Oh, how I ache

It was a beautiful spring today, all budding green trees and cherry blossoms, but by the time I got outside to enjoy it (and run), I was one big ache from standing all day.  I can handle the talking all day (not much of a stretch for me, plus I drink lots of water), but standing ALL DAY LONG in heels (even low ones) makes me ache all over.  The only shoes I want to be wearing for that long, while standing, are my running shoes, and I think even that would get achy (ache-y?) after a while.  So running this evening started out pretty rough.

The cops were out in force when I left work today.  All the way down Constitution Ave, they were ticketing cars parking along the curb.  (Parking there ends at 4pm for rush hour.)  I saw one woman dash across six lanes of traffic, in the middle of a block, to plead with the officer writing her a ticket.  For a second, I thought she had to be crazy to run across Constitution like that, with so many cars on the road, but then I realized rush hour is the best time to do it.  We were all basically parked.

I spent a few minutes during my run this evening playing with a neighbor’s dogs.  This neighbor lives at the opposite corner of the neighborhood from us, but I run by their house most days, and I’ve met their dogs a few times.  Vader is the sweetest black lab.  Adorably friendly, low energy, nice dog.  Their other dog is an energetic yellow lab named Xena, who was the most adorable puppy.  I know, they’re all adorable, but she really was.  So when I went by, Vader met me at the top of the fence.  He jumped up to reach me and licked every part of me he could reach (mostly my arms,  but a few swipes of his tongue got my neck).  Xena, though, proved herself to be the smartest dog I have ever met.  She had a tennis ball in her mouth, and when she jumped up and put her paws on the fence, I reached for it so I could throw it for her.  She pulled her head back and jumped on the fence, and then crouched down in the same spot, put the ball on the ground, and rolled it to me in between the slats in the picket fence.  I picked it up, threw it, she fetched, and on her way back, she jumped on the fence again (kinda bounced off it) like she was marking the spot, dropped down, and rolled the ball out to me again.  We did it over and over again until I decided I need to keep running.  So smart!

And that reminded me of the little girls I met last week when I was running with the dogs.  We were coming down the sidewalk towards a little girl and her dad, and when she saw Roxy and Riley, she ran behind a tree and told her dad she was scared.  I slowed to a walk and reeled the dogs in, but as we got closer, she crept forward.  I stopped and asked her if she wanted to meet them.  She looked at her dad, who said it was okay, and she came over.  She shied away from Riley (he’s way too big for little kids, even though he loves them (to EAT! (Except not really.  The eating part.  He does love them, and he’s pretty gentle.))) and went straight for Roxy.  Now, Roxy doesn’t care about people as a rule, but she doesn’t mind being petted by kids, so she just stands there.  Tolerating it.  She’s the perfect size, though, so kids always want to pet her.  It’s her destiny.  Or her doom.  Or, you know, just something she has to deal with.

I would walk 500 miles

I learned today (something that should have been obvious, but, well, wasn’t to me) that my phone will die if it spends an entire day underground.  For the second day in a row, my cell phone started the day fully charged, but by 4ish, when I leave the underground room I’m spending every day in, it has already turned itself off because the battery died.  You’d think I would have figured it out after the first day, but no.  How hard is it to figure out that if a phone spends nine hours searching for a signal, it might run out of battery power and die?  At least it’s not as final as that.  That’s why we have cell phone chargers.  But I’ve learned my lesson and I’ll turn off my phone when I get there tomorrow.  Problem solved.

I watched part of Benny & Joon tonight.  I really like that movie.  And Aidan Quinn looked good in it.  Big blue eyes.  Early morning tomorrow (that’s going to be an unfortunate habit before long), so I’m off.

Riley is dumb

Riley has shown this behavior before (probably last spring), but I think he’s getting dumber.  I took them for a walk this evening and on our way back, he attacked a fake bunny.  A ceramic bunny that didn’t look real.  At all.  And when I pulled him away from it, he charged the one right next to it.  FAKE BUNNIES.  Come on.

Today improved dramatically.  Once I headed home for work, anyway.  This morning, I was late picking up my coworker, Gabriel (not his real name) , because it foggy.  And rainy.  And DARK.  And traffic was kinda bad.  Then I couldn’t find his apartment, again because of the dark.  And the fog.  And the rain.  But we got to DC in good time (I think the fog (and the rain (and the dark)) kept everyone home.  Or it’s spring break around here.) and had plenty of time to get ready.  The day went fine, nothing major to report, and I’m very happy to be home.  Although I did wonder why I was getting more congested as the day wore on, and then I remembered that I didn’t take my medicine this morning.  Any of it.  Because it sits next to my bed and it’s usually the first thing I do in the morning, but it was really early and very DARK.  And I was trying to be quiet and leave the lights off and get ready in the hallway so John could sleep.  I was gone before his alarm went off (at 6am).  Too early?  Yes.

