Whiteaker Block Party

Whiteaker is the funky, artsy, be-weird-it’s-encouraged neighborhood in downtown Eugene, and there’s a huge block party there every year.   It was today, and the band John is in (yes, he’s still in the band I keep promising to talk about) played on one of the many stages this afternoon (they were great).  We wandered around for a bit afterwards, taking in the sights.  Like this guy:

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He’s riding a motorized wheelchair, no shirt, with a carousel horse attached in front to lead the way and a trailer full of what appears to be Ninkasi beer (the brewery is on the other side of the street from him).  If I ever need a motorized wheelchair, I want it to be pulled by carousel horses, too.

Also, someone has stenciled these cute little birds on the sidewalk around the neighborhood.

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I don’t want to fight, but I’m not going to give in

Guys, I can’t deal with work.  I feel like all I’ve done for the last two weeks is work and sleep (and complain about work).  That’s not entirely true (I didn’t work last weekend), but it’s mostly true, and I am worn out.  AND I’m still working.  I’ve spent the last two hours arguing with someone who wants to skip a safeguard before a software update, and I’m not going to let him.  We’re arguing over email which makes it even more frustrating.  He is clearly very angry with me now and has just petulantly thrown in the towel (I think).

I’m so very very tired of this.  These last two weeks have been awful, and that was without any fighting.  This, arguing with someone over something so stupid and yet so important, at the very end of a long day, is not what I need.

People suck.  Not you.  Everyone else.

She said I could

My physical therapist finally said I could start running again!  But not, like, actual running, not yet.  I have to start slow, and I’m only supposed to run on a treadmill (soft, level surface), and I can only go for 30 minutes.  And only twice a week!  So many limitations.

This week, I walked 5 minutes, ran 1 minute, walked 5 minutes, ran 1 minute, and so on for half an hour.  Twice.  The first time I went for 36 minutes because I was focusing so much on 5 then 1 then 5 then 1 then 5 then 1 then 5 then 1…that I lost track of how many cycles I’d done.  No pain, though (yay!), and it feels really good to be running, even if it’s only for 6 minutes.  Lindsay said I’m allowed to move to the next level if I can do the first level twice with no pain, and I did, so next time I try it, I’ll walk 4 minutes, run 2.  PROGRESS is happening, and that’s a relief.

Yeah, yeah, I know

Remember when I said work would be better this week?  Because it was so bad last week that this week just had to be better?  I was wrong.  Still bad, still too many hours at it.  Things just keep going wrong, and it’s my job to keep trying to fix them.  It’s exhausting and stressful, and I don’t want to do it anymore, but it’s taking up more and more of my day (my night, too – I’ll be testing an upgrade after 10pm tonight).

I’m going to read.  I don’t want to think about it anymore.

Masseuse is a funny word. Masseur is funnier.

I have posts I want to write, but they require pictures (they don’t require pictures, but I have pictures, so I should include pictures), and my phone isn’t right here right now and I’m too lazy to go get it and download them.  So I’m sorry, but you can’t have those posts.

Instead, you can read my new fairy tale: Zannah and The Three Massage Therapists.

I have had three massages in the last month or so because I am finally using the Massage Envy benefits that have been building up since we left Virginia.  The first one was pretty good.  Middle pressure, listened when I asked for a change in pressure, made a couple of pressure changes based on how I moved in response (she was paying attention!).  The second one was also very good except for the feet – way too much pressure on the tops of my feet, and every time she slid off my left big toe, the knuckle cracked.  (Yes, I should have said something.  No, I didn’t.)  The third one (today) was lighter on pressure (as requested by me) except when she was trying to get the knots out of my shoulders.  That was downright painful, and yes, DUH, I should have said something, but I toughed it out because I kept hoping it would work.  Nobody else can work those knots out – maybe serious pressure and non-stop digging in right on top of them and from every direction around would do it.

It didn’t.  Appointment number 4 will be with Massage Therapist #1.  And I will speak up.  Because I’m not a masochist.

The End.

