It’s no secret – the dogs run this house

Roxy is mad at me because I’m making her wear a sock again.  I noticed last night that she was obsessively licking one of her rear paws, but there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with it when I checked it out, and it didn’t seem to be hurting her, so I left it alone.  Then this morning I heard the licking noise again (horrible noise), and when I got her head away from the paw, I could see that she’d managed to lick ALL OF THE FUR off two of her toes.  It’s kind of gross.  And again, except for the hairless part, nothing looks weird, nothing looks irritated, there’s nothing stuck in her paw….her nails could use a trim, but I’m fairly certain that’s not what’s bothering her.  So I wrestled her into a sock and used electrical tape to hold it on.  Now she’s pouting.

Riley is jealous because Roxy got to sit in my lap while I put the sock on her.  All Riley has ever wanted is to be a lap dog.  All 80 pounds of him.

It might be easier to be bald

Used to be, back in the old days, my hair was a pain when I exercised because it was short.  Too short to pull back.  It got in my face and my eyes, and the wind whipped it around while I was running, and was all around annoying.  Then it was long enough to put in a ponytail and everything was fine.  For years, I had no problem with my ponytail.  But for years, I never ran for more than an hour and usually not much more than 40 minutes.  Lately, as my runs get longer, I’m out longer, I’m sweating more (and for longer), and my hair is getting grosser.  My long ponytail gets soaked with sweat and matted and tangled to the point where I can’t get a comb through it.  After 11 miles on Saturday, I had to wash my hair twice, the second time with shampoo that was also a conditioner, before I could get the tangles out.  Not cool.  So I’m searching for a solution.  I need another hairstyle for exercise.  (I’m not quite ready to cut my hair.)  This morning, I pulled it into a ponytail, braided the ponytail, and twisted it into a bun.  The bun wasn’t all that secure, but I only went two miles, so it lasted okay.  And this evening before my strength class, I pulled it back into a regular braid.  Messy, but it was out of the way.  Of course, the strength class doesn’t really present a hair problem.  The issue now (that can probably be resolved with practice) is that I suck at braiding my own hair.  It’s behind my head and I can’t see it, so it’s messy and uneven and HARD.  My arms get tired.  Are there any tricks to this?  Is there something obvious I’m missing (I hope) that makes it easier to braid your own hair or is it just a matter of practicing until it’s easy?  When I try to pull it over one shoulder to finish the braid, the whole thing gets lopsided.  Why do I suck at hair?

It’s a mitzvah

Once again, the impetus behind my semi-quasi-half-assed (but still!) massive cleaning effort today is not the desire to live an uncluttered, streak-free, dog hair-free life.  Oh, no, I can live quite happily with clutter piled high and nose tracks on the windows, as evidenced by the state of the house.  I do have some pride though, and I refuse to allow someone – anyone (other than John) – to see the house like this.  Unless they helped put it that way.  And unless they’re in John’s band.  I don’t go to great lengths to clean up when the band comes over to rehearse.  Although maybe I should.  ANYway, I’m cleaning because we’re expecting a visitor this weekend.  Not just a visitor – a refugee fleeing the hurricane.  A refugee with cats!  Because cats shouldn’t have to fend for themselves in the middle of a hurricane.  Instead, they’ll have to fend for themselves in a house with dogs.  Honestly, I’m not sure which they’d prefer.  We’ll manage just fine.  Although based on the weather right now, it seems totally ridiculous to be planning for a hurricane.  It’s sunny, a little muggy, bright blue sky, fluffy white clouds that are not in the least bit intimidating…

Oh, speaking of intimidating, I passed a car yesterday (a dinky, dented, old Honda or something – not impressive (not that there’s anything wrong with Hondas – I’m just painting a picture)) with the license plate DOMN8U.  Really?  In that car?  Napoleon complex much?  It’s so aggressive and hateful.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Update: My house will not be a haven for hurricane refugees after all.  But hey – it’s clean!  So I can enjoy that.  And I’ll see my refugee friend in a couple of weeks.  All is well.

