I don’t really feel like it

I don’t have much to say, but I feel like I’ve been MIA a lot this past week, and I don’t like that feeling.  We’re on Long Island for the funeral of John’s cousin Kerri’s husband, and we spent the entire day yesterday at a funeral home for a very emotional wake.  Lots of people, lots of tears.  The burial is this morning (Monday), followed by lunch with the family (I think), and then John and I will spend the evening with his parents, hopefully discussing happier things.

Then back home to Oregon.

We met Emily and Sean’s new baby boy yesterday (SO cute at nearly 6 weeks old), who fell asleep in my arms during breakfast.  That was maybe the best part of the day.  They went home last night, though, so I don’t have that to look forward to today.

Eating badly

I don’t think I have ever eaten normally while traveling.  It’s difficult, of course, but I don’t even try.  Yesterday, we got up at 5:30, got to the airport at 6:30, and bad coffee and a stale, crunchy croissant near the gate for breakfast.  Lunch was too much Italian food during our Chicago layover because we knew we’d land in New York too late for dinner so we figured we’d eat a meal and a half mid-afternoon to cover both meals.  Then we snacked because, well, we got hungry again.  But it was all sucky food, pretty much.

We could make the attempt.  I could have had a banana at breakfast.  I could have had a salad at lunch.  I could try harder and do that on our way home in a few days.  Right now, though, I don’t want to do that.  I want to go the other way.  My plan is to have nothing but chocolate (or at least nothing but dessert-type food) when we travel back.  I don’t think it would make me feel worse, and it has a decent chance of making me feel better.

Entitled

Is free WiFi an unreasonable expectation in public places?  I mean, sure, someone is paying for it, so I can see how it’s not reasonable to expect it in a park or pretty much anywhere you can hang out for free.  But most places we spend any period of time are places we go to buy things (food, drinks, coffee) or see things (theaters – why not free WiFi in the lobby?), or wait to go somewhere else (airports, train stations).  Lots of those places DO offer free WiFi, and for the most part, people are buying things so the cost can be covered, and that makes sense.  Even in places where an individual might not buy anything, like, say, an airport, the vast majority of the people around that individual are nearly guaranteed to buy something, so again – cost covered.  So why would O’Hare only offer 30 minutes of free WiFi?  The airport is enormous, they probably make a ton from parking alone, and everyone who walks through here buys snacks, water, magazines, whole meals – the money goes to the stores, sure, but O’Hare didn’t give those stores space for free.

I suppose I should be glad they’re offering any WiFi for free (I wouldn’t be typing this right now if they didn’t), and I know it’s not the airport’s responsibility to make our layovers fun (FOUR HOURS this time) or to make up for the airlines who make us pay for every little thing, but they could help.  If I know I can’t get online at a particular airport, I might choose to fly through a different one next time.  Maybe they should consider THAT.

Aaaaaannnnnddddd #firstworldproblems.

All decked out

During my run the other day, I tried to take a picture of trees in fall colors over a still lake with weeping willow in the foreground, but the camera on my phone decided to quit on me and I couldn’t.  You’ll just have to imagine it.  It’s the camera on my old phone, that I pretty much only use for podcasts during workouts, so I can’t really get mad at it.

In other news, it’s John’s birthday today.  He’s wearing the new TARDIS slippers I bought him and they FIT (well enough – they may not be bigger on the inside, but they’re big enough).

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This house isn’t well-insulated, so his feet get cold.  We can match now – my hands get cold, so I bought these:

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(They’re fingerless gloves.  I realize that might be hard to tell from this picture.  The little bump by the windows at the bottom is the thumb hole.)

I want a gym that is nearly empty all the time but makes enough money to stay open

8:30 on a Monday morning is not the greatest time to go to the gym.  It was packed.  There are 12 treadmills, and all but two of them were occupied by older ladies walking.  Nearly every weight machine and all of the ellipicals were in use.  I was able to nab one of the remaining treadmills, but I need to keep this in mind next time I try to work out on a rainy Monday morning.

AND it didn’t even rain.  The sky was half-threatening, half-sunny, and the threatening part appeared to be taking over and the forecast said the rain was supposed to start any minute, so I figured it would be smarter to run on a treadmill than get caught out in a downpour.  And then it didn’t rain.  Still threatening, and it probably will, but I could have run outside this morning.  Boo.

Running on a treadmill is BORING.

Oh, wait, it just started to rain.  Still, I would have made it back.

It begins

Today is the end of the second day of rain.  The forecast calls for at least one more day, probably two, before we see the sun.  I took these pictures just the other day in preparation for this.

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This is my sun lamp.

(They were taken in Alton Baker Park, also where I saw the bird from Friday’s post.)