I call it progress

Look who skipped two whole days of blogging and doesn’t feel (too) guilty about it!  I’m growing.  I had an eventful weekend, in the literal sense, and I will tell you all about it, but not tonight.  Tonight, I am boiling eggs for tuna salad and enjoying leftover chicken corn chowder COLD with wheat thins.  It makes a damn good dip.  Then I’m going to bed early because I’m tired and I want to read before I collapse.

Working for the weekend is not how I want to live

Work this week officially sucked.  Every day, all day.  It’ll be better next week.  I’ll believe that if I keep repeating it to myself.  It doesn’t help that it got hot again (mid to upper 90s).  Yeah, yeah, the rest of the country has had it worse than us, I know, but we don’t have air conditioning!  We’re going to an outdoor concert tonight (Weird Al!  Should be fun.), and our only criteria for dinner before the show is that the place has to have A/C.

Oh, and John has been sick all week.  Nonstop fun in our house!

Again, I learned the dog’s name, not the owner’s

I looked out the window after doing the dishes tonight and saw a large dog sitting in our yard.  He was facing the street and was on a leash attached to a woman who was just standing there staring at her phone.  My first instinct was to be annoyed.  Her dog is in our yard.  At least he’s just sitting there, but still.  Who does that?  And she’s not paying attention at all.  She’s not taking his picture…maybe there’s a pokemon in our yard?  Nah.

So I went outside to say hello (and find out what was going on, which was not much). The dog’s name is Neko, and apparently he just really likes our yard.  She said every time they walk down the street, he goes up our first step, walks into the yard, and sits down, I guess to survey the neighborhood.  He was very polite about it.  Good thing, too, because he looks like a wolf.  He let me pet him a little, so they’re both forgiven.

Why am I not already asleep?

I can feel my brain leaking out through my ears.  I am SO TIRED.  Yesterday, I worked 9 hours.  Then, because we were doing a software upgrade on a production environment, I got back online in the evening to test the upgrade.  It didn’t go well.  Five hours later (nearly 1am my time, nearly 4am eastern), we gave up for the night and went to bed.  I got up five hours after that and got back to work, and I got at least two more hours of sleep than the two guys who were working late with me.  I don’t know how they made it through the work day.  To make matters worse, we still haven’t fixed the issue.

Today was not fun.  Tomorrow is not likely to be, either.  This week is not a great work week.

I’m going to bed.

Not my kind of OM

I am still in the market for a yoga class because last night’s class was not for me.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t terribly challenging, and this is coming from someone who hasn’t been to a yoga class in at LEAST a year and a half.  It wasn’t that relaxing, either.  They did actually say “om”, though.  That’s a first for me.

The gym offers a couple of different yoga classes, so I’ll try one of those soon.  Until then, I’ll ponder the mystery of the font color of my current book.  It’s BLUE.  Aside from kid’s books, I can’t remember ever seeing a printed book with text any color other than black.  It’s weird.

I felt pretty good, but then…

My weekend good mood disappeared in a clap of thunder at about 9am this morning.  I went from pretty patient with work stuff (after my nice relaxing long weekend) to ZERO TOLERANCE FOR IDIOTS, INCOMPETENCE, AND IGNORANCE, with pretty broad definitions for all three.  It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t fun.

My work day is over.  I’m going to sit outside and read, and then I’m going to a zumba class, then a yoga class.

Portland!

We had about three hours to kill in Portland before the Night Vale show Thursday night, so we did pretty much what you’d expect of us:

  1. We did a quick tour of the downtown library.
  2. We spent about 45 minutes in Powell’s.
  3. We had dinner.

The library is pretty impressive-looking from the outside, and the lobby is lovely.  It has a big sweeping staircase, and the steps to the second floor are (or at least look like) black marble etched with animals and lots of swirling patterns.  Very cool.

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I think these windows were in non-fiction room.  Huge, lots of light, trees outside – beautiful and peaceful.

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The children’s library is named after Beverly Cleary, who – fun fact I just learned – grew up in Portland.  That tree in there has figures from children’s stories carved into it.
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We didn’t spend too much time there because a) we couldn’t check anything out, and b) WE HAD TO GO TO POWELL’S.