Update: Post title changed because John felt “Riley’s an idiot” was too harsh.  🙂

How NOT to waste a Sunday afternoon

Hmm.  Well, that really depends on what you consider a waste of a Sunday.  And I think that entirely depends on what sort of weekend you’ve had or what kind of week is coming up.  For me, this Sunday, wasting the day would have meant doing nothing.  If you know me, you know that I consider doing nothing on a Sunday (or any day) to be one of the best ways to spend a day.  Normally.  But I have a very busy, somewhat stressful week coming up, with a long commute at either end of the work day and very little time to get stuff done.  Today, not wasting my Sunday meant being productive.  So I went to the grocery store (Wegman’s, of course) to stock up for the week ahead, went to Staples to buy a laptop bag for work, got my car cleaned out, paid the bills, filled out the census form, and did what little picking up was required to put the house back into the shape it was yesterday morning.  That part was easy; Jess and Chuck aren’t that messy.  And now I’m done with all of that and I can spend the rest of the day doing whatever I want.  I think.  And what is that?  I think it’s reading.

But first, I’ve seen a few movies recently.  John and I watched District 9 last weekend.  It was not at all what I expected, but that could have been because I didn’t see any previews or read anything about it before I saw it.  It was interesting, certainly, and gory enough for three movies, but I can’t say I want to see it again.  We watched Dean Spanley and then Stardust with Jess and Chuck last night.  I think I really liked Dean Spanley (it was not at all what I expected – took me completely by surprise when I started to see where it was going), and I think I’ll like it more when I can see it again.  Jess performed her magic to get our DVD player to play her Region 2 DVD, and we’re very impressed.  Stardust is one I already knew I loved.

I’m a little chilly, so I off to take a nice warm bath, read my book, and…I feel like there should be a third thing to keep the rhythm of the sentence going, but I can’t think of anything.  🙂  My goal for the evening is to not stress out about tomorrow.  I’m as prepared as I can be.

Cleaning up

So now the bathrooms are clean, the guest room beds are made, and upstairs is vacuumed.  I still need to clean the windows and dust.  At work (need I say it was another long day?), I basically cleaned out my entire desk.  I threw out what I could, but everything worth keeping is important enough to actually have with me in the training classroom.  So it all came home with me today.

I’m meeting Jess and Chuck around noon tomorrow in Chantilly, but there’s stuff I need to do first.  Sounds like I need a list.

  1. Lord & Taylor is having a shoe sale.  I could go on Sunday, though.
  2. Buy a laptop bag (for work) at Staples.  I’ve found the one I want.  That can wait until Sunday, too.
  3. Get my car washed, inside and out.  I think the place I go is closed on Sunday, so I have to do it tomorrow.  I’ll be carpooling next week, so my car should be in good shape.
  4. Dust.
  5. Clean the windows.
  6. Go to the grocery store.  I don’t even know what I need to get yet, but I won’t be able to feed Jess and Chuck if I don’t go.

At least I’m not traveling yet.  If this were the last weekend before all the travel, I’d be way more anxious and making many more lists.

My computer, thanks to John, is now running perfectly with its new hard drive and shiny new Fedora operating system.  And I get to use my pretty pink laptop with the nice keyboard.  (It’s really a pleasure to type on this keyboard.)

I think the condition of the house has been holding me back.  A half-clean house, so close to being mostly clean, makes me feel like I’m more in control of how and when I exercise, what I eat, and how I feel about myself.  You know?  If the house is clean, then I’m successful, and I have more energy and more enthusiasm for exercise.  But we still have too much clutter.  How do we get rid of all this crap?

Small accomplishments

I got up when John got up this morning, but with no intention of going to work early.  I’ve learned my lesson.  It was raining, so I couldn’t run, but I had a whole hour, so I read a little while eating my breakfast, and I CLEANED THE KITCHEN.  Not the whole kitchen, but the counters, sink, and stove.  So now, even though I still have a TON to do when I get home, I can at least walk in the door and see one clean corner of the house.  It’s better than nothing.