Cloudy – yes, rainy – yes, but gloomy? Never. Cozy.

All this rain means walking the dogs is out of the question.  So maybe it’s gloomy for them.  It’s been raining almost non-stop all day long.  Very good for the lawn.  I wish I could send some of this rain to Texas.  They need it.

Wait – it stopped.  Walking the dogs is back on the table.  Well, not literally.  I would ruin our pretty (expensive) dining room table if I walked the dogs on it.  And it wouldn’t be good exercise for them.  Not long enough.  Aaaaannnnd…that was dumb.  Moving on.

But not very far. Since I find myself incapable of writing anything anyone might want to read today, I’ll leave you with this video (courtesy of the The Daily What and Say OMG (I think that’s where the original came from)).  It’s only 2 minutes, and the payoff is totally worth the wait.

If I cared about symmetry, I’d skip the title

I have been busy.  Good busy and bad busy.  The bad busy parts stress me out.  The good busy parts are things I could do all the time, every day.  And if I could get rid of the bad busy parts, I’d have time for things I like to do when I’m not doing the good busy parts, like playing on the internet.  Like READING.  John looked over at my book the other night, noticed I wasn’t even halfway through it, and told me it felt like I’d been reading that book forEVER.  I’m not sure in exactly what way how long I spend reading a particular book affects him, but if he noticed I haven’t been reading much, then I really haven’t been reading much.  Tragic.

I spent most of the last three days (all weekend and much of Monday) working on my statistics project.  (This is one of the good busy things.)  Nothing about it was hard, but there were a lot of pieces and the instructions were confusing.  I tried to get clarification from my professor, but since I never heard back, I made some decisions based on what the instructions would have said if I’d written them.  I hope they were the right decisions.  I turned it in late last night.  One big task done.  Yay!  Actually, that was the main good busy thing.  The one that took most of my time.  I talked to Corey finally (he’s going to disown me if I put him off any longer) – hooray for change!  Also, I, uh, bought more wine from my favorite local wineries and went to Borders.  Again.  These were very important errands.  Really.  Oh, and I saw Crazy, Stupid, Love Saturday night with a woman I know from the gym.  It was cute.  Ryan Gosling’s ears are too small to be believed.  Seriously tiny ears.

I did one other kinda major good busy thing this weekend.  Big accomplishment for me.  (Big.)  I ran 10 miles Sunday morning.  Ten whole miles.  I wasn’t very fast, and I walked a little bit, but I did it.  I am no longer afraid that I won’t be able to finish the race in October.  I did it.  The last mile was really hard (it wasn’t early morning anymore and the sun was high and the shade had disappeared and I’d been running for nearly two hours and it was my tenth mile), but I realized as I started it that I’d never run this far before (8 miles – two weeks ago – was my longest run until Sunday morning).  And with every step I took, I was running farther.  Each step was one more than I’d ever run before.  There aren’t very many times I’ll be able to say that.

So that was my weekend.  The good busy stuff is all cool and great (now that I’ve turned in my statistics project), but it doesn’t end there.  I have two more quizzes and a final to complete by next Thursday for statistics, and my next calculus class (differential equations this semester) started yesterday.  I’m so glad my classes only overlap by a week and a half.  Any more than that and I’d be seriously considering quitting my job.  I don’t know how people manage working full-time and going to school at the same time.  With just one class at a time and no extra-curricular work activities (don’t get me started), when I can leave work at work, I can manage.  Anything more and my head starts to spin, Exorcist-style.  (It’s not pretty.)  But yesterday, even though it was a Monday and I had work to do and a project to finish, was a really good day.  The weather was perfect, I had the windows open to catch the very breezy breeze, I got a lot done, my legs didn’t hurt from the run the day before, and my strength class that night was calming.  (I really like my gym.)

———Break for earthquake———

This post was going to have an ending, but then there was an earthquake.  Nothing else got done today.  The earthquake ate my ending.