Last time we were there, I mentioned being overwhelmed, but in a good way.  This time, that feeling was tinged with anxiety.  There are SO many books, and SO many books I want to read.  How will I ever find the time to read them all?  That idea, that abundance of books – it should feel wonderful, exciting, comforting maybe.  I’ll never run out of things to read (as if that were possible).  Thursday, though, it wasn’t a pleasant feeling.  Maybe I just need a vacation.  Yeah, no, I KNOW I need a vacation.

Anyway, we kept that visit pretty short because we were hungry and we had a show to get to.  Dinner was Japanese, shared, really good.  The theater was on the other side of a park from the restaurant, and as we crossed into the park, we saw this sign:

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Eugene has bike routes everywhere.  Portland has skate routes.  Because Portland.  I think the guy on the right is on rollerblades, but it’s hard to tell.  His other foot might be a giant circular saw.

I might even eat off the floor. Well, I COULD. I probably won’t.

John and I took Friday off work because we knew we’d be out really late Thursday night.  We ended up getting home around midnight, but until the Night Vale show ended, we didn’t know if we’d be spending the night in Portland or driving home.  Either way, work at 6am Friday morning would have been difficult.

You’d think, with a day off like that, that we’d spend it relaxing or doing something fun, but you’d be wrong.  We did sleep in a bit, and then we went to gym, but THEN, oh then – we cleaned.  We cleaned like our parents were coming to visit.  We started upstairs and worked our way down, room by room, windows, surfaces, floors, with a break from cleaning to hang a few pictures (the goat, the sign with our name on it, the comic book posters), and then back to cleaning.  We finished at 5pm, just in time to shower, have dinner, and then send John off to rehearsal tonight (8pm to 11pm – I will be sound asleep when he comes home).

Fun day off!  Still, the house looks great. I always forget how much easier it is for us to relax when everything is clean. I don’t notice the tension of the dirty house until it’s gone.

Good night, Night Vale. Good night.

We saw a Night Vale live show in Portland last night (Thursday night), and it was GREAT.  There were a ton of people (the show was sold out), some dressed up (I saw Carlos the Scientist a couple of times, at least four glow clouds, and a ton of Night Vale t-shirts), most not, almost all fans of the show.  John’s not crazy about it – he listened to a couple of episodes and didn’t like the narrator’s voice, which I think was also Corey’s problem with it – and the couple sitting next to it were walking in blind, too.  It seems like a strange show to go to cold, but whatever.  It was a lot of fun to see live.  I’d go again if the opportunity arose.

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The show always travels with a musician (or a band), and for our show, they had Erin McKeown, who I had only heard of because she performed the weather on the most recent episode of the show.  I really liked that song, and I really liked the others she played.  She went on first, played 6-8 songs, then the show started, and then she played the song from that last podcast episode as the weather for the show.  During the show, she played alone (electric guitar only), but the recording I’ve heard it has a full band, and it’s awesome.  You know what?  You can hear it for yourself.

Friday afternoons are the greatest, especially when it’s actually Thursday

Beware, all who cross my path: my weekend has begun.  Nothing will get in the way of ultimate relaxation – NOTHING!  Except for a planned work interruption Sunday morning.  Damn.  NOTHING ELSE!

Nothing.  Shhh.

New obsession

Have you heard Frank Turner?  I very much like his music a lot. A lot a lot. John has liked him for a while, but the other day, John played THIS for me, and I can’t get enough.

And THEN he played this one:

So I downloaded a couple of albums and discovered THIS one, that I LOVE LOVE LOVE. Give the beginning a pass – trust me.

And one of John’s favorites (and the first one he ever played me, a couple of years ago):

These are just the best from the two albums I’ve been listening to (plus one song – that first one isn’t on those two albums).  I need the other albums.

So we found out he’s going to be playing Portland on July 31st, we got all excited, and then – THE #$&^% SHOW IS SOLD OUT.

Oh, well.

