Klutzy McKlutzington

I fell today.  I was jogging along with the dogs, and I started to untwist the leashes, which is something I do at least three times every day I take them with me (Riley ducks and weaves around Roxy – he doesn’t want to miss a single tree, mailbox, clump of weeds, drain, or bush), and I stopped paying attention to my feet.  Usually not an issue.  Today, though, the sidewalk reached up and grabbed my heel, forcing me to trip over the seam.  For a split-second, while my feet were scrabbling for purchase, I thought I had it, I thought I was going to be able to recover and stay on my feet, but then I lost it.  I slammed into the sidewalk, caught myself with the heels of both palms and my right elbow, and bounced onto my right side.  (I think.  That’s the only explanation I can think of for why the right side of my thigh is scraped and bruised (along with my hands and that one elbow), but not my knees.)  I rolled onto the grass in someone’s front yard to take stock and find the leashes I’d dropped.  The scrapes are mostly just along the surface so my skin is a little rough, but there was no blood except for the scrape along my elbow.  Still, I cut my run short and headed home.

Not the most auspicious start to my day.

It’s too dark to read

We have car drama, but I’ll save the details until we know what we’re going to do about it.  In the meantime, John gets to work from home (lucky dog!).

More amusingly, check this out (thanks, as usual, to The Bloggess for finding the funniest/weirdest/most awesome stuff on the internet).  My mind is blown.  I knew ducks were hiding something.  Sneaky bastards.

From the same website, here’s one for John.

Want to drool over kitchens?  Here – drool away.  I WANT them.  All of them.  I’ll settle for two or three.

I didn’t run this morning because I’m terribly lazy.  The alarm went off and I sat up and swung my legs over to the side.  Turned on my bedside lamp.  Then I dozed, upright, for nearly half an hour.  Tomorrow I need to take that extra step (standing up will help) and move in the direction of the front door.  Wish me luck.

Completely stumped

The fan is on high, and I’m watching the chain swing around in a circle, and I think it’s drawing all the thoughts out of my head.  It’s going around and around and around…  If I were insanely rich, I’d have a couple of rooms in my house for totally mindless entertainment.  One would be like a moonbounce/trampoline room.  The floor would be all trampoline and the walls and ceiling would be padded.  No sharp edges or hard surfaces.  I’d have another room with lots of stuff hanging from the ceiling all the way to the floor, like bead curtains or wind chimes, things that make tinkly sounds when you brush by them, sort of fake-waterfall, liquid-y metal things.  Those rooms would be in addition to the multi-story library, of course, with ladders and spiral staircases and galleries and stuff.  And the theater.  And the gym.  And the pool.   And the GIANT bathroom and awesome kitchen.  Um, those would be separate.

Around and around and around…

Up too late

Would you believe I went to DC today with a used bookstore in my sights, but then decided not to go when we finally got there?  I know, right?  Am I sick?  I must not be feeling well.  I’ll have to organize my books tomorrow to make myself feel better.  🙂

Away We Go

We watched Away We Go tonight.  LOVED it.  If you haven’t seen it, see it.  Right now.  Drop everything.  Go.  Watch it.  There was one scene that made us cheer.

Anyway, it’s Friday, and we have cheesecake (dulce de leche cheesecake – the Cheesecake Factory is a wonderful place), so, um.  Bye.

I’m a recording artist!

First, some background.  John has several hobbies,  but they mostly fall into three categories: cars, computers, and music.  This latest project combines two of the three.  You know, I shouldn’t call this his latest project.  He’s had a variation of this going on since we lived in our first apartment in DC ten years ago, but, as with many hobbies, he only picks it up every once in a while.  He recently installed some recording software on the computer in the basement, and now he has a whole studio down there.  We recorded possibly the most laid back recording of “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” so he could mess around with the program.  It turned out okay, so here it is.

[mp3player width=200 height=25 config=fmp_jw_widget_config.xml file=http://www.inanechatter.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Nobody-Knows-You-When-Youre-Down-and-Out3.mp3]

It’s not perfect, so please don’t judge too harshly.  The more we listen to it, the more we both hear things we’d change if we were to do it over.  I think that could go on forever, though (you’re always your harshest critic), so we decided to leave it as is.  There are plenty of things we like about it, too, particularly the end.

Some notes:

  1. I don’t think it sounds like me.  I think it sounds like Mindy.  She wasn’t here, though, so I’m pretty certain it was me.
  2. Where did that accent come from?
  3. If I listen to it one way, I think I sound like I’m trying too hard.  I know I wasn’t trying very hard at all, and when I think about that, I think I should re-record it and try harder so I can sound better.  But then I probably would sound like I’m trying too hard and this is a never-ending circle so cut it out already.
  4. I really like harmonizing with myself.  🙂  It’s fun.

