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Vacation is a wonderful thing.

Let's assume this is before I fell off the wakeboard a dozen times.

Florida panhandle, Gulf Coast with a bay on the other side of our isthmus.  We had everything we needed for the perfect beach vacation.  Sun?  Check.  We had beautiful weather, even if I did spend the majority of every day hiding from the sun.  Sand?  Lots of it.  Very convenient hose and shower under the house (sounds like we had to go underground – the house was on stilts) to rinse off the sand, but even with those, the house and pool were full of sand the whole week.   Pool?  Sure.  Someone was in it nearly all day, every day.  Boat?  Naturally.  Corey brought theirs and borrowed a couple of wakeboards.  We tubed and wakeboarded (is that a word?), or attempted to.  I drove some so Corey could play (that was terrifying – just ask Mark and Mel), and while SOMEone may have run the boat onto a sandbar, it wasn’t me.  We saw dolphins!  And a sea turtle.  I turned a little pink both days on the boat, but it wasn’t terribly painful, and it faded quickly.  Mostly because I was wearing 50 SPF and hiding inside, on the deck, and under the beach umbrella.  The sun is fierce down there.  On top of all that (and the cases upon cases of beer and wine we drank, and the hours and hours of singing and Rock Band, and hand after hand of Go Fish with Gaby), we got to ride in my uncle’s four-seater plane (Thanks, Ed!  That was cool!).  And I did a little calculus.  Which reminds me…I got my quiz back today.  (I spent all of Monday working on it.)  Six out of seven questions right.  Go me.

I would like to go back on vacation.  Right now.  For a long time.  Please?  It was just so nice to not have to do anything.  ANYthing.  The hardest decision I had to make every day was whether or not to have a mimosa with breakfast.  We had no plans, no schedule.  No expectations, no responsibilities.  It was SO nice.  I would like that at home, please.

Thanks for the great vacation, family of mine.  Love you guys.

When I’m rich, I’m going to keep a manicurist on my staff and pay him (or her) VERY well

I found a new nail salon.  A new spa.  I love it.  It’s beautiful, quiet, clean, close to the house.  Serene.  There was soothing music playing, I met some really nice people (both employees and customers)…I would like to hang out at a spa.  It could be very peaceful.  Let all the stress float away.  Spa/yoga/meditation studio.  Maybe that’s where I should work.  Ooh, I could be a yoga instructor!  Once I learn yoga.

SO ready to go

The biggest problem with being only a few days (less than two now!) out from a vacation is that I’ve totally checked out of everything not vacation-related.  I’m trying to care about work (failing miserably) and trying to concentrate on implicit differentiation (it doesn’t look familiar at all), but all I want to do is make a list of stuff to pack, things to pick up, errands to run, phone calls to make.

In other news, you know the world is ending on Saturday, right?  Check out How Harold Camping actually calculated the May 21 end date in the Opinions section of the Washington Post.  I particularly liked when she subtracted 8! because it threw off the calculation.  And the graphic at the end.

In keeping with the theme, the CDC wants you to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse, and a Washington Post blogger discussed it with The Bloggess!  (Because she’s an expert on zombies, as we all know.)

See my last post.

Still applies.  I’m trying to juggle work, math, and exercise, but I’m not doing a very good job right now.  Time to read, time to play on the internet, time to write – doesn’t exist.  Once I’m caught up with calculus, I think I can work out a routine.  I need to get there faster.

The rain is rolling in

We’ve had a stretch of beautiful weather this week.  It had to end sometime, and sometime started today.  Today was all gray and ominous, and it’s supposed to rain for most of the weekend.  Rain is good, but sunshine makes me happier.

The dogs need a walk before I head to the gym tonight, so I’m heading out the door.  We’ve been going on a lot more walks lately.  My theory is that the more I can wear them out on a leash, the less likely they’ll be to get all hyper in the yard and dig holes to get to the rabbits (the EVIL rabbits) mocking them from the other side of the fence.

A rabbit ate my tree

Bunnies are bad news.  You think they’re all cute and cuddly and not a menace, but really, they’re out to get you.  And your baby trees.  You know that cute little crabapple tree John and I planted a couple of weeks ago?  It had little baby leaves and everything, and now it’s GONE.