Clearly, the world is ending

Earthquake in Virginia.  5.8 according to USGS.  I find myself wanting to yell “We’re not in California, you know!” at the earth’s crust.  Does a 5.8 cause much damage?  I have no feel for these things.  I’ll have to google that.  Speaking of feeling things, the earthquake felt just like being on a ship at sea.  Except I was sitting behind a desk staring at the shocked look on my boss’s face, wondering if I should go stand in the doorway.  I didn’t.  My survival instinct may need some help.  Twitter is abuzz.  (You thought I was going to say it was all atwitter, didn’t you?)  Kinda fun to watch.  At least my internet connection survived.  No cell phones, though.

Update: 5.9, not 5.8

Re-Update: Back to 5.8.  I wonder how that works.

Update: 5.9, not 5.8

What took me so long?

I don’t know why I resisted it for so long – really, I don’t – but I gave in the other day.  I’m a twit.  A twitterer.  I tweeted.  Several times, even.  And I’ll tell you a secret.  I liked it. So now I’m hooked.  Hooked on Twitter.  Caught like a fish on a line, but happier about it.  (Since when do I use fishing metaphors?  Besides, “caught like a canary in a cage” would have been more appropriate.)  And I’m stalking following people, which is totally cool.  Cool because I’m nosy, not because stalking is in any way to be admired.  I’ve hunted up, I mean tracked down, I mean – damn it’s hard to talk about this without sounding totally creepy – I’ve found most of my blog buddies (those who tweet, those I could find), so now I’m following you guys (see what I mean?  Sounds like you need a restraining order.).  If I missed you, it wasn’t on purpose.  Leave me a comment or send me an email or hey, follow me, and I’ll follow you back.  I’m easy that way.  I’m still feeling my way around, so forgive me if I screw up.  Better – tell me if I screw up so I don’t do it again.  If you want to find me, I’m @zannah42 on Twitter.

If you can’t tell if someone is taking something, is it really stealing?

It’s already sad that Borders is going out of business, but who would have guessed they’d be funny about it?

John pointed it out to me the last time we were there, clearing out the science fiction section.  (Well, that part was only me – I’m why you can’t find any of the books you’ve been looking for.  Sorry.)  But really, it’s great that invisibility cloaks are 20% off, but what’s to stop you from just grabbing one and running?  Other than the obvious.

Lunch is the answer to everything

This particular Tuesday has a weird vibe.  It’s just after 10:30am.  I’ve been to the gym and joined two conference calls (a daily occurrence now – who the hell wants to start every day with two conference calls?).  Neither of those things are out of the ordinary.  I had some coffee.  Haven’t eaten anything yet, which may be contributing to the feeling (I can hear a croissant whispering my name), but what else?

Part 1: The windows are open.  It’s August.  It’s supposed to be hot and sticky and grossly muggy.  I’m not complaining – I’m thrilled to hear the breeze in the trees and the summer insects buzzing or droning or cricketing or whatever is they do, thrilled to have turned the A/C off for the first time in months.  It’s just weird.  Makes it feel like early fall and I’m not quite ready for early fall.

Part 2: I’ve already talked to Mom and Dad.  Before breakfast!  It’s throwing my whole schedule off.

Part 3: I have gotten things DONE already.  Left messages, rescheduled appointments, refilled prescriptions…I’m on a roll.

[Several hours later]

I was on a roll.  A few hours ago, the sunlight was mid-morning fresh, the birds were chirping, and the breeze was breezing.  Since then, I’ve gotten bogged down in the things I’m supposed to be doing (I was doing them before, but everything was light! and cheerful! and oh, what a beautiful morning!), the cool fresh air that was tickling my elbows turned hot, and the sunlight turned stale.

I can still turn this around.  There’s time.  The solution?  Lunch!  A turkey sandwich with cucumber slices on toast.  Seriously.  I don’t think I’m asking too much of one sandwich.  I get cranky when I’m hungry.  Lunch will save the day.

