Too many whiny posts…

…that so far, I’ve managed to keep only as drafts.  You don’t need that crap.  You need this, though.

I want to see this movie.  You do, too, admit it.  (Okay, Margaret might not, and Mom almost certainly doesn’t, but the rest of you do, I know it.) Found it following a link to a Scalzi article at from his blog post from the other day. I mean today. What day is it?

This (from The Daily What) made me cry.  A little.  At the end.  Margaret and Mom (and the rest of you) will probably like it, too.

I have nothing else for you today. Worked from home (worked a LOT) and then studied. I’m getting tired of statistics being all I do. But I did get an A (100% ’cause I’m a nerd and it was absurdly easy. Did I mention it was 20 multiple choice questions? No? Well, it was.) on my midterm. So…there’s that.

One last thing. Cat as martini glass. I love her.

I melted, and then I got my nails done

It’s been a busy weekend.  Kind of.  Busy in a good way since I was able to do a bunch of things I wanted to do while still getting most of the things I had to do done also.  Except for the store.  Didn’t make it to the store.  But I did lots of other things, and I got up early (too early – I’m a little tired) both days.

Yesterday, I went into DC to meet a family from France (you’re welcome, Mom) at Eastern Market.  We met at nine, chatted for a while (I’m afraid I babbled at them), wandered the market a little, and then I sent them off to the Capitol, the Archives, a couple of museums, and Kramerbooks.  Nice people.  It was only a little awkward. I wandered the market by myself for a few minutes after they left (bought some cute jewelry, peaches, and sausages) and then I poured myself into the car to go home.  It was only maybe 10:30 or close to 11, but it was crazy hot.  I was melting.

I went back out shortly after I got home, though not into the sun.  It was time, once again, to make the trek (less than a mile – great trek) to my new favorite nail salon (the one I went to in May that’s all crisply white and peaceful and wonderful).  I got the spa pedicure, just because.  They slathered my legs in a purple mud mask that had a chilling effect from the knees down and then wrapped both legs in hot towels.  What a totally weird feeling.  Chilling cold on the inside, but wrapped in steamy hot towels.  Kinda neat.  My legs feel super smooth.  While my nails were drying, I got distracted by the display of nail polishes on the wall.

I’m itching to organize them by color.  Is that weird?  When I ‘m deciding what color to use, I always grab a handful in the same color family and then choose the exact shade I want.  It’d be much easier if they were already on the shelves that way.

After nearly two hours in the salon (feet and hands – it was wonderful), I came home only to turn right around again and head to Target and Borders with John.  Oh!  So Borders is closing.  I’m sure you’ve heard.  That’s depressing.  It was packed yesterday afternoon, too.  All those depressed people taking advantage of the liquidation sale.  I picked up the new George R.R. Martin book, even though I’m super annoyed with him.  It’s been six years since the last book in the series came out, and at the time, he was saying that he’d basically already written this one.  SIX YEARS.  I’ve already had one author die on me before finishing a series.  I see no reason to encourage him to take six years between books, with no end to the series in sight, no matter how good I think the series is.  You may not believe me, but I really wasn’t going to buy this one until it turned into a bargain book or until the next next one came out.  But it was 40% off, and I have the others in hardcover (I cared more WAY back then, and he hadn’t jerked his fans around as much yet), so I caved.  I feel slightly ashamed of myself.

Anyway, today I got up early to run (attempting (and failing) to beat the heat, although today was nothing like yesterday), helped John with the lawn, saw the last Harry Potter movie (more on that later, I think – it was both really cool and not what I’d hoped for), and now I would like a nap.

My night off…

…starts now.  I’ve been eating and breathing statistics for over a week.  I took my midterm this afternoon,  I’m home now, John’s in charge of dinner (I think), and I don’t have to jump right into the next statistics chapter just yet.  I have a glass of wine, random French jazz in the CD player (CDs Mom burned and gave me – no idea what the specifics are, but I was in the mood for something unusual and mellow), and a new book.  And I’m going to slice some cantaloupe.  Cantaloupe will get me through this heat wave.

Grades and grudges

I feel like I’ve had a big test every week for the past month.  I’m not that far off, actually.  My statistics midterm is tomorrow, and now that I’ve finished the fourth quiz (and covered all of the material that will be on the midterm), I feel much better about it than I did about the calculus exams.  We’ll see how I feel when it’s over.  Speaking of things being over, I got a B in that calculus course.  I’ve never been so happy to see a B.  Maybe now I can find my routine again.