I used to think rabbits looked like this:

All cute and innocent and nose-wriggly – but look a little closer….

If there are train tracks between you and this bunny, RUN!

…EVIL!  So clearly evil.  Turns out they’ve looked like this all along.  This explains the disappearance of the sunflowers John tried to plant for me a couple of years ago and my poor munched-on black-eyed susans.  It explains the death of our cute little baby crabapple tree, and it finally explains why Roxy goes airborne and tries to tear my arm out of its socket every time she spots a rabbit on our walks.  She’s always known they were evil and just couldn’t tell me.  Those rabbits aren’t just hungry – they’re out to get us.  Monty Python was on to something.  (Like that’s news.)

Spring fever

I’d call it senioritis, but I don’t qualify as a senior under any definition of the word.  Spring fever is accurate enough.  I want to be outside.  I want to be active.  I want to be doing almost ANYthing that isn’t work.  It’s just as well my sad little cubicle doesn’t have a direct view of a window.

I finally finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest the other day.  I downloaded it from Audible.com and listened to it while in the gym or walking the dogs using the Audible app on my phone.  It took me forEVER to finish it, but I really enjoyed it.  I decided to give up on Heyday.  I was 130 pages in and I didn’t care.  Nothing had happened (except something that totally grossed me out) and I didn’t care about the characters and why should I spend my precious free time reading a book I’m not over the moon about?  I’ll have way less free time coming up soon, so I might as well enjoy what I’ve got.

My vacation should have started yesterday

I’m SO ready to go.  I need sun (or warm shade within easy reach of sun), muggy warmth, sand, water, a nice breeze…  My family is an added bonus.

I realized the other day, though, that I registered for three online courses this summer through NOVA, and they all start this coming Monday.  Two of them are compressed 8-week courses, so my one week of vacation is probably (definitely) going to have a lot of homework in it.  This would be less of a problem if I remembered any calculus.  And there’s my goal for this week.  Think I can spend my time this week only on calculus and work?  Sure I can…

Mom just assured me that the beach house has internet, so I won’t have to spend my vacation in a Starbucks.

Little baby trees bear a remarkable resemblance to sticks

A few months ago, I made a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation, and they mailed me trees.  Trees by mail.  Trees by mail that fit in my mailbox.  Seriously tiny trees.  Sticks.  I’m going completely on faith that the twigs I pulled out of what looks like the plastic sleeve your newspaper gets delivered in when it’s raining will grow into trees.  We planted kindling in the ground.

It has leaves! It lives! I think it's a crabapple. And it's only four inches tall.

If you look carefully, you can see a stick inside that cage. That one might grow up to be a golden raintree, whatever that is.

Roxy likes to eat sticks, so I put fences around the 8 trees we planted in the backyard to try to keep her away. It's mostly working.

In other news, Candy completed a triathlon yesterday.  (She’s completely insane.  Awesomely insane.)  She swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 miles, and ran 13.1 miles yesterday, in under six hours (which is better than average because, of course, she’s better than average.  WAY better.).  Does this news inflame every competitive instinct I have?  If she can do it, I can do it?

Not really, no.  She’s wonderful (and batshit crazy, clearly), and I will leave the Ironman (which I’m sure is next on her to-do list) to her.

Happy Derby Day!

Once again (due to lack of planning this year), I am not hosting my (almost) annual Derby party. Sad panda, I know. We do have plans to watch it (of course), and I’ll probably pick a horse at the last minute, like I usually do. Right now I’m waffling between Pants on Fire (love the name) and Twice the Appeal (because the jockey is Calvin Borel, who’s won three of the last four Kentucky Derbys).  (Should that be Derbies?  Eh, that looks weirder.)

Post time is 6:24 EDT and you can watch it on NBC.  Fastest two minutes in sports!  All you need is a Derby hat.  (Go to Google Images and look for Kentucky Derby hats.  They’re so cool!)

Gotta go!

It's a sunflower! I love it.

I’m so very confused

What is this sign telling me to do?

Should I wait?  Should I walk?  Break into song?  (Either “Stop! In the Name of Love” or “Walk Like a Man” would be acceptable here.  Maybe “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”.)  Should I look both ways and dash across the street if no cars are coming?

