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My #1 priority for our next apartment is NOT sharing anything to do with our water pressure with anyone else in the building.  It’s not about hot water, it’s about HAVING water.  I ran at lunchtime the other day, so I showered at midday.  Water came on, water was hot enough, I got shampoo in my hair, and water stopped coming out of the shower head.  It trickled down to nothing.  I assume that the residents of the other apartments were doing laundry, running the dishwasher, washing dishes, doing SOMETHING that somehow took MY water pressure away completely.  It came back after a couple of minutes, only to disappear again.  My guess is it was the washing machine, but I was stuck in the shower and unable (and VERY unwilling) to run down to the basement to check.

That wasn’t the first time.  I totally understand planning when I shower around when appliances use a lot of water.  I’m used to that, and I have no problem doing it when it’s only John and my own chores I have to take into consideration.  It’s ridiculous to think I’d have to knock on my neighbors’ doors to find out when they plan to do THEIR chores so I can shower at other times.

This is a downside of living in an apartment in an old house, I guess, but it’s really really the biggest thing I’ll be looking to avoid in the next place.  Other priorities, in no particular order, are having our own washer/dryer in the unit (which will help with the water problem) and finding a place with 1.5 to 2 bathrooms.

Not trustworthy! is not reliable.  This is not news.  But still.


Oh, really?  This is backed off from 100% rain from 9pm – 2am, which is what this ridiculous website has been saying all day.  Why do I keep checking it?

Update: It rained.  It rained steadily from about 5:30 through 9, for sure, and possibly longer.  It had stopped by 1:30am.  Stupid website.

Phone woes, continued

The new battery for my phone arrived Tuesday, and John installed it that night.  It was not easy.  I mean, it’s easy when you think about the steps involved (pry off the back of the phone, unscrew the harness, pull out the battery, put the new one in, screw in the harness, pop the back of the phone back on), but prying off the back and pulling out the battery were HARD TO DO.  This phone isn’t meant to come apart, and it really doesn’t want to.  Over the course of about half an hour, we got the back off, and then it took another 10 minutes or so (maybe longer) to get the battery out, worrying the whole time that we were damaging the phone.

Eventually, John put it back together with the new battery, and I plugged it in to charge overnight.  Positive sign: the indicator showed that it was charging.

I turned it on Wednesday morning, and immediately got a couple of texts from the night before (good sign) and sent a reply, but when John tried to call my phone, he got sent straight to voicemail.  I was standing right there.  The phone didn’t ring.  I couldn’t make outgoing calls.  Then I couldn’t send or receive texts, even though I had JUST done both.  I couldn’t get online.  My phone showed that it had service, several bars, but that appeared to be a lie.  Later in the morning, I turned my phone off and back on.  Again, I had a very short burst of connectivity, but that was it.

I switched to my work phone for the day, figuring we would take my phone apart again later and see what we did.  Even if it couldn’t hold a charge for very long, it still worked.

John: I’m sorry I made it worse.

Me: No, you didn’t…oh, wait.  You did.

Wednesday afternoon, John googled the problem and found that my phone has one antenna for 3G and one for LTE inside the back, and sometimes they can get knocked out of place when you muck around in there.  He switched my phone setting to 3G only and IT WORKED.  It was slow as hell, but it worked.

This morning, he took it apart again to try to fix the LTE antenna and IT WORKED AGAIN.  I don’t always have LTE service, and it’s possible that the constant search for LTE is what is killing my battery, but MY PHONE WORKS.

I’ll keep an eye on the battery during normal use and see how it goes.  I may still be in the market for a new phone soon, but it would be REALLY REALLY REALLY NICE if this one lives a while longer.

Big news!

John passed his pilot’s exam this morning! YAYYYYYY!!!!  He’s got a few more lessons to go (some navigation stuff), and as soon as he’s comfortable solo, he does a check ride with a different instructor, and then he gets his license.  This will be the recreational pilot license.  He’ll get the regular private pilot license after we move.  (Here, I googled that for you.)

This takes some of the stress off of John (both having the exam behind him and getting the rec license first) and will give him proof of competency he can take to the next school.