If you like it, we might take requests.

Issues, both personal and mechanical

I don’t think this is the right time of day for me.  I tend to post in the evenings, but exactly when varies from right after I get home to right before I go to sleep.  Right now, when I’m looking at the clock and calculating how many hours of sleep I can get and trying to decide if that’s going to be enough and will I be exhausted tomorrow or will I hear my alarm and reset it because I’m too tired to run – right now is when I shouldn’t be writing.  I get anxious about getting enough sleep, and feeling like I need to post something before I go to bed makes it worse.  It’s not a high level of anxiety or anything, nothing like when I was traveling, but there’s something left undone and I won’t feel better until it’s done and even when it’s done, if I did it late (like now), I won’t feel enough better because, well, now it’s late.  And later means less sleep.  And for some reason, I can’t be laid back about how much sleep I get.  Solution?  (I’m into solutions lately.)  Post earlier.  Before dinner.  Or get ready for bed and post from there.  That’s worked for me a couple of times.  Which leads me to…why am I not doing that now?

We had some mechanical difficulties today.  Woke up to find the A/C not working anymore, so I called the company who last serviced it and they sent out a technician.  We had an easy problem to fix, luckily, so the A/C was back on by early afternoon and I finished the day working from home.  Love doing that.  Then, I asked John to stop on the way home to pick up dinner (Subway), but I’d forgotten about his weird car issue.  He bought the sandwiches, but couldn’t get home because his car wouldn’t start.  I picked him up, we ate dinner and dodged anonymous phone calls (Iowa keeps calling, but they never leave a message.), and then we headed back to Subway to see if his car would start.  It did, I guess because it had been an hour or two.  John thinks (and I agree, whatever that’s worth) that it’s a temperature issue.  The car will start when it’s been sitting for a while (overnight or the whole work day for sure, and, like tonight, even just for a couple of hours), but if you drive it for 20 minutes or more and then stop just for a couple of minutes, it won’t start until it’s cooled down.  Sometimes it helps to top off the gas tank, but that doesn’t always work.  If he’s only driven it for a couple of minutes (like to the gas station or to Starbucks), it’ll start even after another quick stop.  It’s weird, and if I’d thought about it, I wouldn’t have asked him to pick up dinner.  Maybe that’s the lesson: don’t ask John to pick up dinner.  He’ll like that one.  Even if it doesn’t actually solve the car problem.

Why does there have to be a lesson?  Why is Roxy incapable of backing up?  Why do birds suddenly appear?  Why ask why?  Drink Bud Dry.

I don’t lie awake at night worrying about my dentist’s opinion of me

I heard a really funny commercial for sedation dentistry on the radio today.  Pardon me while I paraphrase: “People don’t avoid going to the dentist because they’re afraid of some pain.  They don’t go because they’re embarrassed because it’s been so long.  They’re afraid of being judged.  So come to So and So’s Sedation Dentistry!  You won’t have to face our judgmental attitudes ’cause you’ll be unconscious!”  Really?  Not “We’re nice.  We don’t judge!”  No, no, it’s “We’ll knock you out!  Come on down!”  Believe me, if I ever decide to try sedation dentistry (it’s tempting), it’ll be because of the pain (and anticipation of pain), not because I care what my dentist thinks about me.

The euphoria after a good morning run

For the first time in many many months, it’s cooler outside than inside (and there’s a breeze!), so I’ve opened the windows.  Feels good.  I can hear the windchimes from the front porch.  Roxy doesn’t care one way or the other (she’s happily gnawing on a new bone), so Riley and I sat out on the deck for a few minutes and communed with the crickets.  What time do crickets quit?  Or am I crazy for thinking they don’t do a lot of cricketing during the day?  Seems like a night-time thing, but here we are, 7:15 in the morning, the sun is the up (although not shining – overcast today) and has been up for about 45 minutes, and the crickets are chirping away.  And I can hear them because the windows are open!

They really do make a lot of noise.

Why didn’t they ask me?

The post office doesn’t open until nine!  What’s up with that?  Didn’t it used to open at eight?  I know I’ve read a lot recently about the post office losing money and cutting back hours and services, but how are people supposed to get there if they’re only open from 9 to 5 and not at all on Saturdays?  I only go once or twice a year, but I’ve never been the only person in there.  Far from it, in fact.  There’s ALWAYS a line.  I don’t know what the solution is.  Maybe, if the issue is not being able to afford to be open for more than eight hours a day, they should be open from 5am to 9am and then from 4pm to 8pm.  Thank you, thank you, I know, I’m brilliant.  Post office problem solved.

