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My princess roots are showing

I found my new favorite fantasy dress.  I need it (NEED IT), and I need an opportunity to wear it.  Somebody win an Oscar, okay?  I’m wearing this on the red carpet.



Maybe without the sleeve trains.  Or make them detachable.  The rest of the pictures are here.


Molly is apartment-hunting in DC!  This is going to be cool.  She’s looking in a lot of neighborhoods that were fairly shady 15 years ago, but have changed a lot since then.  I keep thinking we’ll have live vicariously through her, but no!  We can do that, too!  We ARE going to do that, too!  We’re going to move to cities we’re not familiar with, and rent apartments short-term in cool neighborhoods!  Even though I’m living and breathing this giant change, I keep forgetting that we are going to be able to do whatever we want.

Whatever we want!

The donut diet. It’ll catch on, right?

I would like to take a break from eating.  Too bad that’s not really an option.  I feel like all I’ve done for the last two weekends is EAT.  A LOT.  Good food, but too much of it.

Speaking of that, I had the BEST DONUT EVER yesterday.  I had every intention of skipping the donuts my boss brought in, but everyone was raving about them, so I caved. It was so worth it.  They came from Duck Donuts, a place I’d never heard of.  My boss said the line was out the door.  SO GOOD.

Maybe I should forego all food EXCEPT donuts.  Except THESE donuts.  Maybe at the same time I can do something about this ALL CAPS PROBLEM I seem to have developed today.

I am not trapped under something heavy

I’m still here!  I’m just always either out of town or working late or falling down tired.  And that means I don’t really have anything to say tonight.  (I’m sorry.)  (So why not stay off the internet?)  (Um.)  (I mean, really.)  (I don’t have an answer.)

Here’s a joke for you:

Two guys are driving down 5th Avenue in Manhattan when they come up to a red light. The guy driving slams the gas pedal and they go zooming past the red light. His friend looks at him and says, “Hey, you just went through a red light.” The guy driving says, “Don’t worry about it. My brother does it all the time.” So they keep driving and they come to a second red light. The guy driving slams on the gas pedal and zooms past another red light. His friend is pretty mad, looks at him and says, “Hey man, you just went through another red light. What the heck are you doing?” The guy driving tells his friend, “Don’t worry about it. My brother does this all the time.” They come to a third red light and the guy driving slams on the gas, zooming past the red light. His friend starts screaming at him, “What the heck? You’re going to get us killed! Pull over and let me out.” The guy driving screams back at him, “I’m telling you: don’t worry about it. My brother, he does it all the time.” So they keep driving and they come to a green light. The guy driving slams on the brakes. His friend looks at him and says, “Are you out of your mind? What the heck is wrong with you? You go flying past three red lights, almost getting us killed, and then you slam on the brakes when you have a green light?” The guy driving looks at his friend and says, “I had to stop; my brother might have been coming.”

I’m a loser, baby

Who knew that fake gambling could be fun?  I don’t like real gambling.  It’s too stressful.  You know you’re going to lose money, and even if you’ve set aside money you’re okay with losing, who wants to lose it?  Not fun.  But gambling with fake money is much more fun.  No stress, no stakes.  If you’re winning, hooray, and if you’re not, who cares?

This was for last night’s mandatory fun event for work, and I’m happy to say I actually had fun.  The dealers were super nice, answered all of my questions and taught me how to play various games (it won’t stick, but it was nice of them), I think they enjoyed themselves, too.  A couple of them told me it’s a relief to work an event with fake money because no one takes it seriously, no one’s losing real money, everyone has fun, and that means they can relax and have fun, too.  Yay for everyone having fun!

Now, I’m at work, and I have a headache, so I’m going to take something and try not to be super-annoyed with this one super-annoying client.

Sometimes you feel like a nut

(Now I want an Almond Joy.)

A friend at work asked me what kind of degrees my interns usually have (or are working on).  Most of them (I’m including interviewees, too) are IT-related, but I’m considering hiring a guy with a sociology degree and a minor in religious studies.  I told my friend that; his response was to tell me I shouldn’t hire another religious nut. (He was clearly joking – no need to be outraged on anyone’s behalf.)

“Having a minor in religious studies does not make him a religious nut.  Wait.  “Another” religious nut?”

“Yeah, like yourself.”

“How, exactly, am I a religious nut?”

“You don’t celebrate Christmas.  Or decorate.”

“I’m an atheist.”

“My point!”

“Are you kidding me?  That might make me an anti-religious nut.  But I’m not militant or anything.”

“I didn’t say you were militant.  Just a nut.”

It was a ridiculous conversation, but there you have it.  I am a nut.