In other news, it’s stupid-cold today.  I was going to get up when John left for his exam this morning and run before work, but the wind chill was in the single digits.  NO THANK YOU.  So instead, I went at lunch time, when the wind chill was in the teens.  I wore a long-sleeve shirt and TWO jackets.  My body was warm, but my face was cold.  It’s creepy to run wearing a ski mask.  I don’t really know how to get around that problem.  Scarf wrapped around my nose and mouth and cheeks? Hat pulled low over my forehead?  I suppose it’s less creepy than a ski mask, but I’ll still look like I’m going to rob someone.  I’ll even be dressed for the getaway.


Misery loves company

I have had this Andy Grammer song in my head for the last several days.  It’s nothing great, but it’s catchy and upbeat and good to sing along to, but oh my god just get out of my head already!  It keeps coming back.  I wouldn’t mind so much except that it reminds me that he ALSO did a HORRIBLE song that I will not name that makes me think of Cotton Eye Joe (the awful dance version – you know which one I’m talking about).  His horrible song and the association to Cotton Eye Joe make me ashamed to kind of like this one.

I am sharing with the hope that sharing will make it leave me alone.  Find a new brain to bother!  (Sorry, all new brains.)

Phone woes

I remember what I was going to write about yesterday!  It only took a few hours.  It was about my phone.  Over the last several months, my phone’s battery has gotten worse and worse.  The other day (the day I finally took some action about it), I had to plug the thing in FOUR times in one day.  The battery just won’t hold a charge for very long anymore, and sometimes, even when it’s at 40% or something plenty high, it’ll just shut off.

I’m due for an upgrade, but the phone I want isn’t eligible (won’t save me any money), and the model I have (which I would happily buy again) isn’t available anymore.

Last Saturday, I called Sprint to find out of the insurance I’d been paying on my phone would cover repairs or a replacement because of this battery problem.  The woman I spoke to said I’d have to take it in to a repair center to have them check it out, but if they agree that I didn’t actually cause the problem, then yes, my purchase of the insurance would actually help me out.

Same day, I headed to a Sprint store/repair center and spoke to two SUPER nice people there.  They were sympathetic, agreed that I needed a replacement (since the battery on this model isn’t replaceable), and began the process to get me that replacement.

Problem: The phone I want isn’t available for replacement.  I have the Google Nexus 5, and I want either another Nexus 5 or the Nexus 5X.  I don’t want a Nexus 6 (too big), and I don’t want any other model.  (I love my phone.)  Sprint doesn’t have ANY more of the Nexus 5, and the 5X doesn’t count as a replacement, apparently.

That, unfortunately, is where Sprint can’t help me anymore (the company didn’t actually help me AT ALL).  The two guys I was working with went online and found all the websites I can use to turn in my phone and get a credit towards a new phone (but we’re talking at most $80-ish towards a $400 phone – Best Buy will only give me $40), and they mentioned a place I can go that will mail my phone out to someone who will replace the battery, but they think it’ll cost a ton.

Question: Why can someone out there replace the battery, but Sprint can’t?  I got home, and John and I googled replacement batteries for my phone and hey – someone wrote instructions for how to do it.  You have to have a special tool or two, but John already has them (from replacing the screen on his old smartphone), and the battery costs – are you ready? – around $10.  That’s it!  And it’s eligible for Prime shipping from Amazon, so it’s coming tomorrow or the next day.

If the new battery solves my problem (because everything else about my phone is wonderful), then I will be happy for as long as that battery will let me be.  Or at least until the Nexus 5X comes down in price to something reasonable.  Cross your fingers for me!


When I sat down in front of my computer, not five minutes ago, I knew what I was going to write about.  In those last five minutes, I have ordered Chinese food (because I have no willpower) and watched John fly his flying Batman around the room (Batman is wearing a harness with two horizontal propellers over his head).  John is trying to get Batman to land on my head, and I am threatening bodily harm to him (John) if Batman’s proprellers get stuck in my hair.  This is all happening RIGHT now, AS I’m typing, and I have NO idea what I planned to write about five minutes ago.