Adulting slow-cooker style

Check it out.  We bought a slow cooker, it arrived yesterday, and I’m cooking in it today.  Can you believe it?  I’ll give you a minute to fan yourselves and get over the shock.

Here it is, yelling at me, apparently, telling me to COOK.  Yeah, I get it.

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And here, beneath the steamy lid, you can kind of see dinner.

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My first recipe is beef and broccoli, and if the recipe is correct, it’ll be ready in 5 minutes.  I didn’t tell John what I was making, but he’ll find out soon.

I hope it’s good.  I hope it’s edible.  Good is secondary.

Update: It was DELICIOUS.

Making friends

Today, I played a short game of tag with an 8-year-old who guessed I was 44.

I beat him.

Of course, I mean that I took no pity on him during this game of tag and outraced him handily even though he kept trying to live on the gravel pile that was home base.

His second guess at my age was 29 (27? upper 20s), and his third guess was 19, so he either realized his mistake at guessing 44 in the first place and was trying to fix it the best way he knew how or he’s just really really bad at guessing.

Last week, we discussed dogs.  Maybe next week I’ll get his name.

Batteries included, but how can you tell if it’s dying?

A few weeks ago we bought a cute little waterproof bluetooth speaker so we could listen to music in the shower or while doing dishes or wherever without using headphones or dealing with crappy phone speakers.  Good purchase!  It sounds good, it’s cute and little (as mentioned above), and it’s called the Oontz Angle.  Worth it for the amusement I get out of the name alone.  Its battery is rechargeable via USB, and it’s all-around wonderful except for one minor thing: there’s no battery life indicator.

When it arrived, we couldn’t tell if it had been charged.  Most electronics need to be charged before their first use, but when we turned it on, it worked immediately.  And with almost daily use (not more than an hour a day, but still), it ran for nearly six weeks before it died.  Of course, it died mid-shower (my shower, naturally), and I had no warning.  If I’d known it was low, I would have plugged the poor thing in.  Maybe a warning light?  Where blinking means “Plug me in, please”?  But really, that’s the only complaint I have about it.

Don’t be stupid!

I ran yesterday, which messed up my schedule, so I needed to run again today to get back on track.  Running every day didn’t used to be a problem, but since I’m slowly working my way back to normal, I’m only running every other day.  For reasons, I switched out my insoles today, and the bottoms of both feet like they were getting pounded.  I warmed up, I stretched, I kept going to see if it would work itself out, I stopped running and rested…and then I realized I was being really really dumb.  The reason I’m in this recovery plan in the first place is because the bottom of my foot felt like it was getting pounded.  So I stopped running, turned around and walked home, and you know what?  It takes a much longer time to walk home than it does to run home.  But it was the smarter thing to do.

I brought it on myself

As you know, I loved The Silvered, and I was worried about my next book because of it.  So either I was right to be worried about that, or I talked myself right into not enjoying my next TWO books.  First, I picked up The Scorch Trials, which is the sequel to The Maze Runner.  The first book was fine, but this one had no real plot, which drives me crazy.  I got about halfway, told John I was going to put it down, and then finished it two hours later.  It was a quick read, but not especially enjoyable.  I might watch the movies.

Then I picked up The Lake House.  I had my doubts before I started it because her other four books are all very similar.  The structure is basically identical, although the details are different.  I’ve enjoyed all four, to a certain extent, but when I picked up this fifth one, I felt tired.  Oh, look, there’s a mystery in the past.  Oh, look, there’s a person in the present having problems.  Oh, look, this person in the present is going to mixed up in figuring out what happened in the past and somehow solve that mystery AND their own problems.  I gave up on it pretty quickly.  I’m sorry, Kate Morton.  I thought The Secret Keeper was really good, and I’m happy the book club chose to read it while I was a member.  That’s as far as I can go.

Thankfully, it only took two books to get me out of that very unpleasant hole.  I started a collection of short stories by Mary Robinette Kowal, and those have been really good so far.

I’ve decided it was the books, not me.  I chose badly twice in a row.  It’s still my fault (I chose the books), but it’s less obnoxious than blaming it on my mood.

Perspective shift

I should stop being annoyed by my constant time zone confusion and treat it like an adventure.  Friday morning at 9am (local), I looked at the forecast and saw that rain was predicted for 12:30.  “Oh, no,” I said.  “I want to run, but it might rain on me while I’m out there.  That sucks.”  THEN I remembered that no, even though my laptop says it’s noon, and everyone I work with is heading out to lunch, and I’ve been working for long enough that it feels like midday, the 12:30 forecast for rain is three and a half hours in my future, not half an hour.  I’ve been to noon already, I’ve seen the rain coming, but now I’m back to 9am and I have plenty of time to run.

I AM A TIME TRAVELER.