I got stood up yesterday by the loan officer from the bank that holds our mortgage.  I raced home so I could be there when he called (we want to refinance), sitting down (not in the car) and not distracted, and guess who never called?  I was a little annoyed.  A lot annoyed.  He called this morning to apologize and reschedule for this afternoon.  I’ve decided not to hold a grudge.  I’m carrying enough of those.  How many is enough?  Or too many?  I only have grudges against three people, and I think they’re justified.  I know Margaret agrees.  It might be a little immature, and maybe it would be healthier to forgive and forget, but since it doesn’t affect my day-to-day life, do I have to?

Let’s be shallow for a while. Try it. It’s fun.

In a perfect world – and by a perfect world, I mean my perfect world, of course – I would be an inch or two taller (5’6″ is so boring), 25 to 30 pounds lighter, I would live in one of the places showcased by Desire to Inspire, and my wardrobe would be chosen by someone with great taste and plenty of money (’cause they’d be buying it for me – it’d be okay, since this is my perfect world, if that money were my own).  That would be the best part.  Someone else to do my clothes shopping, someone to put my outfits together.  Comfortable, good-looking, classic, good quality.  The clothes, too.  🙂  Tom and Lorenzo could live next door so they could send me right back inside when my personal shopper/wardrobe consultant failed and/or my lack of fashion sense reared its ugly head.  And I’d have a personal chef, preferably one who is capable of making deliciously wonderful meals that look like they have too many calories (lots of cheese, cream sauces, chocolate, etc) but really hardly have any.  A magic chef.

I wouldn’t need to be a princess if I had all of that.  I may have just admitted that I still wish I could be a princess.  (I still wear pink and purple, too.  Quite often.  Not usually at the same time.  At least I recognize my need for wardrobe help.)  The Princess Diaries speaks to me, partly because, really, how cool would it be if you woke up one morning and found out you’re a princess?  And partly because DUDE.  Julie Andrews is your grandmother.  We would sing ALL the time.

I can think of plenty of other things that would make my world perfect, both shallow and not, but the real world is beckoning and I kinda have to pay attention to it.  Damn reality.

This time it was completely my fault

Have I told you the story about getting pulled over by the police right after getting my first car?  Some of you know this already.  Here’s the short version:

I was 16 years old, it was summer, and Mom and Dad had just bought me my first car (a 1988 black hatchback Toyota Corolla named Cricket).  They immediately went on vacation near the Finger Lakes in New York.  Far far away from home in Lexington, KY.  Corey was I-don’t-know-where, but not living at home anymore, so it doesn’t really matter, and Mel and I were staying by ourselves.  One day, I went to pick her up, and on our way home, we got pulled over.  I was freaking out, Mel was trying to get me to breathe, and I noticed the police officer look at the back of my car as he came to the window.  I knew I hadn’t been speeding (I was a paranoid beginner driver), so I thought maybe I had a tail light out or something.  Short version, right.  My sticker (the one that has the year on it) looked to the police officer like it had been torn off somehow.  I didn’t have the registration in the car (too new, I guess), and he gave me a citation and told me to take care of it.  This was before cell phones, so I couldn’t call Mom and Dad, and when they eventually called us (it must have been that night, but in my memory it took them three days), they told me to check the mail for the registration and sticker.  Nothing yet.  The next morning, I was on my way to pick Mel up again, and as I made a left turn out of our neighborhood, I got pulled over again.  As the police officer got out of her car, I saw her check the license plate just like the last guy, so I had the citation from the day before in my hand when she got to my window.  I explained everything, showed her the citation, told her I was taking care of it, and she let me go.  But this was traumatizing.  Pulled over twice in two days, for something that I maintain was not my fault.  John wants to know why I was driving the car without the registration and I can only claim ignorance.  Registration?  Stickers?  My parents gave me the keys.  I didn’t ask any questions.  End of story: the registration came in the mail, I put the sticker on the plate, and took care of the citation downtown.  I’ve never gotten a ticket (that one I thought I’d get from the red light camera in DC never came), and I’ve only been pulled over once (for rolling through a stop sign in my neighborhood), and the deputy sheriff let me off with a warning.