I hope it wasn’t something brilliant.


Teddy bears and sprinkles and unicorns requested

We have a watched a LOT of violent TV lately.  Last night, we finished watching Jessica Jones on Netflix.  It’s all we watched last week, and I loved every minute of it, but holy hell, was it violent.  We just finished watching John Wick on HBO Go, which was surprisingly good, but crazy violent, too.  I mean, it’s about a hit man with LOTS of reasons to go after the entire Russian mob, but still.  I haven’t checked IMDB yet (or Google), but the body count has to be near 100.

Thanks, Google.  84.  84 people die in this movie, mostly by gunshot.

So maybe we should take a break from all the violent TV.  My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, maybe?


Our apartment is on the second floor of this rowhouse, and our bedroom is the room at the back.  It sticks out a little bit past the first floor, and I think that makes John a little nervous.


The floor in our room isn’t perfectly level, and it’s an old house, so it creaks.  His side of the bed is the side towards the back, so….if the house falls apart, he’s going over the edge first.


I wouldn’t say it worries him exactly, but he might not sleep well until we live in a place where he’s not sleeping while hanging out over the open air.

Flying, he can do.  This?  Not so much.  I did offer to switch sides with him, but he says that’s weird.

I’m not that important

Surprise!  Going to the office stresses me out.  It did today, at least.  I got in early (ten to 7), assumed I wouldn’t do much of the work I’d hoped to do (because that’s what happens when I’m in the office), tried to leave at 3pm, found myself swamped with things I’d be leaving half-done, and put my laptop to sleep at 3:45 hoping that all of the things I had open would still be there when I got home.

Luckily, they are all still there, but so are emails from people I can’t ignore.  So here it is, over 11 hours after I got to the actual office this morning, back on my work laptop feeling all anxious that I didn’t do some things.  I’m working on letting it go.  I replied to the people I can’t ignore.  Everything else that’s clamoring for my attention can be done first thing tomorrow.

I know this.  It’s not that important.  I’M not that important.  Nothing that needs to be done is a matter of life or death.

I’m repeating this.

I want to be able to relax tonight.


A lesson in how to overuse parentheses in a single paragraph

Remember how I ordered stuff from Athleta on that one day everything was on super-sale?  Well, one thing was supposed to arrive by this Friday (the Friday that hasn’t gotten here yet), and the other four things weren’t supposed to arrive until the 14th.  Last night (Tuesday night), we heard a knock on our door (which pretty much always makes us cringe and consider pretending no one is home – don’t bother us!  We’re very anti-social, and we don’t like surprise visits!  Also, we don’t have a peephole!  I’m opening that door blind every time!  Granted, we have a keypad lock on the front door of the house, but still!  Enough with the exclamation points!  Gah!), and when we opened it, our upstairs neighbor handed me a package.  Yay stuff!  It was from Athleta, early no matter what it was, and I assumed it was the first item arriving a few days early.  I was wrong!  (I know you didn’t see that coming.  It’s so rare.)  The package contained my other four things, to my excitement.

I was ultimately disappointed (a little – I’ll be okay).  Everything fits, and I’m going to keep them, but I ordered on-sale clothes that are much more suited for the spring/fall temperatures we were enjoying before this week.  I didn’t think that through.  Winter has set in, and I won’t be wearing 3-quarter sleeve shirts, tank tops, or sleeveless dresses for quite a while.  Not sure where my brain went – I bought a sleeveless dress on New Year’s Day.  But the fifth thing (that’s supposed to arrive Friday) is pants!  …Lightweight…pants…

To Do, Part 1, Move 3

We’re past the halfway mark for Annapolis (that happened a month ago).  These next three months are going to FLY by.  We’re super-excited, but the list of things we have to get done is growing.

