It’s going to be okay, right?  I mean, just because my boss decided that we’re going to commute downtown together three days a week starting next week for I don’t even know how long and that commute (plus some extra work travel) caused me to almost quit a year and a half ago and NO it’s not better having a commute buddy when that buddy is your BOSS –

That sentence got away from me.  Let’s just say I’m not looking forward to it.  Besides, she changes her plans for me on this project every other day (sometimes every day), so it’s possible that it a) won’t happen at all or 2) won’t last long.  So I’m putting the frenzy away, locking it in a closet, and instead I’ll work on getting all those #%^# songs out of my head.  Because THAT is a good use of my time.

Dude, like, yoga is totally awesome

My gym is the greatest gym ever.  Six months ago (or so), I asked them if they could add a yoga class that’s held either before or after work.  Early this week (maybe it was late last week – irrelevant), the owner came up to me to let me know that they found an instructor and a space in the schedule and the first class was this week.  Tonight, in fact.  Yay!  And there was quite the turnout, so hopefully it won’t get cancelled due to lack of interest.  There were 10 or 12 of us tonight.  And it was hard.  But I liked it.  And I feel all noodlely.  Noodly.  Hang on while I check the authority on that particular spelling. Right, noodly appendage.  (Link for those who need it.)

Isn’t running supposed to get easier the more you do it?

This morning’s run was HARD.  My legs felt super heavy and it was humid and I wasn’t sure I could do it.  I ran the first mile and then ran a 2-mile loop twice to get halfway through, and I realized that if I did that loop twice more I might jump in front of a passing car.  It’s hard enough to run that many miles (for me).  If I have to see the same things over and over again, I’ll go nuts.  Or quit.  Actually, that’s the biggest problem.  If I’m running laps near the house, the temptation to just go home every time I get close to the house is a little too much for me.  I’m much more likely to do the whole thing if it’s out and back.  I won’t turn around early, and when I reach halfway, I have no choice but to do the whole distance to get home.  Anyway, I got to the five-mile mark after two loops and decided to run the last five miles out and back.  It was better, but not easier.  I found myself chanting “Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming,” half the time.  I don’t know why I thought it (I haven’t seen that movie in a long time), but Dory was a welcome distraction.

I saw a woman who ran so neatly.   Her elbows were in and her strides were short and she looked so efficient.  She made me notice how much I move while I run.  I’m not exactly throwing my arms around a la Phoebe in that one episode, but I’m all loose-limbed and my hair was bouncing around my head in its braid and I kept adjusting my shoulders and posture – one good shake and I might have fallen apart in a pile of bones.  Not trim and tight and economical.  Maybe I’m doing it wrong and that’s why this morning was so hard.  I saw that woman twice, and both times she made me feel like a slobbering pile of flailing limbs.  I’m sure she didn’t mean to – she looked like a nice lady.

I’m beginning to wonder if I should build an ark

It’s raining again.  Still.  Some sunshine would be nice, pretty please.

I think writing for a living would not be a good idea.  For me.  Meaning I would not be able to make a living at it.  Put some pressure on me to write (even this) when I don’t have anything particular in mind and I freeze.  Stare at the screen.  Find everything else do to first.  And then write about the weather.  Hello, rain!

Wasted day

My brain left.  Packed a suitcase.  Bought a train ticket.  Said goodbye to the dogs.  Walked out the door.  (Sounds like a country song.)  I have been completely useless all day.

Want to see the cutest puppy paw ever?

Side A

Side B: Teddy bear paw!

This is what happens when my brain skips town.  I go through my camera and look for cute pictures.  I can’t even complete this thought.  Going to the gym.  Might clear my head.  My empty head.  If you’ve seen my brain, please give me a call.  I’d like it back.


