I’d be more productive if I worked from home because I wouldn’t have to go to any meetings

Today was not a bad day.  It was just like every other day this week, though, with a breakneck pace and no actual work that got done.  By me, anyway.  Other people might be having better luck.  And I get it, kind of.  I’m managing a process now, and I have other people (will someday have other people – that’s part of what we’ve been having meetings about this week) who have to do the stuff that needs to get done, so I’m not as hands on as I’m used to being, but deadlines are looming and I feel like I need to say I’ve accomplished something!  I’m a little worn out.  A little frazzled.  A little (a lot) in need of extra hours in the day with no meetings.  Except who wants more hours at work?  Also, who wants to keep talking about work once they’re at home?  Not me.

John called to tell me he was  just leaving the office and to apologize for how late it is.  I’m feeling weak-willed because I have no energy and my head is pounding (and not just the part that’s still tender from my encounter with the window yesterday), so I asked him to be the voice of reason and say “No, we can’t order Chinese food.  We’re having ravioli or stir fry or something that’s already in the house and is relatively good for us.”  But since it’s so late, and neither of us wants to deal with cooking and cleaning up, he failed in his duty (as the voice of reason) and told me that if Chinese food is the only thing that will make me feel better, then that’s what we should have for dinner.  And I gave in.  Because I’m weak.  Our local Chinese place should hang our picture on the wall.  (This hasn’t been a good week for healthy dinners.)

Which came first, the stupid or the wall I ran into?

I ran into a window today.  Smacked my forehead HARD.  Seriously, I have a bruise.  I had lunch at a restaurant with my supervisor today, and we left through the revolving door.  I put my sunglasses on while revolving (“while in the middle of the revolution” sounds more militant that what was happening) and tried to exit the door before I reached the opening.  The glass wasn’t THAT clean.  I’m just THAT stupid.

The knock on my head apparently killed some brain cells, too, ’cause words, thoughts, ideas…I don’t have them tonight.  I’m stealing an idea from MommyByDay and just posting a picture.  Or two.

These were the greatest jeans ever.  Unfortunately, this picture is eight years old, so even if I could remember the brand and style, I’m sure they don’t make them anymore.  Too bad.

Here’s Mom playing Marine:

I wouldn’t say no to this view from my window.

Or this one.

Well, that’s enough.  Gotta give Roxy her medicine and go to bed.  Off to the busy life I lead…

Recut movie trailers

I could swear I’ve posted these two videos before (or at least linked to them), but I can’t find where, so here they are again.

First, from yesterday’s comments, a brilliantly edited trailer for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that puts Cameron in the Ed Norton role from Fight Club. It’s awesome (and thanks to Greg for finding it).

Second, from several years ago, here’s the recut trailer for The Shining that makes the whole thing look like a feel-good movie.  I always get nervous watching it, but trust me – there’s nothing scary here.

Third, this recut trailer for Mary Poppins that scares the *&^! out of me every time I see it.  So much that I’m not watching it right now.  I’ll post it,  and I might watch it when the sun is shining, but certainly not now.  I keep going back to it, though, ’cause I love how terrifying this guy made Mary Poppins.  It’s awesome.

Last, I have to share this link from Spokeit’s post today.  The site is called Catalog Living, and the woman who runs it posts pictures from Pottery Barn catalogs and tells the story of the people who live there.  The one who live in the catalog.  They (the people who live in the catalog) are totally passive-aggressive, and the site is completely hilarious.  These two are my favorites (one and two) so far.

Shop at Home Depot

More than you already do, I mean.  The American Family Association (AFA – who I am totally NOT going to link to because I don’t want them to even think I might support them) is trying to organize a boycott of Home Depot because they (Home Depot, not the AFA) sponsor gay pride festivals and parades and provide insurance benefits to same-sex partners.  All reasons to shop there more, not less.

End of public service announcement.

Check this out – my favorite books combined with one of my favorite movies.  Thanks, Jenny!

I have to admit, I didn’t clean out my closet.  I looked through it, realized I really do wear most of what’s hanging in it, and got rid of one shirt.  Most of the clutter in there is made of shoes, totes, and random small overnight bags.  It was too intimidating over the weekend.