  1. Visit Oregon again and find a place to live.  I’m on lots of apartment rental sites, but the first thing we have to do is plan the visit.  When are we going?  How long are we staying?  I need to call places and make appointments and maybe try a real estate agent or two.
  2. Call moving companies.  Get estimates.  The last move was 4 and a half months ago.  On the one hand, that’s long enough to have dimmed the pain.  On the other hand, it’s not that long, and I still want movers.  PLUS, we’ll be driving across the country, and I’d rather not caravan.  How miserable would that trip be with John in the truck and me in the car?  Much more fun if we can do it together.
  3. Continue to get rid of stuff.  The purging won’t be as drastic as the last two times, but there are still things we can (and want to) get rid of rather than take along to Oregon.

Hm.  That’s not too bad, actually.  Those are the big items.  The more detailed lists will come up as we make some decisions and get closer.

The squee is strong with this one

Holy shit, guys.  This is small potatoes to lots of people (LOTS of people), but this is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me on the internet, and I need to tell you about it.  Saturday afternoon, about 3pm, I tweeted this.


We bought a copy of The Bloggess’s second book, Furiously Happy (which was really good, by the way), for Tania for Christmas, and we found that $5 bill with the note attached inside.  It’s really sweet (and a great idea), and it’s the kind of thing you tweet, you know?  I included The Bloggess in the tweet because we found it in her book, and I thought she’d appreciate it.  Didn’t think anything else of it.

Then John and I went out for an early dinner with a friend of his from high school.  I didn’t look at my phone until we got back to the apartment, around 8pm.  That tweet was re-tweeted and replied to by The Bloggess, and it blew up (in a good way).


My phone buzzed pretty constantly for about 24 hours, as people saw, liked, and retweeted that tweet.  It was SO weird.  I texted Jess  in the middle of it: “What in the hell is happening to me on Twitter?” and she said, succinctly, “The Bloggess is happening to you.”

Then I tweeted this, which is still pretty much true:


I got a bunch of nice replies and retweets to the original tweet, and then I heard from the woman who was responsible for it, which was really cool.  A few more people are following me,  I’m following a few more people, the lady whose idea this was gets more exposure – everyone wins.

THEN, the next day (Sunday), I checked The Bloggess’s website (as I do regularly) and check this out!


She put me in her weekly wrap-up!  That’s a link directly to my tweet!  So, you know, that’s cool.

Don’t worry – I won’t let it go to my head.


A thing happened to me online last night and today, and I’m super-excited about it (and a little overwhelmed), and I’ll write all about it tomorrow, I promise.  Tonight, I’m drinking wine and watching Jessica Jones (which is SO great so far) and trying to get a little distance from the super-cool thing that happened last night.

(Mom, Dad, it’s a Twitter thing and you’re probably not going to be as excited about it as I am, but TRUST me – it’s cool.)

Thank heaven for pretty days

Happy January 2nd!  That’s easy to say when this is your view:


I swear that picture doesn’t look blurry on my phone…but you get the idea.  I’ve been listening to Welcome to Night Vale podcasts on my phone while running lately, partly so I can stop and take pictures.  I took this one from the top of the Naval Academy Bridge.  The middle of the bridge is a mile and a half from our apartment.

It’s pretty here.

The beginning of the year

You’re supposed to start the new year the way you plan to continue it, right?  (Or something like that?)  Well, I noticed Athleta’s semi-annual sale AND extra 20% off all sale items, so I started this year by ordering five ridiculously-low-priced items from my favorite store for a ridiculously low total.

We did NOT stop at the grocery store on our way back from Emily and Sean’s house (even though we could have AND we talked about it), so we will not be cooking tonight.  Let that say whatever it says about how we’re handling cooking this year.  Miracles may happen somewhere, but probably not in my kitchen.

John is studying for his pilot exam, and I’m going to read (because despite what I said in one of my recent posts, I am capable of enjoying the books on my bookshelf).

Happy new year!

The end of the year

I think I’m ending 2015 just right.  I ran first thing this morning, went to the wine store to stock up for going to Emily’s tonight, got coffee from Starbucks and drank it on the city dock with Jess, all before 10:30.  Sometime this afternoon, we’ll head to Frederick to spend New Year’s Eve with Sean, Emily, and Molly.  It’s going to be a good day.

John flew this morning and is studying with his instructor to get ready for the exam.  I might use this time to play video games….