Much ado about 15 minutes

Here’s the a downside of working east coast hours while living on the west coast:

I try to start work by 9am Eastern, so I get up no later than 5:45 Pacific.  My first meeting of the day is usually 9:30 Eastern, giving me half an hour to go through some email and wake up a bit more before I have to talk to anyone.  On Thursdays, I have a 9am meeting with my boss, just him and me, so on Thursdays, I get up at 5:30 Pacific – enough extra time awake that I can be coherent.  It’s feels like it’s a whole hour earlier when I wake up, but I get over that once I get out of bed.

That’s not the downside I’m talking about, although it is one.

No, the downside is when your boss, who you thought was a kind and understanding man, deprives you of that 15 minutes of sleep by rescheduling your 9am meeting to another day and making that schedule change at 8am the morning of.  I woke up at 5:30, crept downstairs in the dark to avoid waking John up, brushed my teeth, washed my face, put my contacts in, and then, all awake, I sat down in front of my laptop and found that my boss, who is clearly a cold-hearted monster with no regard for my feelings, had moved the meeting to next week less than an hour before.  If he had made the change last night, I would have seen it AND I COULD HAVE SLEPT IN.

Can’t stop, won’t stop

The downside of binge-watching Gilmore Girls episodes is that the theme song is constantly running through my head.  It’s a Carole King song, so it’s not bad (John begs to differ), but it’s too much.  And I can’t get rid of it.  And if the theme song is in my head, then the show is in my head.  Rory is too freakin’ cute, so that’s okay, but Lorelai – back off a bit, Lorelai.  Take your Carole King song and take a vacation.

This won’t stop me from watching more tomorrow, though.  I’m in season 3 now.

Some books should never end

I have already declared my love of Tanya Huff (space marines!) in this space, but I think I need to say it again.  I just finished a stand-alone fantasy novel that I really really really enjoyed.  Like, I didn’t want it to be over.  I want more of it.  I want it to be a series, Ms. Tanya Huff, please ma’am.  It reminded me of Sherwood Smith’s Inda books, a fantasy series (ahem) I also liked a ton.  The Inda books take place in a world I don’t want to leave when the books end.  The characters stay with me, and now I’m feeling the same way about The Silvered.  It’s about mages and a version of werewolves, and yes, Mom and Margaret have both just lost interest, but I couldn’t put it down even as I wished I could slow down and never finish it.

Now, sadly, it’s over (I stayed up late last night to get to the end), and I’m putting off starting another book because I’m not ready.  My next book is going to be a disappointment, through no fault of its own (I hope), and that’s not fair to it.

Licensed!

Congratulate me, everyone.  I finally have an actual Oregon license.  Except that I don’t.  I have a piece of paper that looks kind of like an actual Oregon license, and legally (or so I’ve been told), it IS an Oregon license, but I won’t get the real laminated license for a few weeks.  I’ll be nervous until I do.  It just doesn’t look legal.

On the plus side, I am finally registered to vote.  I’ll take care of this election – don’t you worry.

Habits

I occasionally think about changing my blogging habits and writing in the morning instead of the afternoon or evening, but I think that might not be a good idea.  If I write in the morning, the posts will be about the mornings.  When it’s really early, I’ll bitch and moan about the dark and the cold and oh it’s so early and I want to go back to bed.  If the sun is up, I’ll rhapsodize about the sun and the sky and the birds and how wonderful it is to be up and awake and alive.  You know – you’ve read both types of posts here before.

It’s really early now (and it’s dark and it’s cold), but I’m avoiding the trap because I am self-aware (and self-congratulatory), and I noticed that what I was inspired to type is the same thing that I think to myself nearly every morning, and I have written about it several times before.  I’m also self-aware enough to know that I fell right into the trap in the previous sentence, but I’m giving myself a pass on that because I’m in a forgiving mood.

I can’t believe I actually want it to rain

I checked the weather on Friday and saw that Sunday was supposed to be a rainy day, so we arranged our weekend in such a way that we could take advantage and stay inside and cozy all day.  A rainy day, especially a rainy fall day after such a dry sunny summer, is the perfect justification to have pancakes for breakfast while watching lots of TV and then to curl up and read under a blanket for the rest of the day.  The pancakes and TV watching went as planned, and then it was time for the reading and blanketing.  It was still raining, so I headed for the papasan chair, but by the time I got there the rain had lessened. Like, it’s barely sprinkling and the sun is trying to peek out.  I need it to keep raining!  Yes, I like the sun, and yes, I’ll miss it terribly if it disappears for the next six months like I keep hearing it will, but when the sun is shining I feel compelled to go outside and enjoy it because it’s going to go away and that’s not how I was planning to spend my day.  If the sun is out, I have to go to the grocery store.  So please, sun, go back behind the clouds and let the rain come.  Just this once.

I’m going to regret that plea.