Wine update

My new favorite red wine is actually one that I have liked for….a year?  Two years?  I don’t remember when I first tried it, but I know it was at Emily’s house, and I know I’ve had it more than once at her house.   So thanks, Emily, for 19 Crimes.

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They make a cabernet sauvignon, too, but since I rarely like those, I go for the blend.  It’s very good.  You should try it.

Repairs are needed

John’s bike is pretty old.  He’s had it at least since 1998, when he used it to get to his summer job in Connecticut when we were in school, and he probably had had it for a while at that point.  (I’ve only had my bike since 2004, I think.)  Anyway, sometime last week, he noticed that one of his pedals was coming loose.  It was wobbly, and he couldn’t tighten it with any tools he has.  There’s a bike shop right by our gym, so we biked over there after work today, figuring we’d go to the gym once the pedal was fixed.  Of course, the pedal fell off about halfway there, and you just can’t ride a bike with only one pedal (John tried), so we walked the rest of the way (it wasn’t far).  Naturally, fixing it is not as simple as replacing the pedal, so John left the bike at the shop.  I think they have to order some parts – his bike is either old enough or non-standard enough that they just don’t have whatever it is he needs.  Still cheaper to repair than to buy a new bike, though.

This would be necessary if either of us were capable of running….grumble grumble grumble.

Well, yes it would.  We bike to get places around here.  Never mind.

(Grumble).

Crater Lake is SO freakin’ BLUE

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I usually get annoyed when I skip a day on the ol’ blog here, but I can’t be mad about skipping yesterday.  I didn’t plan to skip – I thought I’d be back home in time to get it done – but it was late because we were out having adventures and doing fun things and taking LOTS of pictures.  I can forgive myself for that.

None of the pictures you’re about to see have been edited, mostly because I don’t really know how to do that, and I’m too lazy to bother with it.  The signs all over Crater Lake National Park say that the water is so blue because it’s all rain and snowmelt and because it’s the deepest freshwater lake in the country. It was incredible.  I didn’t want to look away.  Of course, I did look away because who would believe we were there if we didn’t take pictures?  I love being a tourist.

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I can’t help but like this one, even though we could be ANYwhere since you can’t really see the lake.

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It was hard to leave, even after our hike.  Oh yes – we hiked.  In our infinite wisdom, we chose one of the strenuous hikes, meant to take 2-3 hours and gain over 1000 feet in elevation.  In our defense, there were only two hiking trails within walking distance of where we parked, and the other one was easy and seemed to follow the road we’d just driven down.  BOR-ing.

If you squint, you can see the Crater Lake Lodge in the upper center part of this picture, which is where we started.  I think we were about halfway when I took this one.

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The temperature was in the 70s, and we were working hard, so we were plenty warm, but there was SNOW on the ground.  Not everywhere, certainly, but we had to climb through a slippery melting snowbank to get to the top.  That was the scariest part.  Well, coming back down through the snowbank was the scariest part.

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We did reach the top, though.  Here we are on Garfield Peak, 8000 feet above sea level.  I don’t know how many feet we were above lake level.

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And here’s another terrible selfie (it was really bright out, okay?).

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I think I might have to make that one my profile picture for ALL of my accounts.

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John wants to run down this meadow.  I’m willing to bet it’s steeper than it looks.

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I think I took this next one on the way back down.

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Here we are, tired and happy and soon to be very hungry.

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We left about 6pm (we got there around after noon, close to 1, I think), but it’s 2 and a half hours away, so it was nearly 9 before we got back to Cottage Grove, and after 9 before we ate.  Almost midnight when we got home, still had to shower (covered in sweat and sunscreen – totally gross), and we’re only a little bit sore today.  Our gym has a hot tub.  We may be heading there this afternoon.

PUPPIES

I discovered Paw My Gosh today.  Lots of puppy videos, as if the internet needed more of them.  Actually, with the news lately, maybe the internet does need more.  The blog part is somewhat cutesy, but the videos are cute.  Did I really just write that?  That’s terrible.

Enjoy!