I must be crazy

Am I an optimist or an idiot?  I know which one I felt like this evening.  I had two days’ worth of evidence that going to work early was not going to mean I could leave early, but I decided to give it another try.  I was at work by 8am today.  Again.  It was almost 6pm before I left, and I worked through lunch.  (Like I usually do.)  So I’ve officially given up.  Or, according to Einstein, I’m insane. Of course, my schedule changes completely starting on Monday, so it hardly matters.

Man, that was negative.

My hard drive arrived yesterday (yay!), so I installed it when I got home.  That part was ridiculously easy.  It shouldn’t even be called an installation.  I unscrewed the old one and screwed the new one in.  Done.  Of course, I was still missing an operating system, but John downloaded Ubuntu for me last night and burned it to CD, so I popped it into the CD drive .  And ran into errors.  Pages and pages and constant scrolling of errors.  John came home, burned me a new CD, ran into more trouble, and has spent much of the evening trying to figure out why I can’t install Ubuntu on my laptop.  Eventually, he gave up.  I just watched him install Fedora instead.  I’m installing Linux; I really don’t care which version.

Heh.  John just named my computer Flyza Minnelli.  (Do you watch Modern Family?  You should.)

SO much better

I’m still sniffling (and snuffling) and coughing, but so much less, and I feel SO much better.  I ended up working later than I planned (again, I know), but I still had an hour of daylight when I got home, so I went for a short run with the dogs.  It felt really good, and I feel really good.  I thought it might never happen again.  I didn’t do any cleaning tonight, though – wait! Not true.  I cleared off the island.  But there’s a lot more to do, so that’s how I’ll be spending the next two evenings.  Probably.  I should.  I’m sure I will.

No internet again today.  I miss my blogs.  It seems a little ridiculous to think that I may have to set aside dedicated internet time the same way I set aside exercise time or reading time.  But hey, if that’s what it takes…

Lately, I’m getting all my news from the POTUS Sirius radio station (110 – “Politics of the United States for the people of the United States”) in the mornings and a handful of Washington Post headlines throughout the day.  Not as well-rounded as I’d like, but that takes internet time I don’t have.

I just made a resolution to stop complaining about not having enough time to play on the internet.  Starting…now.

Our local WETA channel is showing Ed Sullivan’s Rock and Roll Classics, a DVD set they’re trying to sell.  It’s something I’d love to have, but for now, it’s making it really hard to turn the TV off.  John is glued to the screen, and I keep running back and forth so I can actually see The Turtles or The Young Rascals.  I’m ready to settle in for sleep, but PBS keeps pulling me back in.  Such a bad influence.

Late night, short post

That’s been happening a lot lately (short posts).  Sorry.  I spent my evening watching Gosford Park instead of playing on the internet.  I had a much easier time following what was happening (and who all the characters were) this time, and I liked it.  The first time I saw it, I was SO confused when it was over.  John remembers it as the most boring 4 hours he ever spent.  Clive Owen doesn’t do it for him, I guess.  I don’t always like him, but I do in this movie.

And here.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is fine, but Clive is all rumpled and scruffy and HOT.  I like.

I’m not a risk-taker

I went outside today.  For about 10 seconds.  John is trying to figure out why the airbag light is coming on in his car, so I stepped out into the driveway to see how it was going.  John said, “Um…” and pointed to the layer of pollen on the hood of the mustang.  Point taken.  I went back inside.  I just finished the third Dresden Files book, and I’m probably going to pick up the 4th next.  Mostly because I’m too lazy to put much thought into what I really want to read next.  And because I don’t think I can concentrate very well on anything that isn’t brain candy.  If I had another Dean Koontz novel, I’d probably read that, too.  Instead.  Whatever.  I’m staying inside today, and maybe, if John loves me, he’ll bring me egg-drop soup.

I’m defective

It’s a beautiful warm wonderful spring day.  And I’m afraid to go outside or open the window.  The tree pollen count is high and I’m as congested as can be.  My nose, my sinuses, my ears, my throat…can I get replacement, non-defective parts for every part of me above the shoulders?  I’ve taken a steamy bath, I’ve tried a neti pot (which wasn’t so bad, but didn’t help), and I’m already taking my medicine.  I’m trying Tylenol Cold on top of that.

I had plans today.  I was going to run, walk the dogs, take them to the dog park…not happening.  John is cleaning out the garage.  I’m working on being a little less miserable.

Baby fish mouth

I need to get over this major congestion/sore throat thing.  I don’t feel sick, I just need a new head.  Around 2am, I moved into the guest room so I could do all my tossing and turning and snoring and sniffling without keeping John awake all night.  To his credit, he did volunteer to be the one who slept in the other room, but I when I need to sleep propped up (like I do right now), I sleep better there (or on the couch), where I can pile all the pillows in the house into the corner of the bed and sit up comfortably all night.  Stupid allergies.