Soaked to the skin

John needed rescuing today.  His car has been doing this weird thing for the last few months.  If he stops somewhere briefly (an errand on the way home, coffee on the way to work, etc), he can’t start the car again unless he puts more gas in, even when the tank is nearly full.  One time he was able to start it after he waited about half an hour, but other times, that hasn’t worked.  Today, he called from the parking lot outside AutoZone (maybe it was Advanced Auto Parts – I can’t keep those stores straight), apologized because it was pouring down rain, and asked me to bring the full gas can.  It wasn’t raining at home yet (the wind had just picked up, but the rain hadn’t arrived), so I said of course I’ll go help him.  In the time it took me to put my shoes on (flip-flops, even), buckets of water started pouring from the sky.  I opened the garage door, grabbed a couple of towels, dashed to the car (in the driveway) to throw the towels and my wallet into the front seat, and was soaked.  I still had to dash to the garage for the gas can, and then to the back of the car to put it in the trunk, and then back to the front seat.  I was wet through and I pointed the garage door remote thing at the garage and – nothing.  Not working.  So I grabbed my keys, went back in through the front door, closed the garage door, and ran back to the car.  Buckets of water in high winds were coming out of the sky, and when I made it back to the car, I looked like a drowned rat.  Water was streaming from my hair to my feet.  John was only ten miles away (maybe seven or eight), and by the time I got there, it wasn’t raining anymore.  And John?  Barely damp.  If I had waited five minutes to come to his rescue, I could have stayed dry.  But he’s grateful.  That works for me.

So lazy

Lazy and uninspired.  That’s me.  Here’s how my brain feels right now:  …  For real.  Roxy just came over to see if I’m still breathing.  She licked my arm and I didn’t react.  I’m a vegetable.  A vegetable that types.  This typing vegetable is going to publish this nonsense and then go to bed.  Better luck with coherence tomorrow.

It’s gonna be a scorcher!

I’m preparing for the weekend by making all indoor plans.  Except for a trip to the grocery store that I foresee putting off until Monday or Tuesday, I don’t want to leave the house.  (I might try to run in the wee small hours, but don’t hold your breath.)  I’m going to clean out my closet, which should lead to cleaning out the guest bedroom so it can stop doubling as my work clothes closet, and while I’m at it, I’ll try to clean out my dresser drawers, too, since I noticed this morning that I can barely close them.  And now that I’ve published that little to-do list, you have to hold me to it.

Tonight is about Chinese food (Jess, we chose Chinese!  I know how much you care…) and one of the movies from the DVR.  I’m so ready to be lazy this weekend.  Except for the closet cleaning, of course.

Totally not a vacation post

I do want to tell some stories about this vacation, but that would involve adding pictures, and have I mentioned how draining it is to upload pictures to this site?  I don’t have that kind of energy.  Some people at work were giving me a hard time for coming back from vacation on a Thursday (why not take the rest of the week off and come back on Monday?), and while I see their point, it’s totally awesome to go back to work on a Thursday.  Two-day work week!  The weekend is right around the corner.  And as fun as that vacation was (it was totally fun), I’m very glad to be home.  I love my bed.  And my dogs.  And my kitchen.  Well, I don’t love my kitchen, but it’s bigger than what we were working with in Georgia.  Not that I spent much time in it.

Okay, maybe this is going to be a little bit of a vacation post.  I was reading The Bloggess just now, and of course I’m laughing hysterically at today’s post (that should totally go without saying), and I had a similar experience over the weekend, and then I started writing the story in my head, so here it is.

Background: My family (Mom, Dad, brother, sister, me, assorted spouses, and one almost 5-year-old) decided to stay in a cabin in the mountains in northwest Georgia for a few days.  In the mountains.  In the woods.  Not in a clearing in the woods.  In the woods.  With me?  Okay.  ‘Cause this will become important.  John and I were supposed to arrive just before midnight Friday night (fly into Atlanta, rent a car, drive an hour and a half), but our flight was delayed (a lot) and then, only about 7 miles from the place, the road was blocked by a police cruiser because the power company was removing a tree from the power lines.  After about 20 minutes of sitting there (no map, no Internet connection to find a map), I finally asked the cop if there was another way to get where we were going.  There was, of course, and we finally got to the house.  In the woods.  At about 2:30 in the morning.  Oh, after we pulled into the wrong driveway.  ‘Cause it was a gravel road that was more of a track up the mountain.  In the very deepest dark.  Because it was in the woods!  And the power was out.  Dad met us at the right driveway with a flashlight and helped us get inside (where there were no lights, because the power was out) and find our bedroom.  With a flashlight.  Because there was no power.  Being up the mountain meant we were using well water, which gets into the house via pump.  Which totally doesn’t work when there’s no power.  So, you know, no flushing.  And bottled water for brushing teeth and washing faces and hands.  NO POWER!  But we were ready to collapse into bed (a bed we never collapsed into again after that night – I promise I’m getting to the point) when the power came back on, and so did every light in the house.  Anyway, most of that background was not really necessary, but let’s just say it illustrates how tired and ready for bed we were the next night, having only gotten about 5 hours of sleep the night before.