The danger in picking the wrong book

I’m reading a book by an author I’ve read before (and liked).  I’m reading a book John really enjoyed.  I’m reading a book I’m enjoying, but I can’t seem to find the time to read it.  That is a sign that I’m not in the right head space for this book.  When I REALLY enjoy what I’m reading, I can’t put it down.*  I find the time to read.  I read when I should be going to sleep, when I’m making dinner, between commercials when we’re watching TV, at red lights in the car.  I started this book two weeks ago, and I’m only 30% in.  I like it, I really do.  I guess I’m just not in the mood.  But I’m NOT going to put it down.  I don’t give up that easily.

*I almost wrote “When I’m reading a book I can’t put down, I can’t put it down.”  Duh.

Out of service

John and I spent the weekend smack in the middle of Pennsylvania.  We went up for Molly’s graduation from Penn State and we had almost ZERO cell service the whole time.  It was really annoying.  Should we have expected it?  I’m not sure.  On the one hand, we were in the middle of nowhere.  Maybe it’s reasonable to expect limited service.  On the other hand, we were on Penn State’s ENORMOUS campus.  They have LOTS of students – how could they not have LOTS of cell towers?  Back to the first hand, though, we were there with thousands upon thousands of students AND their families.  Maybe we just couldn’t get our share of the network.  It sure seemed like everyone else could. As we left town (later than either of us wanted) Sunday afternoon, all of the texts and emails we’d missed all weekend came pouring in.  We felt so out of touch.

On the plus side, it was a beautiful weekend to find ourselves out in the middle of nowhere.  Lots trees, blue sky, mountains.  It was pretty.  I like pretty.  Also, I got to wear two of my favorite dresses, so I felt pretty, too.

Heart rate ramblings

The American Heart Association says that when you exercise, you should try to keep your heart rate between 50% and 85% of your maximum heart rate.  The easy way to get your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220.  So my max heart rate is about 184 beats per minute.  85% of my max heart rate is 156 bpm.  My GPS watch came with a heart rate monitor, so I’m usually wearing that when I run.  Based on those guidelines, my warmup should keep me around 100 bpm, and I shouldn’t reach 156 until I’m working hard.  But that’s not how it works for me.  I reach 156 bpm with a light jog.  Running uphill, I hit 165-170.  Sprinting, 185 to 190.

So….am I stressing my heart?  About to die?  I don’t feel like I am.  At 156 bpm, I’m not even breathing hard.  I know those are guidelines, but should I be worried?  I’d been wondering about this for a while, and I finally remembered to ask my doctor about it while I was actually AT the doctor’s office.  (That almost never happens.)

Answer?  If I feel fine, I shouldn’t worry.  They really are just guidelines, and it’s okay if they don’t apply to me exactly right.  So, okay.  No worrying.  But I’m glad I finally asked about it.  I kept remembering that runner a few years ago in Colorado (?) who was running in the heat and had a heart attack and died.  No history of heart problems.  I wasn’t actually worrying about this.  Really.  I lost NO sleep about it.  I just wondered.  Now I don’t have to wonder.  And neither do you.

But I am curious about my resting heart rate.  Sitting here right now, my heart rate is 72 bpm.  You’re supposed to get your resting heart rate after you wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed.  For one thing, I never remember that.  For another, what about alarm clocks?  Does it only count if you wake up naturally?  If the alarm startles you awake, wouldn’t that mean your heart rate is somewhat elevated?  I haven’t checked it in years (either I don’t think about it at all, or I do, but not when I’ve just woken up), but the last time I remember checking, my resting heart rate was about 60 bpm.  I’m curious to see what it is now.  But that will require me to remember to check.  And I don’t have a morning without an alarm coming up for almost two weeks.  Maybe a little more.

Hey, I can collect social security!

As revenge for sending Mom and Dad to, they sent me to a Can We Guess Your Age quiz on Buzzfeed.  No, they cannot guess my age.  Based on things I dislike, it thinks I’m 65 years old.  Maybe I’m 65 at heart.  I do like to have dinner early.

Missed it by one

We managed to do every single thing on our list for the weekend except one.  I still need a pedicure.  But I can probably get that done after work some night.  Clearly not tonight – I had to work late, and now that I’m home, I’m still waiting for someone to get back to me so I can do some more work.  Boo. But everything else, we did this weekend, including a trip to my favorite store.  I am the proud new owner of two new pairs of running capris and two new pairs of running shorts.  I will be happy to weed out some of my older workout clothes.  I love that place.  It wasn’t busy, so I had three sales people helping me.  I needed all three of them; I must have tried on half the clothes in the store.  Too bad I couldn’t buy them all.  Ooh, maybe that’s my new life goal.  Redo my wardrobe so it comes 100% from Athleta and Ann Taylor.  And then gets updated regularly.