John is late getting home today.  He’s supposed to be working on a project for class, but he hasn’t been able to get some program to run, so he planned to meet with the guy who wrote the program after work today at 5:30.  Then the guy rescheduled to 6:30.  And John has no idea how long this meeting will take.

Okay, he just called (7:20), and he still has no idea how long this will take.  We decided that if he’s not on the road by 8, he should get himself a sandwich (they’re at Panera), and I’ll figure out dinner on my own.

What AM I doing?  I just spent 20 minutes condensing compiling combining meshing (what the hell is the word I’m looking for?) CONSOLIDATING (there it is!) my work bookmarks and home bookmarks, and I’m not done ’cause now I’m organizing them.  Yes.  I separate my books into fiction and nonfiction and then alphabetize them, and then for extra fun, I organize my browser bookmarks by type of site (work, blog, reference, shopping, etc) and alphabet.  I bet no one’s having more fun on a Friday night than me.  🙂  And if I needed a clearer indication that there is something wrong with me, it’s that I’m not starving right now.  I’m barely hungry.  I had a bowl of frosted flakes with a banana sliced up in it for breakfast around 8 this morning and one of those Smart Ones frozen pasta meals for lunch about 1pm.  That’s it.  Wait, I had half a bagel around 3.  But still.  I’m usually hungrier than this.  Of course, the more I think about it, the hungrier I’m getting.

I just heard from John (8:20), and he’s finally on his way home.  So dinner can wait for him.  Pizza it is.

Allergies suck. And blow.

Who likes to get to work early and then work late?  I do!  (Brown noser.)  And my throat hurts.  I’m pretty certain I can blame this on allergies and the change in the weather.  But it SUCKS.  So much.  And even when the ibuprofen is working and my throat only hurts a tiny bit, it hurts a lot when I sneeze.

Enough of that.  I spent about half of today reminding myself that it wasn’t Friday.  I thought yesterday was Thursday, too.  But tomorrow really IS Friday, and that’s nothing but good.  John is running the error checking/scanning thing I couldn’t find the other day on my poor broken laptop, but it looks like it froze in the middle of it.  So much for that.

(My throat hurts when I yawn.  What’s up with that?)

I have nothing internet-y to share with you today.  I’m sorry.  What with getting to work early and then staying late (and actually working the whole time) and then making dinner and spending some quality TV time with John, I haven’t had time to play on the good old interwebs today.  My plan for the next 12 hours is to take my medicine, go to bed with water and ibuprofen nearby, prop myself up on several pillows, and hopefully wake up tomorrow morning with a relatively clear head and non-scratchy throat so I can run.  It’s been several days.  Oh, the humidifier.  Can’t forget to set up the humidifier.

Good news!  Tomorrow’s pollen forecast is low.  Hope it stays that way.  I don’t want to have another of those springs.

Go be your own country already!

As if we needed another reason not to move to Texas.  Go read Jess’s take on it.  It’s good.

In other news, I had the BEST sandwich for lunch today.  Turkey on honey wheat bread with sprouts and avocado slices.  SO good.  And it came with baby carrots and ranch dressing (GOOD ranch dressing) and a cookie.  If you have an Apple Spice Junction near you, I recommend it.  At least that sandwich.  And the ranch dressing was green!  I’ll admit it made me a little nervous at first, but it tasted great, and it’s been six hours since I ate it and I feel fine.  Maybe turning a dairy product green for a holiday isn’t such a good idea.  Not without a note or something.  You know, like “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Your ranch dressing is green on purpose!”

Computer hell

Okay, that’s an exaggeration.  It’s not THAT bad.  I have several computer options besides my own laptop.  Could be worse.  Anyway, as I think I mentioned yesterday, my computer crashed on me twice last night.  It did it again this morning, and then one more time when I booted using Ubuntu to see if it was a Windows problem.  Clearly not.  And Ubuntu gave me a message that said my hard drive is failing and it has bad sectors.  That’s what I remember, anyway.  I can’t say for sure because it crashed.

I tried to run a scandisk thing John told me about, but I couldn’t find it, so I called Dell Technical Support.  It took me a while to get through to a person, but once I did, she was very nice.  She told me that I’d already done most of the troubleshooting she was going to suggest (I told John.  He said, “You’re welcome.”), so the next thing to do is run Dell’s built-in diagnostic tool.  She told me how to do that, told me that it might take a while, and suggested I call back once it’s done and I can see what errors are found.  If no errors appear, I need to look at the operating system again.

