Good concert.  Really good.  Bono got a little preachy (like he does), and his voice was really tired by the end (but that was kinda cool rather than disappointing), but it was fun.  The best part was when they started “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and about one line in, Bono just stopped singing.  The crowd (about 80,000 people is what I heard somewhere) sang the whole first verse and chorus alone, and it was SO COOL.  I love that.  And then from that song, he (and we) sang a verse and chorus of “Stand By Me”.  U2 isn’t my favorite band, but even the songs I’m not crazy about are really cool live.

Joe and Megan were supposed to come with us, but at the last minute they couldn’t.  Lloyd and Maggie were going, too, so we traded some tickets around and arranged to sit with them.  We carpooled to FedEx Field (which is where we saw Paul McCartney (I liked that concert better)) by going through DC instead of around it via the Beltway, so we didn’t have to deal with taking three hours to get there.  We left around 4:30 and got to the parking lot some time after six.  Getting home was hard, too, but it happened eventually.  It was about 2am.

Christina took care of the dogs for us yesterday evening (Thank you, Christina!), so we didn’t have to worry about them.  They were very confused about why we were all up in the middle of the night, though.  We crashed and slept in.  Got up a little before 10 and went to Bob Evans for brunch before getting to work around noon.

I am so ready for life to get back to normal.  I want normal bedtimes, normal getting up times, normal exercise, normal eating…healthier than normal is probably better to shoot for.

SOOOO tired

Whirlwind weekends wear me out.  Weather.  Water.  Whoosh.  And other words that start with W.  Whatever.  I need sleep!  John and I got up at 4:30 Friday morning so we could leave the house by 5:15 (it was closer to 5:30) to get to the airport by 6 to catch our 6:55 flight.  No problems.  We got breakfast at a place near the gate and ate it on the plane to Atlanta.  We had more than enough time to eat on the plane because we were delayed half an hour on the runway before take-off.  Fun.  We barely made our flight in Atlanta after running across the airport (naturally, our connection was leaving from the next terminal over from the one we landed in).  We were almost the last people on the plane, but we made it.  Starting then, whirlwind stress was over and we could just have whirlwind fun.  Except we didn’t realize it was going to be whirlwind fun.  We were expecting, you know, regular fun.

Dad and Mindy picked us up at the airport and we all went to get Mom and go for lunch at Lynn’s Paradise Cafe.  With Mark.  Who took Mindy home after lunch and left the rest of us to do some Bardstown Rd browsing and shopping.  Several hours later, John and I were shopped out and ready to drop, so we headed to Mom and Dad’s new house for the tour.  I like the house.  It doesn’t feel like Mom and Dad’s house yet, but I’m sure it will eventually.  We had brisket for dinner (yay! – and Mom, your gravy/reduction/whatever was good) and then we collapsed.  John and I actually got up to run Saturday morning (and it’s Tuesday now and that was the last time I ran – I am so not ready for our race next weekend).  We stayed together for a while and then split up to take separate jogging tours of historic Shelbyville.  Breakfast turned into brunch (yummy frittata) and then the four of us went antiquing.  Hmm.  That looks like an-ti-kyu-ing.  We went to antique stores to look at antiques.  We got back from that just to turn around and go back to Louisville for Mark’s stepmother’s birthday cookout.  Hot dogs, burgers, crab legs, shrimp, and lots of family (of Mark’s) I hadn’t met before.  It was fun.  I spent much of the evening entertaining (and being entertained by) Mark’s seven-year-old niece.  People kept trying to rescue me, but she kept right on coming back.  I didn’t really need to be rescued.  Anyway, we headed home after ten and collapsed again.  Got up early Sunday morning (7ish) and got back in the car to drive back to Louisville to get on the plane to come home.  Another rushed connection in Atlanta, but boarding had only just started when we got to the gate, so we had plenty of time.  Got home, picked up the dogs, and refused to do anything else that evening.

That’s not entirely true.  We picked up our room (which is mostly me cleaning off the top of my dresser and bedside table) and sorted through John’s closet looking for things to donate.