I want to see you work for it

We have cable in the apartment (it came with the internet), but we still don’t really ever watch it.  I did use it to watch the Kentucky Derby the other day, though, and I kept seeing commercials for car racing (no idea which one(s)).  I have NO interest in car racing, and the juxtaposition finally gave me a reason why.  When you’re watching a horse or a person run (the only other type of racing I like to watch), you can see the effort.  You see them breathing hard, the muscles moving, sweat pouring – it takes visible effort, even when it looks effortless.  Cars driving in an oval?  Eh.

Why couldn’t we have been horse people?  How is it that I grew up in Kentucky, fro age 8-18, and didn’t have any friends with horses?  I’m nowhere near horse-obsessed (I haven’t ridden one in four years or so), but given the opportunity, I think I could be.  I know I could be.

Age isn’t important

Have you tried yet?  If you pull it up on your phone, you can take a picture right then and use it.  I’ve done it twice now – it’s pretty accurate for me.  The first time was one night during the week.  I was tired and you could see it, but the thing told me I was 37.  Pretty close!  I tried it again a couple of days later when I felt fresher and didn’t look as tired.  34!  I’ll take it.  I might try it again, but only if I think I can beat 34.  I won’t get obsessed.  I won’t.

Overscheduled again

This weekend is our last free weekend for a couple of weeks, and I’m afraid we’re trying to cram too much into it.  Don’t get me wrong – these next couple of weekends are going to be fun.  We just won’t be at home.

  • We’re sending pieces of the drumset to Will in Oregon, so we have to go to the storage unit and figure out how to pack and ship those pieces (cymbals, stands, etc. – he has drums).
  • We need to make a dent on our projects (getting rid of more stuff).
  • I need (want? no. need.) a pedicure.  Molly’s graduation is next weekend, and I will be wearing sandals, and I have 90% of a toenail on that one toe finally.  It’s time for my feet to look pretty again.
  • I would like to go to Athleta.
  • We may try to see the new Avengers movie.  (If we don’t see it this weekend, it’ll be three weeks before we get to it.)
  • I need to run both days.
  • We have to (HAVE TO) watch the Derby.
  • We’re going over to a friend’s house to watch THE MATCH Saturday night.
  • John has to fix the belt and pulley and whatever on my car.

There’s probably more.  Some of these things are definitely happening, and some I would like to fit in if I can, but that’s a lot more than we usually plan for in any one weekend.  Where’s my down time?  My reading time?  My staring at the wall time?  I NEED MY STARING AT THE WALL TIME.

Don’t shop hungry!

I went to the store on my way home from work to pick up two things.  TWO!  I left with six.  I cannot be trusted.  It’s not like I went crazy – I didn’t buy caviar and dog food and ice cream and olives and six pounds of potatoes.  (Feel free to substitute your own list of things you don’t need when you go to the store.)  I bought things we eat, things we like, things I knew we were out of (or thought we were).  But still – TWO things were my plan.  I needed salmon and croutons for dinner.  I got salmon and croutons…and crackers and two types of cheese and a bottle of wine.  Turns out we’re not out of crackers yet, but we will be someday.  Someday soon, I mean.

It could have been worse.  I stayed away from the cookies.

I would like to stop having such long days

It appears to be Crisis Week at work.  I spent hours on conference calls with one client yesterday, and hours on conference calls with a different client today.  Also, I went in early to help wrap up yesterday’s problems, but couldn’t do that (someone else did) because of the new crisis, AND I worked until 8pm because we’re short-staffed and I didn’t want to screw anyone on my team by making them work the late shift more than once this week, so I just finished an 11-hour day.  Half of it was productive, much of it was annoying.  But it’s over now.  John just watched Atari: Game Over (which appears to be an episode (the only one?) in a series called Signal to Noise that maybe failed, based on the IMDB results), and the music over the end credits was happy enough to make those couple of minutes the best part of my day so far.  Of course, Google is failing me – I can’t find the song.  Don’t ruin this for me, Google!

But hey – I feel much better than I did, and it was super-duper nice to work the afternoon from home.  My twice-monthly meetings with my boss start next week, so I plan to make this a regular thing and let everyone get used to the idea.  I want to talk to her about it before I do it, but it’s going to happen.

Reading is next, and bed, and tomorrow is Thursday, and you know what?  I really like Thursdays.