Limited choices


My bookshelf is getting shorter.  That’s both good and bad.  Good: I’m getting through the books I kept because I wanted to read them sooner rather than later (or never).  Bad: I have fewer books to choose from when it’s time to pick a new book.  Fewer books to choose from means more pressure to like the one I pick – wait, wait, no.

That’s ridiculous.  I don’t have to like every book I read (and I don’t – I’ve been through that before).  Just because I think I’ll like something doesn’t mean I have to.  And yes, I worry that if I pick up a book (because I feel like I have to) when I’m in the wrong mood, the circumstances will cause me to not like something I might love later on.  Is that a rational worry?  Maybe.  How can you tell if you would have liked something if only you’d read it at a different time in your life?  If I didn’t like it the first time, I’m very unlikely to pick up and try it again some other time.

This particular worry is affecting at least one book still on the shelf.  I’ve tried Kate Atkinson three times now.  The first time (a few years ago), I read Case Histories.  It was slow to start, but I really liked it once I got into it.  Then I read Behind the Scenes at the Museum.  It was okay.  Not really my thing, but I liked it fine.  Then I picked up Emotionally Weird and didn’t like it at all.  The very beginning was promising, but then it bogged down and never picked up a plot, and I ended up putting it down without finishing it.  The last Kate Atkinson book I have on my shelf is Started Early, Took My Dog.  I don’t know anything about it.  Should I try it?  The one people keep saying I’ll like is Life After Life (I’ll have to get it on Kindle, which I’m not allowing myself to do until I finish the physical books on this shelf).  If I’ll like Life After Life, shouldn’t I like her other books?  That’s usually how it works for me.  So I’m hesitant to pick up Started Early, Took My Dog.

Now that I’ve thought through all of that, though, I think the whole Kate Atkinson situation is different.  It’s not the same as the pressure to choose one of THESE books.  I have proven to myself (after three books) that I’m not sure I like her, so my reluctance to try again is well-founded and I don’t think it has ANYthing to do with the bookshelf pressure.  Except…the second and third ones of hers I tried were on my shelf.  I might not have read them at this point in my life except for the pressure to do it, and if I read them at some other point, might I have liked them?

I’m back where I started, and it’s still ridiculous because you know what?  I could say the same about any book I’ve read and liked or not hated.  This is dumb.  I’m not going to worry about this ANY MORE.  I have washed my hands of the whole affair.  (Really, I just did the hand-wiping/washing motion.  I’m committed.)

Found another good one

We went to Osteria 177 for our anniversary dinner.  It’s one of the fancier restaurants on Main Street, and this one was good (so that makes…four? five good ones?).  We went early (skipped lunch), and at 5:30, I think there was only one other table in use.  They sat us in the front window and gave us the waiter several Yelp reviewers raved about.  (They weren’t wrong – he was great.)  Dinner was wonderful, the wine was good, we split a yummy off-menu dessert, and we didn’t spend our entire savings account on it.

Figured I’d get some pictures of us first, and since I’m an Instagrammer now, I posted them there.  Sorry about the cross-pollination, those of you who follow me in both places.  I did NOT take any pictures of or at the restaurant. I may be on Instagram, and I may be guilty of posting the occasional food picture there, but I am not willing to be THAT GUY. Not in a fancy restaurant, anyway. We even dressed up!

Happy 15th anniversary to us!

A photo posted by @zannah42 on

I want to see it again

We saw the new Star Wars movie last night, and it was awesome.  I totally want to see it again in the theater.  I got misty a few times (including the crawl and the theme at the VERY beginning) but there was one part where I cried like a baby.  Good stuff.  I sang the theme the whole way home, and I woke up humming it.  Happy me.

In other news, today is our anniversary (15 years), and there’s a parade in Annapolis!  (Not for us.  I think.  Maybe it is.)  I want to see it, but we don’t have a good track record for that kind of thing.  A few weeks ago, I wanted to cheer on some runners during a half-marathon that was supposed to go right down our street, but we missed it (slept too late).  Fingers crossed we’ll make it to the parade on time!