I just need a full day off.  I need a good night’s sleep with no alarm clock at the far end.  I had to get up early Monday for my follow-up with the cornea specialist in Tyson’s Corner (no change – see him in a year), and I had to be at work at 8 this morning.  Tonight is going to be a late night (U2 concert at FedEx Field), and while I don’t have to get up early tomorrow, I won’t get to bed until after two (probably), so that doesn’t count as a good night’s sleep.

Oh, stop whining already.  Look what I have to put up with.  Poor me, I got to go see my family and go to a U2 concert.  That’s so sad.

Crossing things off the list

Errands 1 and 2 (vet and dentist – no cavities!) are done.  I can’t do laundry tonight (or not until late, anyway), since the washer and dryer are in the basement and that would disturb the band rehearsal (also in the basement).  Oh, and they’re meeting the new drummer tonight.  He works with Joe, I guess, and he’s about 25 or so.  Nice guy, I think.

I might have to find somewhere to go on rehearsal nights – they are LOUD.  Not so much from outside, though.  You can hear them, but only from pretty close to the house.  They certainly aren’t disturbing the neighbors.  But it’s loud enough in the house (upstairs, too) that it’s hard for me to concentrate on anything.  I’m heading to the bedroom to read, but there’s a vent that goes straight from the basement to the hallway right outside our room, so it’s only a little quieter than the family room.  Tonight I went to get a haircut and pick up cereal, so there’s an hour of rehearsal down, but I can’t get my hair cut every week.

I sound like I don’t like them.  I do, and I don’t mind listening to the rehearsals, but two hours of them repeating songs at the volume necessary to carry over the drums is a bit much.  Every week.  So I’m going upstairs.  It’s probably a lot better up there than I think.

Too much

I’m doing that thing where I have too many things crammed into just a couple of days.  This isn’t going to be much fun.  I have to have the dogs at the vet by 8 and me at the dentist by 9:50.  So I probably won’t run tomorrow morning.  But I want to get to work early on Thursday so I can leave early and have the dogs at the kennel by 6pm Thursday.  So…possibly no running Thursday morning…and Friday’s out because we’re getting on a plane very early…I need to work this out.  If I actually get up when the alarm goes off, both mornings, I can get 3 miles in…too many ellipses.

And that’s not really as many things as I thought.  Although I do have to add in laundry and packing, but that’s not really that hard.  If I’m really getting up early tomorrow, I should head to bed.

New book

Also, I finished The Magicians the other day.  I’m really not sure how I feel about it.  It was interesting, but I didn’t love it.  I was into it, and happy to be reading it, but it took some turns I wasn’t expecting (which is usually a good thing) and pulled too much from other books (Narnia in particular), which I wasn’t crazy about, mostly because it forces me to look at them in a completely different way.  Which, again, is usually a good thing, but I’m not so sure.  So I don’t know if I liked it.

I started The Story of Edgar Sawtelle this weekend.  I like it, but I’m not making time to read it.  I keep putting it down to play with the dogs.  (Again again, usually a good thing.  And I agree in this case.)  Anyway, it’s taking me longer to get into it, but I like it, and I’ll get there.

War wounds

So now I can say I’ve played paintball.  I have paintballed.  It was fun, but I don’t need to do it again.  Six of us went out for Will’s birthday, and we had a good time, went home bruised, and got some good pictures out of it.  Poor John got hit in the forehead in the first or second game – he was actually bleeding!  It looks like a scrape, and he’s doing fine, but still.  Must have been painful.  And I think Will got the prize for most vicious-looking bruise, on both arms.  I got off pretty light in comparison.  My sweatshirt protected me from a couple, and I got hit on the shoe and the front of my mask, so nothing too painful.  Anyway, paintball.  Yay.

John did a lot of homework this weekend, and we’re trying to figure out how to rearrange his days and weekends so he can study more and do other stuff less.  Actually, that’s basically the solution: study more and do other stuff less.  Kinda sucks, and he’ll probably have to do homework while we’re visiting Mom and Dad this weekend, but what can you do?


Wegman’s makes a mean broccoli quiche.  I just thought you should know.

I got to play with MS Project today at work.  I’ve seen it before, but never really used it.  I like playing with new (to me) applications, figuring them out.  I’m not sure I like Project, but it’s still fun to mess around.

Yeah, that was exciting.  Sorry, audience, that’s all I can share tonight.

