.) It was incredibly convenient, and it meant we could really pare down what we had to carry. It’s making me reconsider services like Google Wallet and Apple Pay. There are still security concerns, and I’d always have to have my phone, but I always DO have my phone. Obviously, there are still places that don’t use those services, so I couldn’t use it all the time, but I’m willing to bet it’ll become more and more common, just like it’s more and more common for even street vendors to take credit cards. It’s something I’m thinking about, anyway.