I was washing my face in the bathroom when I heard a very loud, somewhat shocked “JESUS CHRIST!” from the bedroom.  I came running and found John standing about three feet away from the foot of the bed, kinda pointing towards the pillow.  “There’s a scorpion.  IN the bed.”  “Can’t be.  Scorpions don’t live in Georgia, they live in Texas and New Mexico and deserts and stuff.”  “Zannah, it was a scorpion.  Go look.”  “Um, no.”  He twitched the covers a little and I saw something scurry under his pillow.  I got a little closer and saw it come out from under the pillow and go upside down under the mattress.  Kinda looked like a scorpion to me, but I wasn’t about to get close enough to really look.  Besides, it couldn’t be.  Either way, though, I didn’t want it in the bed.  John was pretty freaked out, and I wasn’t brave enough to get it, so I ran upstairs and grabbed Corey before he disappeared into his room.  Normally, I’m the one who finds the big ugly bug, and I’m the one who completely freaks out.  John walks into the situation knowing what to expect (I’ve already shrieked about the bug), so he’s usually able to handle it fairly calmly.  This time,  he was the one who found it after nearly LAYING DOWN ON TOP OF IT, so I think he was well within his rights to be a little less than rational.  Anyway, big brother came down, we both grabbed shoes, and I helped him lift up the mattress so he could WHACK the damn thing dead.  And then he put it in a plastic bag to show every person who came to the house over the next few days.  ‘Cause he’s a boy.  Thanks, Cor, for killing the scorpion!  After Corey left (with the scorpion, which he left on the table for everyone to find at breakfast), John and I discussed whether or not we’d be able to sleep in that bed.  I was actually fairly okay with it, I think because I’m not the one who found it, whereas all those other times I have been the one surprised by the spider or the centipede, I can’t sleep because of all the creepy-crawly nightmares.  According to John, that kind of inconsistency is one of my most endearing (or is that infuriating?) qualities.  Anyway, we did a thorough search of the room and the bed, checked all of the blankets, all of the sheets, took the pillows out of the pillowcases so we could shake them out, lifted up the mattress again, looked under the bed with the flashlight, then checked the drooping fabric underneath the box spring just in case they were nesting (isn’t that something you’ve heard of?  A nest of scorpions?  Maybe that’s vipers…), and when we didn’t find anything, we decided it was time to go to bed.  Gingerly.  And without much sleep.  Every night after that, we did the same bed check.

After the scorpion IN THE BED, the spiderwebs that apparently only took 10 minutes to string up across every doorway and sidewalk, and the millipede on the wall over our bed the last night (I called Dad to rescue us from that one), John and I have decided that although we like the idea of having a house in the woods, the woods will totally have to keep their distance.  Nature (the buggy part, at least) is not for me.

(I counted six, which I totally (seven) put in on purpose.  For reals.  Think I can go higher next time?)

On hiatus

I like that word.  Hiatus.  (Makes me think of Hyannis.  And Uranus.)  Unless it’s referring to the mid-winter break our favorite TV shows take that gets inexplicably longer every year.  Then I don’t like it.

I’m all packed and ready to go.  I will be away from the Internet for four whole days.  And somehow, what with the family and the hiking and the swimming and the tubing and the horseback riding, I think I’ll manage.

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

You want thingamabobs? I got twenty.

Thanks to Dooce’s archives, I have songs and scenes from The Little Mermaid stuck in my head.  Speaking of her archives, though, sometime back in late 2007 (maybe early 2008), she pointed her readers to this site, created by a woman who rescued a baby coyote and raised it.  More importantly, she posted adorable pictures of the tiny thing.  I haven’t looked around that much yet, so I don’t know how she handles the issues that most likely came up as she raised a wild animal, but it must have been interesting.

From Nancy Nall’s post today, I found (and came late to the party, apparently, but that’s not unusual for me) I Write Like, which supposedly compares your writing samples to those of famous authors.  I plugged in a blog post from a week ago or so, and found that

I write like
Agatha Christie

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Well, that’s pretty cool, but maybe it’s because I just finished reading an Agatha Christie mystery.  So I plugged in a different blog post and got

I write like
P. G. Wodehouse

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Again, I can live with that.  So I plugged in another post.  Mario Puzo.  Hmm.  Another post: Vladimir Nabokov.  Um, yeah.  So I agree with Nancy – it’s gotta be random.  Fun, but not enlightening.  I googled it and found this from a NYT blog.  End of story, I think.

Zoot alors, I have missed one!