Just call me a slacker

I’ve skipped a lot of days.  They weren’t particularly exciting days.  I had a very quiet, very nice weekend.  John went to PA for his brother’s birthday.  My plans fell through at the last minute, so I had some time to kill.  I finally made it to the Ashburn farmers market (bought some yummy apple cinnamon pound cake), and then I went to the Loudoun County Animal Shelter.  Big place.  (They have horses, too.)  No new pets for us, though.  Two dogs are enough, it seems.

Saturday was mostly overcast and rainy, so I spent the rest of the day inside with the dogs, reading my book and keeping Riley from licking his paw.  He doesn’t seem to understand that it won’t heal (just a little scratch) if he won’t leave it alone.  I FINALLY finished the Mars trilogy.  I thought it would never end.  I liked it, I really did, but I was SO ready for something else.  I started the third Inda book (fantasy – love these books) Saturday afternoon and finished it before dinner Sunday night.  (I really did almost nothing but read this weekend.)  Tried the new Indian restaurant in Ashburn for dinner.  It was okay.  I like our regular one better.

Sunday was a BEAUtiful day.  I spent most of it outside.  Reading, but outside.  I had breakfast on the deck, and then I blocked off the front steps of the porch so the dogs could join me and sat out on the porch swing (reading).  Riley got a little anxious (I have no idea why) and climbed up in the swing with me.  When I got tired of that (and of Riley’s restlessness), I moved us all into the backyard.  Grabbed a blanket, spread it out in the shade of the little trees in the back corner, ran back inside to get the bug spray, and then I settled down to read some more.

It was perfect weather.  Warm enough for shorts, perfectly blue sky, and Roxy hung out with me next to the blanket (and on it, when I brought my pb&J outside for lunch).  And I couldn’t put my book down.  Finally, I was reading something I was excited about.  Unfortunately, it was the third book in a four-book series.  The fourth book came out last month, but only in hardcover.  Unless I can find it at the library, I’m waiting for the paperback.  Sadly.

While I’m waiting for that, though, I have plenty of other books to read.  I just started The Magicians, by Lev Grossman.  The plot so far (I’m only a few chapters in) seems to be a cross between The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Harry Potter.  But with older kids.  And I like it.  Yay!

Hungry dog

Riley barely waited for me to let go of the bowl before he attacked his food tonight.  Poor guy.  We’ve caught Roxy eating out of his bowl lately instead of hers, so maybe he just hasn’t been eating regularly.  Of course, if she eats his food, hers is still there, so if he were hungry enough, I’m sure he’d eat it.

I hate mosquitoes.  They don’t just ruin your day when they bite you; they ruin your WHOLE WEEK.  Seriously, I got bitten five or six times on Saturday, and I’m still fighting it.  Do they have any redeeming value?  I mean, I REALLY don’t like spiders, but at least they eat other bugs I don’t like (like flies and maybe mosquitoes, right?).  Do mosquitoes do any good?

Google to the rescue: mosquitoes work as population control, by carrying diseases, for people and animals.  They’re also food for birds, bats, frogs, etc, so they might starve if we got rid of mosquitoes.  And apparently, they’re pollinators.  So not enTIREly useless.  But I still hate them.

One last thing: the microwave works like a champ.  I steamed broccoli in it last night and it came out just right.

Garfield was wrong

Tuesdays are worse than Mondays.  At least lately.  A lot of annoyances piled up today.  Not much fun.  But I am not going to dwell on it anymore.  I vented plenty (thanks, Mom and Dad!), so I’m trying to be over it.


Not dwelling on the whole day makes it hard to come up with anything else to write about.

I think I need a new rule: no posting (trying to post) with the TV on in the background.  VH1 is showing all Beatles, all the time, because of the release of the Beatles Rock Band game (which is a terrible reason for this multi-day marathon – why not show all Beatles just because?  Why does it have to be for a video game?), and Ringo’s Storytellers episode is on now.  Just him talking.  Distracting.