What other problems can I solve?  Hungry?  I’ll make you cookies!  (I made cookies yesterday.  They’re mostly gone now.)  Need cheering up?  Listen to Mr. Blue Sky by ELO.  I was having a sad morning before work last week (no particular reason) and John played this for me.  It worked.

Stuck between books? I have a handy-dandy and oh-so-convenient book list right over there –> and if you’re wondering, my next book after the one I’m reading now will be something by Laura Lippman.  Anything else I can help with?  I’m not as good with band names (or company names), but it’s fun to try.

Wait – I think I’m allowed to like them now

I’m a little embarrassed to say this, and at the same time I really shouldn’t be embarrassed by it, they’re legit now, and yeah, sure, they were legit before but, god, they were only like 12 or something, so I was firmly in the who-cares-about-this-teeny-bopper-crap camp when “Mmmbop” came out, but anyway they’re all in their 20s now (the oldest one is 30, I think – I did my homework) and this song is THAT good, and okay, I’ll come right out and say it (and take a deep breath).  I like, no, I LOVE “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin'” by Hanson.  I love it.  I love the song, I can’t get enough of the video (taken straight out of that scene in the Blues Brothers movie with Ray Charles), and I might just have to buy the album.

(Did you notice the guy playing the tamborine?  Go back and look.  Yeah, that’s Weird Al.  Random.)

Ewan MacGregor is really cute

The Men Who Stare at Goats is a weird, weird movie.  I liked it.

Remember that navy blue shirt I love but is such a pain to iron?  I bought another one today, in a perfect dark red, kind of a maroon-ish color.  Matches my toenails.  And I love the way it fits.  I knew I needed another one when I was so disappointed to realize I couldn’t wear the one I had yesterday because it was waiting to be washed.  I might also have picked it up in black.  This is what I do – find something that looks really good and buy it in two or three colors.  I guess I’ll just have to iron more often.

I saw a ton of wildlife (well, more than usual.  Maybe not a ton.  Half a ton.) today.  On my way back from the winery, I saw a groundhog hanging out in the middle of the road.  He was smart enough to scurry off into the grass before I got too close.  A little closer to home, I saw a deer bound six feet into the air to clear a fence and run into the woods.  That was really cool.  Cleared the fence by two feet, at least.  You know, it might have been a fawn.  I thought I saw white spots on its back, and if I learned anything from Bambi, it was that adult deer don’t have spots.  That, and tell your mother you love her every time you see her ’cause you never know when the hunter is coming.  Bambi’s kind of messed up.  (The movie and the poor deer.)  Anyway, while I was at the winery (Hidden Brook – they have John’s favorite sweet rosé and they’re really nice), another kind of wild animal showed up: the all-too-common-at-wineries-on-weekends bachelorette party.  This party had clearly already been to several other wineries.  They had a bus with a driver and were taking advantage of it, and when they walked in the door at Hidden Brook, the guitarist (there was a guitarist) had just gotten to the line “lookin’ for my lost shaker of salt” from “Margaritaville”, and the 15 (20?  There were a lot of them.) women in the bachelorette party all shouted, “Salt!  Salt!  Salt!”  (There’s usually not a lot of shouting going on during wine tastings.  There’s probably not a lot of wine tasting going on during Jimmy Buffet concerts, either.)  The two employees behind the counter looked like they wanted to run out the back door.  I did.  Bachelorette parties + several wineries + driver = not my scene (unless I’m one of them).

Back to the subject, I saw a cute little lamb, too, standing a little ways away from the rest of the sheep, but farm animals don’t really count as wildlife, so never mind.

This is going to be a busy weekend

Good busy, I think.  I have a long to-do list, but it’s all stuff I want to do (and a couple of things I’m excited about doing), and on Sunday (maybe Saturday – depends) I’ll spend some time working.  I really need to.  I’ll feel much better about next week if I feel like I finished everything I needed to do this week, which certainly didn’t happen at work today.  However busy I plan to be, though, I can get a little extra sleep in the morning, go for a run, and then start my day.  I think having my mornings to myself, with only self-imposed deadlines, is a major reason I’d like to work from home.  When I drive to work every morning, I see all these people out walking, jogging, biking, with their dogs and their kids and their friends.  Why don’t they have to go to work?  Are they all on vacation?  Do they all work later shifts?  Could they all be stay-at-home parents or work from home?  And why can’t I do that?  Besides company policy, I mean (because they do have a company policy about it – don’t).  So I’m working on that.  In the back of my mind.  Every day.

My shadow’s diet and exercise regimen is working better than mine

I was walking across the Costco parking lot this evening around 6:30 when I noticed my shadow.  The sun was getting lower in the sky, but not too low, and my shadow stretched across a couple of parking spaces to my left.  I looked down toward my feet – my calves don’t look so good from that angle.  Kinda dumpy.  But check out my shadow!  Long and lean – killer legs.  I’m totally jealous.