Pre-vacation brain drain

My brain is starting to shut down.  Work was hard today, and tomorrow I’m going to be mostly useless.  You know why?  I’m going on vacation!  Woo!  Not a long one, but it should be nice and relaxing.  The worst part (and I’m telling you this in advance to try and prepare you for this traumatic experience) is that there is NO INTERNET CONNECTION where I’m going.  I will have to skip updating this here blog for several days IN A ROW.  Blog aside, what am I going to do without the Internet?  Here’s where I realize I may have a problem.  Do I really think I’m going to be scarred for life if I can’t google the lyrics to that song on the radio or find out what weather.com says the temperature is rightnow for a couple of days?  I think I’ll manage somehow.  And when I come back, I’ll have lots of pictures.

But hey, the withdrawal doesn’t have to start just yet.  My vacation doesn’t start until the weekend.  According to my brain, however, it started around lunchtime today.  Ooh, that reminds me of breakfast today.  A guy on my project won breakfast for the office from Chick-fil-A!  That place might have the best fast food breakfast in the world.  They certainly have the best fast food chicken sandwiches in the world.  And since that’s basically what goes on their breakfast menu, I think they’ve got the breakfast trophy all sewn up.  Which reminds me…I used the phrase “hungry as all get out” the other day, and that made me wonder where “as all get out” came from.  I was driving just then, so I couldn’t google it, and I’ve only just remembered.

[Pause for googling]

Okay, according to one forum, the OED says it was first used in Huckleberry Finn in 1884.  I couldn’t find any other references to the origin of that phrase, and I don’t have access to an OED myself (and I don’t subscribe to OED Online, although maybe I should – mm, no, $30 a month), so I can’t check.  That’s not very helpful.  Maybe I’ll be just fine after a few days without Google.  (Look!  I can tie things together!  (Oh, is it not cool to point that kind of thing out?  Better to be subtle and let others notice on their own?  Oops.  Guess I’m not cool.))

I’ll never be able to sleep now

I don’t get snakes.  Snakes as pets, anyway.  No, I don’t get snakes at all.  They’re creepy and I hate them.  I don’t care if they’re big or small, poisonous or harmless, with giant fangs or no fangs.  I really REALLY don’t like snakes.  Had a nightmare about them just the other night, and I’m probably doomed to have another one tonight.  I was driving home from work, and I saw a guy start to cross the street near the shopping center about a mile and a half from my house.  He was holding his son’s hand, and I saw what looked like a scarf or something draped across his shoulders.  That deserved a second look in 90-degree heat anyway, and that’s when I realized it wasn’t a scarf.  It was a snake.  A big one.  Like a boa constrictor or a python or something crazy like that.  It was HUGE.  Bigger around than my arms.  (I was going to say it was bigger around than my thigh, but sadly, I don’t think that’s the case.)  I don’t know if I can live here anymore.  That snake totally sensed my fear and is going to come slithering over here tonight to kill me.  A mile and a half is nothing to a big snake like that, right?  Oh, nightmares.  My book isn’t going to be much help as a distraction, either.  I love Ray Bradbury, but these stories just aren’t grabbing me.  Is it wrong of me to put it down unfinished and look for something more engrossing?  Nah.  Being distracted from the snakes that are out to get me is more important than any hangup I have about not finishing a book.

The linkiest of linky posts

I’ve been meandering through my bookmarks and catching up on blogs I haven’t been reading lately ’cause sometimes I don’t even have time to read all the blogs on my blogroll and if I don’t have time to do that, how am I supposed to have time to keep up with the 80 blogs I have bookmarked?  Anyway, I’ve found some things worth sharing (there are always things worth sharing, every day, but I don’t always get there ’cause I’m selfish like that, you know?  I don’t always want to share.  Alternative explanation: I’m lazy.).

First, from my favorite Wombat, a totally awesome piano performance at the Mayo Clinic.

Jess’s wandering basil plant was returned to her.  That should be a band name: Jess’s Wandering Basil.  Or the name of a country estate.  Wandering Basil.  I like it.

I was reading through Dooce archives and came across this video of a herd of buffalo kicking some lion ass.  WAY cool and sometimes kinda hard to watch.

This woman is fascinating.  I need to get there more often.

Can’t find something?  It must be at the bottom of the ever-moving Asian food section.  This post cracked me up.  And while I’m plugging Scott Adams, I want a house like this.

SuzRocks, a sentence all by herself.  Even if she didn’t write entertaining posts about forbidding her husband to die and daring gangsters to get shot, she has my name and SHE SPELLS IT RIGHT.  I’d read her just for that.  We’ve got to stick together.