Rained out

We went to the National Symphony Orchestra’s Labor Day concert on the west lawn of the Capitol tonight.  We met Greg, Amanda, Erik, and Margaret for dinner beforehand, and Margaret’s friend Miriam joined us for the concert.  Everything started out okay.  We picked a spot pretty close to the stage (closer than we’ve been in other years, anyway) and settled in on our blankets.  The NSO started with the overture from Gypsy, and then played some songs from South Pacific. Then we got “Liberty Bell”, a Sousa march that also happens to be the theme from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, then music from Star Wars, and then something about Lincoln that was written by Copland (that didn’t do much for me – it included someone reading parts of Lincoln’s speeches, and that never does much for me).  The orchestra went to intermission, and the rain started to come down.  Greg and Amanda ran for their car, Margaret wrapped herself up in one of the blankets, Miriam stayed mostly dry under her umbrella (the only one of us smart enough to bring one), and Erik, John, and I held the other blanket (the one with the waterproof side) over our heads and tried to walk back using it as a tent/umbrella.  It kept our heads dry, but that’s about it.  Anyway, we got mostly soaked, and the concert got rained out, but it was still fun.  The cold and wet drive home was not as fun.

Oh, and then we got home to find that it hadn’t rained here AT ALL.  I’m not sure why that offends me, but it does.

Fixing the microwave for real

John fixed the microwave today!  It works and everything!  We heated up some water as a test.  We might try actually heating up food tomorrow or something.  We’re very proud of him.  (And glad we don’t have to buy a new one.)  We weeded, mowed, and raked the front yard today and bathed both dogs, and all in all, I think we had a very productive day.  We only left the house to go out for sushi this evening.

That reminds me.  A family of five (mom, dad, three boys all younger than ten) were sitting at the table behind John, and we couldn’t help but eavesdrop on some of their conversation.  Our favorites:

The song “Fools Rush In” comes on in the restaurant and the mom asked the kids if they knew who sang it.

Kid: “Duke Ellington?”  Dad: “That’s a terrible guess!”  Mom: “At least he’s heard of Duke Ellington!”

Then, the dad mentioned something about a sumo wrestler who’s not Japanese.

Kid: “Did he have to move to China?”  Dad, completely baffled: “Why would he have to move to China?”  Kid: “Didn’t he have to move to China to be a sumo wrestler?”

John and I missed the dad’s response ’cause we were laughing too hard.

Making plans and fixing microwaves

I like having things planned.  I wouldn’t say that I really enjoy making the plans, but I like having an event of some kind to look forward to.  Today, I bought plane tickets and booked the dogs into the kennel so we can visit Mom and Dad for a weekend at the end of September.  I always feel better when I know for sure that there is travel (fun, vacation-like travel) in my future.  I hate driving by the airport and not even being able to guess when I’ll be flying somewhere.

John is puzzling over the microwave (the one above the stove that hasn’t worked in almost three years).  (He didn’t want me to say he was fighting with it, although when I wrote that sentence, he was trying pretty hard to pry the grill/vent thing off the top.  Looked like fighting to me.)  We’ve been talking about getting a new one pretty much since then, but since we have a backup in the dining room, it’s never been that urgent (and it’s not now).  I googled the model number the other day and found that other people have had the same issues (and fixed them), so now John is seeing what he can do.  But I think he’s close to giving up…

Ready to move on

You know that feeling you get when you’re about to move to a new place, start a new school, end the school year for summer?  You’re done with what you’ve been doing, where you’ve been living, you’ve already moved on in your head, but you still have to plod through the days until it’s actually over and you can really move on.  I have that feeling now (and John does, too, big time) about work.  Our contract is winding down and we’re looking forward to starting new projects really, really soon, but we still have to finish this one.  Why isn’t it done yet?  On top of that, we haven’t been very busy these last few days, so each one lasts that much longer.   It’s crazy-making.

Aside from that though, things are going well.  Nice and quiet.  And that’s always good.

Can’t stop watching Family Guy

I got nothing.  I could talk about the weather (’cause it’s perfect this week), but that’s boring.  And aside from my doctor using me as a pincushion this morning, nothing happened today.  (Seriously, both my wobles and the back of my hand are bruised.)  Also, John is watching Family Guy (and I’m kinda half-watching), and it’s very distracting.

So distracting, in fact, that I just watched three episodes in a row.  ‘Cause TBS plays this show all night long.