Fast forward to today.  Right after I left work, I mean right after I left – it was after the very first turn I made – I heard the whoop of the siren and saw flashing lights.  I pulled over.  The very nice Deputy Sheriff Diaz came up to my window and told me my registration is expired.  I said something clever like, “Oh?”  He asked me what I thought he was pulling me over for, and I said, “I thought maybe I” stop talking stop talking stop talking “ran that stop sign.”  Damn.  I’m incapable of shutting up.  Thankfully, he said “No, you were fine there.”  And then I remembered that I had to wait for traffic to clear before making that right, so I must have stopped.  Anyway, he asked for my registration, and I went rummaging for it even though at this point I knew damn well I hadn’t renewed it.  John and I had just talked about it a few days ago.  Why didn’t I do it then?  Whatever.  I played dumb a little and discovered last year’s registration.  It expired in May.  Ouch.  He took my license and sat in his car looking up whatever they look up that takes so freaking long.  I was watching him in the rearview mirror and after a while, I saw an unmarked car with lights going pull up behind him.  What the hell?  Did he call in for back-up?  What’s going on?  Since I was staring at the flashing lights behind me, I didn’t see him come back, so when he appeared at my window again, I jumped a mile.  He apologized for startling me, and I gestured to the unmarked car.  “Do we need back-up for this?”  He laughed (thank God – I really should just shut up) and said there was an accident a little ways back.  Doesn’t explain why that guy showed up here, but whatever.  It wasn’t for me.  Anyway, he gave me the citation, told me I could either pay early or go to court, show my renewed registration, and there’s a 90% chance the judge would drop the charges.  I’ll see how much the fine is and then decide.  Then he told me to drive carefully and he sent me on my way.

About 4 miles closer to home, I looked in my rearview mirror to see another county sheriff’s car change from the left lane into my lane.  There went the whoop of the siren and the lights.  I pulled over.  Guess what?  He looked at my license plate.  He got to my window, asked for license and registration, and before I could reach for them, he said he was pulling me over because of my expired sticker.  Big surprise, although this time I was speeding a little.  (Maybe 7 over the speed limit.  People in the left lane were going faster than me.)  I picked up the citation that was still sitting on my passenger seat and handed it to him.  “Sir, I was pulled over for that not five minutes ago.”  He checked the time on the citation, checked his watch, smiled a little, and told me he wouldn’t give me another ticket.  Damn right he won’t.  Can they even do that?  I told him I’d take care of it as soon as I got home and spent the rest of the drive home half-convinced he was going to radio one of his buddies to keep an eye out for my car and pull me over again.

No more incidents.  And my registration has been renewed.  How crazy is it that, with one exception, the only times I’ve been pulled over have been for that tiny little sticker AND that I got pulled over twice in a very short period of time in both instances?  Totally crazy.  Loony bin crazy.  Spiders in roller skates crazy.

You can’t say I’m not loyal

If you’ve been a reader for a while (or you know me in real life), I’m sure you’re aware of my lifelong devotion to Huey Lewis and the News, illustrated by my need to see them live every time they come anywhere near me (counting last night, that’s five concerts – more than any other show of any kind except Les Mis, whose count is at six, soon to be seven).  (And that’s five concerts with John in tow, who, even though he enjoys the shows and likes Huey just fine, gets a little irritated when he realizes he’s seen them more times than, say, U2 (two, maybe three) or Van Halen (two, maybe three) or Springsteen (four).)

I love Huey.  And because of this love and the knowledge that I will never abandon him or the News (whatever their lineup), I can say this.  Last night’s concert was….not the greatest.  It was not like the other four.  The other four were awesome.  They did what any band (ANY band) who’s had a bunch of hits in the past does.  They played the hits.  Sure, at other concerts they played some stuff from the more recent albums, but those were upbeat and fun and there were only a couple.  Mostly, they played stuff everyone knows and loves and everyone sang along and danced and had an all-around good time.

Last night, there was a distinct lack of energy, both from the band and the audience.  The band recently released a new album (“Soulsville”), (which I will buy and enjoy, I’m sure), but rather than play a handful of songs from that album and then old stuff the rest of the night (like they’ve done in the past, like EVERY OTHER BAND with a back catalog of hits does), they played almost the entire album last night.  In a row.  It was good, it was fine, but it’s not what we (I’m fairly certain the whole crowd was with me on this) were hoping for.  Huey opened with “Heart of Rock and Roll”, of course, with the stage lights flashing red in time with the bass drum heartbeat, and that was cool, but then there were six or seven songs (at least) from “Soulsville”.  Then five or six old songs (“Heart and Soul”, “Small World”, “I Want a New Drug”, “60 Minute Man” (that one was a cappella), a couple others I can’t remember right now), and then back into another two or three songs from “Soulsville” and then they left the stage.  Disappointing.  Of course, they came back for the encore (I’m not entirely sure why everybody plays along with this charade – as long as the house lights haven’t come up, you know they’re coming back.  Maybe they need the break.), started with “The Power of Love” (which finally got everyone on their feet – that was the best song of the night), and then Huey took a few requests (“Bad Is Bad”, “If This Is It”, and I think there was one more, but I can’t think of it), and then it was really over.  The best part of the night was the encore, but every other time I’ve seen him, the whole concert has been like that part.