If you were a dog

If you were a dog, would you want to be an outside dog or an inside dog?  A big dog or a little dog?  A dog with responsibilities or a pet without a care in the world?  I’m watching our two sleep the day away, and I’m just a teensy bit jealous.  Only a teensy bit.  I think they’re sleeping because they’re bored.  I’m not entertaining them.  (I’m working.  Clearly.)  I’m not sure I’d want to be a dog if it meant (as it must) giving up reading.  And talking.  Somebody asked me the other day if all this working from home is isolating.  I don’t feel particularly isolated.  I’m not talking as much as I would if I were in the office, but I don’t think I’m making up for it when John gets home.  (John may disagree.)  I don’t feel starved for human contact.  I talk to the dogs (although not as much as you might think), and I spend plenty of time emailing and calling work people for work stuff.  In fact, I think I spend too much time on that and not enough time on what I wanted to get done in the quiet of home.  Hey, if I turn into a dog, I won’t have to work. Unless I’m a working dog.  But working dogs always seem to enjoy their jobs, so maybe that would be okay.

I am an ostrich

I worked it out while talking to Dad today.  When too much stuff gets thrown at me at one time, I bury my head in the sand until it’s almost too late rather than figure out a way to manage it all.  Not helpful.  Not healthy.  I made some progress today, and I was finally given some direction (badly needed) on one project and a better due date on another, and I feel like I can handle it now.  We’ll see.  But I do feel better.  (Sssshh.  It’s mostly work and a little bit school, so I can’t talk about it anymore.)

All singing, all dancing, all Doctor Who

David Tennant is cute.  I miss Christopher Eccleston and everything, but I could get used to David Tennant.

I know – I promise Doctor Who and you’re hoping for substance and this is what you get?  Well, a) please re-read the title of this blog and the accompanying tag line, and 2) it’s a wonder I can put any thoughts into words when the woo-OOOH-oooh of the theme song is drowning out everything else in my head.

We can all hope for better tomorrow.

All clown shoes look the same

This seemed really funny to me at the time, but now I can’t decide if it’s funny or if I’m just an idiot.  Let’s start with the part where I look good.

Yesterday morning, I ran 8 miles.

Please applaud now.  By the time you get to the end of the story, you may want to pretend you don’t know me.

The first half was really really hard, but I felt really good the whole second half.  I’d like to think that was partly because I didn’t feel loose and warmed up until I was well into my third mile, but I’m sure it was mostly because the last four miles were all downhill.  There was something weird going on with my right foot, though.  It felt like it was asleep half the time, all pins and needles, concentrated behind my toes and around the ball of my foot.  Other times, I could feel this weird rubbing pain along the outside of my big toe.  All in my right foot.  I kept wiggling my toes and trying to lean towards the outer right side while running, but it wasn’t really getting better.  Weird, a little worrisome, but with a little adjustment I could get by.  I figured I’d take a closer look when I got home.  I changed my stride a bit, headed back downhill, and kinda forgot about it for a while.  Later, I was stretching in the kitchen, and when I bent down to reach for my toes (I’d say I was touching my toes, but my whole life I’ve never been able to do that and I’d hate to lie to you), I noticed something a little off.

Look closely.  Do those look like the same shoe to you?  No?  Yeah.  They’re not.

The shoe on my left foot is one half of my current running pair.  The shoe on my right foot is not.  I stopped running in that pair of shoes at least 9 months ago, if not more, because they were shot.  It hurt to run in them.  That certainly explains the weird pains and pins and needles in my right foot only.  And now I feel like an idiot.  I ran 8 miles in two different shoes and I DIDN’T NOTICE.  Except I kinda did.  Kinda.  In my defense, we got up very early and it was overcast and gloomy and we didn’t turn the light on in the bedroom and hey, come on, they look a LOT alike.

But not that alike.  I guess it could have been worse.  At least I had one right shoe and one left shoe and I wore them on the correct feet.  John says I should even it out by running another 8 miles wearing the opposite shoe from each pair.  John thinks he’s pretty funny.  I will make sure my retired running shoes find a new home.  Far away from my current running shoes.  This will not happen again.

I’m now about 98% certain the earth isn’t going to open up and swallow my house.

Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed something weird about the house.  Very weird.  Every once in a while, in the middle of the day, the house shudders.  The whole house.  You can feel it more downstairs than up.  The first few times it happened, I dashed to the basement to see if the furnace had just died or if the washing machine had attacked the dryer.  Nothing was out of place, nothing looked out of the ordinary.  Then I started to wonder if it was an earthquake.  We did have an itty bitty one not that long ago.  But it had happened at least half a dozen times – wouldn’t there be something in the news about half a dozen earthquakes?  Then I started to worry about crazy things, like sinkholes.  Invasions of mole people burrowing up from under the foundation.  Being stalked by bio-engineered Tyrannosaurus Rexes.  Tyrannosaurus Rex.  Tyrannosauruses.  Tyrannosauri.  It’s like the glass of water in the movie, only with a bigger thud.  Earlier this week, I realized the house shudder thing has never happened on a weekend.  Only on weekdays.  And, except for this week, I’m rarely home on weekdays.  This week, I noticed that it has happened around 11:30am each day.  I mentioned the weekday thing to John yesterday or the day before, wondering if maybe it happens every day during the week, and he had a brilliant thought.  We live not far from a quarry.  Things explode at quarries.  Maybe that’s what we’re feeling.  And they’re only open on weekdays…  I put “call the quarry” on my to-do list.  So today, I was working from home, 11:30 rolled around, and a few minutes later, the house shook.  I picked up the phone and called.  “Do you make things explode at 11:30 every weekday?”  “Well, it’s not always exactly 11:30, but…yeah.”  “Thank you.  That makes me very happy.”  Mystery solved!

Note to self: if we’re ever in a position where we can sell the house, make sure potential buyers leave before 11am or show up after noon.  It’s like that scene in Mary Poppins, only not as entertaining.  “Posts, everyone!

You’re all absolutely right. It DOES get better. I will never doubt you again.

We started Doctor Who a while back, but after six episodes we weren’t really thrilled, so we took a break.  I didn’t mention it because, well, because.  I knew I was supposed to like it.  Not liking it undermines what little geek cred I have.  At the urging of yet another friend (which is a reason I felt like I should like it – a large number of friends whose taste in this stuff I trust think it’s great.  What’s wrong with me?  Yeah, yeah, I don’t have to like everything my friends like, whatever…), we tried again the other night.  And all of our friends are right.  It’s better.  I’m not going to quit.  For those who are counting, we watched the 8th episode last night.

Is it weird that I switch pronouns (we to I and back again) like that?  I feel like I do that a lot.  I can’t decide if it sounds like I’m controlling John’s opinions or he’s controlling mine.  Neither of those is true, of course.  We just have similar opinions about TV.  And movies.  And vacations.  And dogs.  And friends.  And lots of things.  Mm.  We sound boring.  I swear, my mind is my own.  We rarely read the same books.  He doesn’t like spicy food.  I don’t like Sons of Anarchy.  He doesn’t like to admit that he finds cat videos amusing.  (Some of them.  I mean, come ON.  Cat videos are what the interwebs were built on.)  Etc.

To sum up, here’s a video (from The Daily What) of a mariachi band serenading a whale.

Do avocados grow on trees?

At some point in your life, you or your parents have stuck toothpicks into an avocado pit and suspended it over the edge of a glassful of water.  I know you have.  You’re expecting it to germinate.  (That’s what it’s called when it grows roots, right?  Or something.)  Well, I think it’s a myth.  A myth!  (“Yeth?”)  We have two sad-looking avocado pits being tortured on our kitchen windowsill which are never going to put out little rooty tendrils.  Honestly, it looks cruel and unusual.  This shouldn’t be legal.  Rescue the avocado pits!  But what’s the alternative?  For avocado pits in my house (and in most, I imagine), it’s either suffer being half-drowned and poked with sticks or go out with the trash.  If I were an avocado pit, I’m not sure which I’d choose.  Maybe the trash.  Then I could hope to find a friendly landfill.  I suppose we could plant them, but isn’t the whole point of the torture?  Start the roots and then plant them?  You know, they’d probably start to grow if I left them in the pantry long enough.  That’s what happens to my potatoes and onions.  I’m a regular farmer, I am.