I hung up the phone and ran the test.  I got an error almost immediately about not being able to detect the microphone board, but I’m pretty sure that’s not my problem.  The next error came under the “Hard Drives” heading.  It said,

Msg: Error Code 2000-0146

Msg: Unit 1: DST Log contains previous error(s).

My first thought was “HOLY SHIT!  Daylight Saving Time is screwing with my hard drive!”  And just this afternoon I was gushing about how much I love Daylight Saving Time and all that lovely warm sunlight in the early evenings.  Traitor.

I called Dell Technical Support back and read the message to a new very nice woman.  She told me I need to replace my hard drive.  Yeah, I get that, but what does it mean? I repeated my Daylight Saving Time theory to her.  She laughed.  Then she apologized for laughing.  (I forgave her.  I laughed, too.)  And then she told me that it means one of the disks on the drive is damaged.  It either can’t read or can’t write.  (Poor illiterate disk.)

Since then, I’ve googled the error message and found out that while I can probably manage to use this hard drive for a little while (I can try to make it stop using the bad sectors), it’s on its way to total failure, so I might as well replace it.  It’s not that expensive.  And DST stands for Drive Shelf Test.  Whatever that is.

So I need a new hard drive.  In the meantime, I have options.  But I’ll miss my pretty pink laptop.

ETA: This mustard is awesome!

Now with more inanity!

Some days I wish something interesting would happen to me so I could write about it.  Most of the time I’m just as glad nothing did.  I don’t need excitement.   I just need to know I can come home every day.  (That sounds so sad.  I need a lot of other things, too, but we’re not talking about that right now.  Read into that what you will.)

Jess (pyromaniac in disguise) wrote some good stuff today.  (“Wrote some good stuff.”  I have a way with words.)

If you know your classic paintings, you may enjoy this video.  You’ll probably enjoy it even if you don’t know that many, if I may use myself as an example.  I found it courtesy of this post from The Bloggess.  There’s a lot of other good stuff in that post, too.

I’m happy to provide links to interesting things, but I can’t let that be all I do.  That would be boring for me.  Of course, right now I am boring to me.  Mm.  Boring is no good.  Smoothies are good.  (As are non sequiturs.)

Thank the whatever from high atop the thing for autosave!  My computer crashed (for the second time tonight) and I was convinced I’d lost this post.  But no, WordPress has an autosave function, and I don’t have to start over.  Which is good, since I don’t have the energy to redo even this less-than-stellar entry.

And with that, I think I’ll hurry up and post this before I crash again.  But what caused the crash(es)?  Hard drive?  Windows installation?  Wish I knew.  Too bad I’m not married to a computer fixer-upper/programmer/family tech-support guru.  Which reminds me…this is very funny.  ‘Cause it’s true.

I knew the way you know about a good melon

The produce guy at Wegman’s praised my apple-choosing skills today.  Good to know I have a fallback if my current job doesn’t work out.  I’m not sure where, other than the produce section of a grocery store,  I can market this new-found skill o’ mine.  I also noticed that finally, as of yesterday, there is NO MORE SNOW in the front yard.  It’s mid-March – if it snows again (this season), I’m moving south.

I finished Run today.  Loved it.  I think I’m going to head for something lighter next, like maybe the next book in The Dresden Files series.  Mindy is using my book list (see Books and Movies in the sidebar) for inspiration so she can take a break from her school reading.  That makes me very happy.

Daylight Saving Time started today, but it’ll probably be Tuesday before I’m used to it.  It’s almost nine, and I should be thinking about getting ready for bed (I plan to get up early and run, if it’s not raining), but it doesn’t feel nearly that late and I’m not remotely tired.  Those tiny insignificant issues aside, I’m thrilled about the time change.  I need more hours of daylight.

Wet dogs

It’s been raining off and on all day (mostly on), so during a break this afternoon, I let the dogs out to play.  They were amusing themselves, sniffing around, eating dirt, and I went back to my book.  A little later I realized I was hearing rain hit the windows pretty hard and I remembered the dogs were still outside.  I rushed over to the sliding glass doors and found two soggy dogs huddled up against the door, trying to get under the overhang.  Adorable.  They’re in now, mostly dry, and being a little clingy.

I’ve already shelved my new books (I had to move about a shelf’s worth of books all over the house, one shelf at a time), and now I’m relaxing.  I think John just gave up on his projects for the day, so we’re going to cuddle up and watch TV.  And skip dinner.  We had a big lunch with Jess and Chuck after the book sale.