How are the citizens of New Orleans not in a state of constant bewilderment?  Stop!  I mean, go!  I mean, gah!  Get over here and don’t forget my drink!  Ah.  The sign has been drinking.  I knew the truth would come out.  It is right across the street from the casino.  It’s broke AND drunk.

Seriously, though, is it broken?  Or is it supposed to do that because of the Street Car Signal sign next to it?  Is it telling the street car to stop so pedestrians can cross the street?  Seems likely, but how is the pedestrian supposed to know that?  And what does it look like when pedestrians have to stop but the street car can go?  And isn’t streetcar one word?

My head is spinning.  Like a record, baby, right round, round, round.

That sign reminds me of this sign (had to comb through The Daily What to find it again).

What I don’t want to be when I grow up

Nine professions I’m not well-suited for:

1. Construction worker
Pros – Working outside, lots of exercise
Cons – It’s hard work!  Also, I get sunburned easily.  And I don’t want skin cancer.  And pollution.  All that machinery puts out a LOT of exhaust, and I’d rather not breathe that in all day long.

2. Police officer
Pros – I’d get to keep people safe and chase down bad guys
Cons – I’d have to chase down bad guys, and I wouldn’t be safe.  I don’t particularly want a job that puts me in harm’s way.

3. Baker
Pros – The smell of freshly baked bread every day.
Cons – Trying not to eat that freshly baked bread EVERY DAY.  I’d gain weight like crazy.

4. Butcher
Pros – I like meat.
Cons – I don’t particularly want to wield the cleaver that dismembers Lucy the Lamb and Carl the Cow.  I like my food better when it doesn’t look like the animal it came from.  Becoming a butcher could turn me into a vegetarian.

5. Candlestick maker
Pros – Power outages would not be a problem.
Cons – From what I understand, it’s hot, sticky, smelly work.  So’s being a butcher, I imagine.  Hot, sticky, and smelly are three of my least favorite sensations, especially when they’re combined.

6. CIA agent
Pros – It’s very cool.  (I’m thinking of the Mission: Impossible type, of course.)  All that weapons training and fighting stuff, defensive driving and jumping out of helicopters – very cool.
Cons – DANGEROUS.  And probably pretty boring most of the time.  Because life is not actually a movie.  I don’t want to have to lie about my job to everyone I know.

7. Doctor
Pros – Money.  Helping people.  Saving lives.  Probably not boring.
Cons – I’m a little squeamish, so anything involving bodily fluids is most likely not for me.  And if someone breaks a leg or an arm and the bone is sticking out – I might faint.  LONG hours.

8. Tooth Fairy
Pros – I’d get to wear a tutu and wings (I can fly!) and hell – I’d be a fairy!  That’s pretty cool.  And I’d have so much money I’d be constantly giving it away.
Cons – I’m not a night person.  Working all night, every night does not sound like a good time to me.  Also, I’m crazy clumsy (constantly bruising my knees and elbows), so sneaking around kids’ rooms and reaching under their pillows without waking them up is probably impossible for me.  I’m not qualified.  And what would I do with all those teeth?

9. Lion Tamer
Pros – It’s the circus!  And oh, the baby lions I’d get to train…so cute.
Cons – Adult lions.  Christian the Lion aside, I doubt adult lions would really want to perform in front of huge crowds.  I don’t want to get eaten by my “trained” lions.

In search of a great idea

John and I met a guy this weekend who quit his job to work on his big idea.  It sounds so cool and so scary and we’re totally jealous.  If only we had a big idea.  Help?  As we all know, I have no ideas.  There are days I can barely put words on paper.  (Or on the screen.  Imagine how long it would take me to post if I wrote drafts in a notebook first.)

This inability to come up with an idea is making me think about the similarity to writer’s block, which seems to be causing writer’s block, and can I just say I don’t want to have writer’s block?  Maybe I’ll write about writer’s block.  Maybe I’ll just keep typing writer’s block.  Writer’s block.

Writer’s block could be a toy.  Like little wooden blocks with letters on them, except instead of just one letter per side, they have whole keyboards on each side, and you can press the letters to make words that would appear where?  On top of the block?  I think I’ve just described a computer in the shape of a cube, and I’ll shut up now ’cause that’s kind of dumb.