You can thank the band for all these links.  They’ve been rehearsing for the last two hours, and it’s a wonder I’m not typing the words to “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” all mixed in with the words to “Superstition” and “Cecilia”.  I’m retreating upstairs now, with a pillow for my head and my next book.  Crap.  I don’t know what I’m reading next.  I’m off to browse.

Ah ha!  Short stories by Ray Bradbury.  Sold.


John and I took the dogs for a walk this evening, and while we were out, we bumped into a couple with their small son (between 2 and 3, I think).  We slowed down to let him say hi to the dogs, and as I reeled Roxy in, his mother said not to worry about her, they have a big labradoodle at home.  The kid said, “Yeah, I have a big waterdoodle at home,” and he walked right up to Roxy and wrapped his arms around her neck in a gentle hug.  Then he planted a big kiss right on the tip of her nose and toddled off.  Seriously cute.  He wasn’t even a little bit afraid of a dog as tall as he was.  He didn’t seem to notice Riley, who was probably closer in size to his waterdoodle.

It’s the end of the weekend.  I hate that.  John and I were talking this morning about how the conventional life (9-5 jobs, living for the weekends, tiny suburban house with neighbors we don’t know right on top of us) isn’t really working for us.  We want something different (set our own hours, work for ourselves doing something we like, live further away from people), but what if something different doesn’t work?  So we’re talking about it.

Productivity is my middle name

It rained all night last night.  A welcome change, and really soothing to fall asleep to (several times, since I woke up a few times last night).  We woke up at 7 this morning to find it still pouring, so running was out of the question.  We found ourselves breakfasted and in the basement before 9am, and we spent a good hour making some donation and trash decisions.  We’re not done getting rid of the crap in the basement, not by a long shot, but we made a sizable dent.  (That looks weird.  Sizable.  Sizeable?  Still weird.)  Around 10:30, I went to Costco for Roxy’s medicine and then to Target (yeah, I know – again), and I was supposed to be home before noon so we could leave at noon to meet Erik and Margaret for lunch and a movie.  Well, you know how Target is.  I got sucked in, and it was almost noon when I got in the car to come home and get John.  So we were late.  I hate being late, but this time I can’t blame anyone by myself (sorry again, guys!).  It didn’t help that I got off the toll road going the wrong way on 7 and had to turn around and THEN wade through the normal traffic in the area.  Lunch (at Maggiano’s) was good, but it was more about catching up with E&M, who we hadn’t seen since mid-May, and that was much-needed and much fun.  After the movie (Knight and Day – the first half was funny and pretty entertaining.  The second half was okay, but less fun.), I bought a new wallet (a nice red, big, adult-type wallet to replace my falling-apart, overstuffed, tiny little wallet that gets lost in my purse and was meant to only hold the bare necessities but got drafted into full-time use because I don’t know why), and we came home, checked on the dogs (they’re fine), and did geeky website things together (I updated my Pages section.  See?).  Tomorrow might not be so productive, but you never know.

Not enough sleep

I’ve been feeling pretty tired lately.  I think I’ve been doing okay about getting to bed at a reasonable hour, but I’m rethinking my whole let’s-get-up-super-early-to-run-before-the-sun-comes-up-and-the-heat-gets-unbearable idea.  I still think it’s a good idea, but 5:15 is kinda early.  I usually wake up 20-30 minutes before my alarm goes off, whatever time it’s set to, and waking up in the 4am hour is disconcerting.  And TOO EARLY, even when I get to go back to sleep for a while.  This morning I got up with my alarm, sat on the edge of the bed for a couple of minutes (felt like a couple, but when I looked at the clock I saw it had been about ten), and then I stood up and looked at the bed for another few (probably closer to ten again) minutes, and THEN I reached for my workout clothes.  On the one hand, maybe I need all that extra time I’m giving myself by setting the alarm so early.  On the other hand, if I used all that extra time for sleeping, maybe I wouldn’t be such a zombie and I wouldn’t need the extra time.

I don’t like being a zombie.  It doesn’t last long, though.  Once I get back from my run, I’m wide awake and talking a mile a minute.  Just ask John, who generally isn’t ready for that yet.

Not creative enough to figure this out

I need a new 0-calorie drink for work.  A hot drink.  My office is freezing, and I’m already wearing a sweater.  I spend all day drinking water, but water is cold.  I’m trying not to let myself get hot chocolate or coffee or tea (I add way too much milk and sugar to coffee (and tea) to make it drinkable, and I don’t need the calories from either drink), but I don’t really see any other options.  It looks like I either need to learn to drink my coffee (or tea) black (gross – makes me shudder just thinking about it) or I need to start heating up my water.  And that’s just weird.  So maybe I’ll just suffer.