Dog books

I believe I’ve made my opinion of Marley and Me (book and movie) known.  Actually, now that I’ve done a quick search of my archives, maybe I haven’t.  I didn’t like it.  Not even a little.  Train your damn dog!  I’m all for funny dog/animal stories, really I am, but when all the scenes that are supposed to be funny are based on the fact that the dog is out of control because his owner NEVER TRAINED HIM, I start to get really annoyed.  I’ve read a couple of other books about dogs or “by” dogs (Edgar Sawtelle, some book about a dog who helps his owner solve his wife’s murder, another book about a guy who gets a herding dog and quits every time he starts training ’cause it’s too hard – whiner, etc), and they generally aren’t my favorites.  I’m not entirely sure why I keep trying, but I’ve heard only good things about The Art of Racing in the Rain, so when I saw it on the bookshelf last weekend, I asked Emily if I could borrow it.  I started it yesterday, and so far, I’m happier than expected (given my history with dog books).  It’s not about the dog, it’s about the family.  Told from the point of view of the dog.  That makes it a little twee, but it’s not stopping me from getting involved with the characters.  To the point where I get mad (and maybe yell a little) when bad stuff happens to the poor guy.  So…I like it?  I’ll let you know.  If I had to say right now, I’d say it’s not one of my favorites, but if someone asked me if they should read it, I’d probably say yes.  Couldn’t hurt.  Won’t make you dumber.  🙂

It does make me wonder if Roxy and Riley really understand every word I say.  If they do, I should be a little more careful…

To each his AND her own

John and I decided recently that we need to set aside one or two nights a month for each of us to be able to have whatever we want for dinner with no regard for each other’s feelings on the matter.  I could eat Indian food every night.  He could eat Mediterranean food every night.  He likes Indian, and I like Mediterranean, but we both rarely feel like having the other’s favorite.  So.  Once or twice a month, we’ll agree to disagree.  I’ll order Indian, he’ll order Mediterranean, and we’ll eat our different favorite ethnic meals together and watch a movie.  Problem (that of craving a favorite food but rarely getting to eat it unless one of us is out of town) solved.

Why am I bringing this up tonight? You’d think it’s because that’s tonight’s plan for dinner, but you’d be wrong.  Tonight, we’re having breakfast for dinner.

L-double O-N-Y

Do you talk to yourself?  I do.  In the car, in the kitchen, at the mall, out loud and in my head.  When I catch myself talking out loud (That’s the second time in two sentences I’ve typed “out load” instead of “out loud”.  Issues.) and I’m not alone (walking down the street, through the grocery store, in the parking lot), I tell myself to cut it out, usually in some kind of crazy-sounding hiss.  “Stop talking to yourself!”  It doesn’t keep me from looking crazy.  I hope no one notices.  Is it weird?  Or normal?  I really can’t tell.

Failed experiment

John and I tried an experiment with Roxy today.  We had her outside, no fence, on a leash.  We showed her (and gave her) cheese and regular dog treats and basically tried to convince her that hanging out with us is the best thing in the world.  Riley had already proven that he could be trusted off the leash and would come tearing back towards us if we called.  It was Roxy’s turn, so I unclipped her leash.  For about a minute, she stayed right by us, eating cheese and dog treats, but her normal greed wasn’t as strong as the pull of all that freedom.  She took off, with Riley right behind her, and me and John chasing after with the leash and the treats, calling her name and basically just trying to keep her in sight.  We did eventually get her (only about two minutes later – felt longer), but we’ve learned our lesson.  LOTS more training before we try that again.  If ever.  She might just be a runner.

Blah blah blah

Why have I been having such a hard time writing lately?  I’d like to blame it on not having much free time, and spending what free time I have reading (although I haven’t been doing much of that), or…honestly, I don’t know what I’ve been doing in the evenings.  Making dinner, eating it while watching some show with John, and then what?  Cleaning up and going to bed? Writing a short paragraph here and then quitting for the night?  The only time I’ve spent reading is before sleep and over breakfast.

Wah wah wah.  Stop whining already.

I took the dogs on my hill workout this morning and let them drag me up the first two.  By the third one, I was dragging them.  You know how, when a dog steps over the leash so just one leg is on the wrong side, they’ll sometimes do a little hop to get free?  Roxy’s pretty good at that, but this morning she managed to get the leash wrapped around her leg, not just crossed under.  She tried to hop out of it a couple of times and when she figured out that it wasn’t going to be that easy, she stopped and picked her little paw off the ground and held it out to me.  SO cute.

Somehow, that reminded me that we need to renew our passports soon.  Can’t believe it’ll be ten years this November.  Must mean I’m getting old.  That’s getting a little close to whining again.  Time to quit.