Running with purpose

We made an actual, literal, grocery run today.  A milk run, even!  The plan was to have tomato and mozzarella sandwiches for dinner (things we already had at home), but John realized (at lunch today, while trying to eat a sandwich) that the bread was moldy.  We’d talked about running after work, so we combined the two and ran to a Harris Teeter a little over a mile away for bread and milk.  If we’d gotten anything else, it would have been awkward to run back, but I carried the bread and John carried the milk like a football (it was a half-gallon).  It worked.  Can’t say I want to make a habit of it, though.

It was nice to run with John.  Usually I run alone.  I might have a running  buddy in one of the women we box with, but we haven’t managed to meet up yet.  She’s running tomorrow morning with someone else we know, but it’s BEFORE boxing.  I wouldn’t mind going for a run and then going to boxing (we might run to boxing tomorrow anyway), but not when it means we meet at 5:10am.  Class starts at 6.  I’ll be there then.  I don’t want a running buddy THAT badly.

My evil twin returns!

I’d completely forgotten about my evil twin, but she made an appearance at work the other day.  I was typing my name and didn’t realize my right hand was shifted one key to the left when, like a cobra, she struck!  There, in black and white on the screen, I saw her name:


What is she doing here?  What nasty tricks will she play on me this time?  Will she insert a paragraph of gibberish into our product’s installation instructions?  Will she hit Reply All on a company-wide email  when I only meant to reply to the sender?  Will she sign that email “Love, Zannah” and click Send before I can catch it?

I won’t let her!  Instead, I’ll spend the rest of the day second-guessing everything I type, slowing down to make sure I feel the ridge on the J key under my right pointer finger (Forefinger?  Why can’t I remember what that finger is called?).  Sure, I won’t be as productive, and yes, I’ll be constantly distracted, looking over my shoulder when I feel her hovering nearby.  But that won’t affect my work, right?  Right?

Drat.  She wins.  I can hear her laughing.

Too much fun was had by all

I am SO tired.  No, really.  Seriously very tired.  Like, beyond tired.  So tired I can’t use any other words to describe how tired I am.  It was worth it, though.  John and I got back from a quick trip to Kentucky today.  Very little sleeping occurred.  We got up stupid early to get to the airport Friday morning, drove to Baltimore, flew to Kentucky.  Had a VERY good brunch with Mom and Dad (scrambled eggs with goat cheese, wild mushrooms, garlic, and truffle oil – holy hell that was good), hung out at home with them for a while (I wish I could remember what story John was telling that he had to pause so Dad could finish laughing), and then surprised Gaby at her bus stop (with Candy) and had a snack with the two of them before going back home for dinner with Min, Mom, and Dad.  Ate GIANT steaks (and my first Brussels sprout EVER), and then we (me, Min, and John) went out to meet Corey for a couple of beers.  Got the whole family in over the course of the day – it’s like collecting points.  We were out late-ish – went to bed around 1:30, but that made it a VERY long day.  Saturday was just as bad (worse?) for sleeping, but if I had slept more, I would have missed time at home.  Not acceptable.  Min came over early afternoon, and the five us played a very loud, very long, and very profane game of Ticket to Ride: Europe.  It was awesome.  Then some guitar-playing and singing (Corey and Christine were there by then), never to be missed, a delicious dinner, and several rounds of pool in the basement (I almost won one game) until around midnight.  Up before 6am to get back to the airport and THAT’S why I’m so tired.

We should have stopped at the store before we got home.  Silly me thought we’d go back out.  Don’t know what I was thinking.  We are in for the night.  At 2pm.  Since 11:30am, actually.

Small town? Large town? Hard to say

Our apartment is only about 4 miles from (not) our house, but I shop at different stores (except Wegmans), go to different gas stations, different Starbucks, different Panera, take a completely different way to work…sometimes it feels like we moved much further away.  I don’t see the people I used to see around, which makes perfect sense – they’re not our neighbors anymore.

I do still occasionally run into people we know, though.  I went for a run after work yesterday and ran into a woman from our boxing class.  I guess she lives in THIS part of town, and now that I do, too, it makes perfect sense to see her out and about.  But it’s still not that far from where we lived before, so it seems insane to think we never crossed paths before.  Outside of boxing.

Probably a whole third of the people I work with live in this town – how is it that I never see any of them around?  Because really – I NEVER see anyone from work, and we’re all practically next door neighbors.  Where are they all hiding?  Maybe I’m oblivious to it.  They see me coming and duck behind the nearest bush.  It’s what I would do if I saw them first, so I can’t blame them if that’s what’s happening.  People from work should stay at work (with very few exceptions).

Or I should hurry up and move away.  Like, actually move away.  Four miles is a tease.