I feel like I’ve been a little too negative.  The soul stuff was good.  I love his voice.  There’s something about it that makes me very happy.  Even though he didn’t play the songs I was hoping for, I still had a good time.  And I will see them again.  And again.  And again.  I can’t help myself.

I’ll take all the help I can get in the sanity department

Thanks to Nancy (who finds some of the most interesting stuff), I get to share this article with you.  And since almost everyone I know is a little (at least) anal about grammar and word usage, I know you’ll enjoy it.  Number 5 is my favorite.  Also, I think I’m in love with that website.  It’s the only thing keeping me sane at work today.

The rain helps.  Out of nowhere (it seemed, although I’m pretty sure it came from over West Virginia), we got a massive thunderstorm.  Felt like it was right on top of us.  Big thunder.  I like.  Even if I’d rather watch it from my front porch, dirty rocking chairs and all, than my office cubicle.

Who’s not managing her time well this week?  That’s right.  That’d be me.  I have 45 minutes to study before I leave again.  I’m going to use it.

I know the Cheesecake Factory is a chain, but they’re often good, and sometimes really really good

The most recent book in The Dresden Files (not the one that’s about to be released – before that) has a Princess Bride reference.  Of course it does.  It was just a matter of time.  I should watch that again.  Not that I need to.

I had the best salad ever the other night.  It’s the French Country Salad, and it’s the best thing ever, and if you have a Cheesecake Factory near you, you should go order it.  It’s an appetizer salad, so it’s not as humongous as their entree salads (although they may make it entree-size – I don’t know), but it’s too big to actually be an appetizer salad.  I wanted to eat something else for dinner, so I only ate half of it and I boxed up the other half.  It was so good I wanted to take it home.  Of course, by the next day, the lettuce was wilted and it wasn’t good anymore.  So if you get it, eat it then. It’s totally worth it.  Lettuce (maybe arugula?  I don’t know.), some kind of vinaigrette, goat cheese, beets, candied pecans, and grilled asparagus.  So good.  SO good.  Deliciously good.  I don’t even remember what I ordered for dinner, actually.  Oh, it was New Orleans shrimp.  Eh.  The salad was memorable.  Not so much the shrimp.

Full disclosure – I do not work for The Cheesecake Factory.  No one I know works for them.  They are not paying me for this.  It was just a really good salad.  🙂

I could fall down flat on my face and not notice

I cannot begin to describe how worn out I am.  We were up way late (for us – like 1am) last night and slept in as late as we could before work today.  Not long enough.  So we were dragging when we woke up.  I worked from home today, and while the morning was fine, the afternoon was frustrating and what little energy I had from my morning tea wore off pretty quickly.  I went to the gym this evening for my strength class, and the instructor tried to kill us.  She had us jumping from exercise to exercise, targeting two muscle groups at once, no breaks.  Our heart rates were up and I was STILL yawning.  It’s almost 7:30.  If I’m not in bed by nine, I might not make it through tomorrow.

Even with all that, I don’t regret last night.  We had dinner with friends we see less than once a year, friends who were just passing through on their way south, and if it means a day like today, well, okay.  Worth it.

Not even close

What were my goals for this past weekend?  Right.

  1. Complete two statistics quizzes
  2. Run six miles
  3. Buy groceries
  4. Go to Target
  5. Weed the flower beds

Out of five things, I managed to do only one.  ONE.  That’s pathetic.  Statistics is way more time-consuming that I expected.  I didn’t even make it to the first of those two quizzes.  I’m still doing the homework problems. I did run my six miles, but the rest of my list was left undone.

I hate that.

Not so good

I took my calculus final last night.  I don’t feel good about it.  And that sucks.  But it’s over, it’s done, there’s nothing left but the screaming, and I will do my best not to fret.  Until I get my grade.  But then at least I’ll know.  New focus: statistics.  My goal for the weekend is to get through two more quizzes.  And run six miles on Saturday.  That’s really all I’m hoping to accomplish.  That and get to the grocery store.  I need to buy lots of fruit and other healthy things.  And maybe go to Target.  And possibly weed the flower beds.  Drink some wine.  Oooh, I bought a raspberry merlot (“the kind you buy at a second-hand store”) at one of the wineries Jess and I visited last weekend (did I mention Jess and I went wine-tasting last Saturday?).  It’s really good.  Sadly, it’s mostly gone already.  I might have to buy more…but maybe not this weekend.  I’m in danger of over-scheduling myself.  Focus, please.  Statistics!