John and I have lived in this house for almost six years.  We know the people in three houses around us by name, and of those three, we only know the last names of the people immediately next door.  We say hi on the sidewalk, help them shovel snow, and occasionally chat with the kids.  Six years.  Pathetic and anti-social, that’s us.  In our defense, everyone in this neighborhood has kids (except us, of course), so they all know each other from school and play groups and the bus stop.  Paper-thin, I know.  We haven’t made an effort, and honestly, we haven’t minded all that much.  I’ve met a few more people who live nearby since I joined the gym six months ago, but that hasn’t lead to real relationships.  Until now, possibly.  Maybe.  Friday afternoon, a woman I know from the gym called to invite me to play bunco with her club that night.  They need 12 people, and two of their regulars couldn’t make it.  “Is it a problem that I don’t know what bunco is?”  “Not in the least.  Bring $10.”  Yeah, that doesn’t sound shady at all. Come play a game you’ve barely heard of.  We’ll take your money.  She said it’s easy and mindless, and the club is really just an excuse to for the members to eat, drink, chat, and maybe win a few dollars.  I went.  She wasn’t lying – all you have to do is count, and the rest of pure chance.  I can do that.  And with only $10 at stake, it’s no big deal if I lose.  Which I did not do.  There are twelve rounds (six winners in each round), and I won the most rounds, so I took home $40.  Not a bad way to be introduced to a game.  I’m certain it’ll never happen again.  (This is how it starts.)  I played, I met 10 new people, it was enjoyable enough, and John and I were invited to a block party the next day.  That was a bit more awkward than bunco night, but shortly after we sat down at a picnic table with our food, a couple came over, said “Oh, good – faces we recognize!”, and sat down.  They’re the neighbors across the street and over one house, the ones with the very friendly cat and five kids (mostly grown, all living at home).  Now we know their first names (but not their last name – what is wrong with us?).  Had a good time chatting with them for over an hour.  So, yay.  Neighbors.

There was a spider in my car today.  It was crawling across the roof (upside down, on the inside of the sunroof), and I know this because I was watching it when I should have been watching the road.  Spiders are not allowed in my car!  Maybe I need to put up a sign.  Maybe our new neighbor friends are exterminators.  Except they’re not.  Every single person we met was either a teacher or a government contractor.  Not that those are bad things to be, but they don’t help me much when I’m trying to keep a crazed and bloodthirsty spider at bay while making a left turn.  Inconsiderate of them, to say the least.

I can have a do-over, right?

I had a strange day.  Got so frustrated with work I was nearly in tears.  Got over it because there’s a lot of funny stuff on the internet.  I know, right?

My favorite tweet today:

My favorite reddit…thing today (it’s actually from yesterday, but it kept me amused today, too):

Must go.  If I stay here any longer, I’ll eat the entire container of rice pudding.  (John’s brilliant idea – who gets a craving for rice pudding, of all things?  So good.)  Anyway, I’d like to pretend today’s odd day never happened, so I’m going to take my book and go to bed and start fresh tomorrow.

I need to watch it again. And again.

Had a very busy weekend, but not a very productive one.  Feeling a little guilty about that.  But not overmuch (that’s for tomorrow, when panic sets in) because I just watched three hours of Doctor Who with John, and while all three episodes were fantastic, the first one we watched today (season 3’s “Blink”) was the absolute best hour of TV I have EVER SEEN.  It was a GREAT episode, totally stands alone but still captures the Doctor, and on top of that, was effectively and freakishly scary.  Creepy.  SO well done.  Lots of caps.  Sorry.  I feel very strongly about that episode.  Greg, I think this is one of the ones you mentioned – anything you needed to tell us?

We stopped after Part II of the next three-parter, but we’ll probably watch Part III before we go to bed.  I don’t know how I managed before Doctor Who.

As for the rest of the weekend, remind me to tell you about bunco, Oktoberfest, a TON of neighbors I’ve never met before (despite living here for almost 6 years), and running just under 9 miles in the rain.  No need to remind me to tell you about that last bit, actually.  That’s all there is to say about it.  Oh, except I RAN THE WHOLE THING, including that hill I hate.  But that’s all.  🙂

I want to keep babbling, mostly about Doctor Who and some about The Guild (we’ll start watching the current season soon – finished season 4 yesterday), but since what I’m hearing in my head is not remotely coherent (a lot of squeeing and why don’t we own that? and what the hell took us so long to get here?), I’m going to spare you.  Instead I’ll see if John can hurry up with his game so we can get back to Doctor Who.  I have priorities.

Did you guys see this? Cracks me up. I sing it ALL the time now.

(I know – I need to tone down the obsession. I just can’t help myself.)

I swear I’m not a moron…

…but I recently had two “Are you kidding me?” moments.  One was today.  I usually keep a close eye on the forecast, but for some reason this week, I just haven’t.  John’ll tell you I prefer to trust weather.com than my own arm stuck out the front door.  I didn’t do either of those things today.  I just left the house to go to the store in shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops.  It was 60 degrees out, overcast, and breezy.  I was a little chilly.  In my defense, it was 80 yesterday and it isn’t fall yet…  But a guy at Wegmans still totally made fun of me.

My other moment was last weekend, and it was more of the “oh, that really DOES make a difference” kind.  I was helping John unload the IKEA boxes from the car on Saturday, and I usually have a really hard time wrestling with the bookshelf boxes.  Those things are heavy, and in the past, I’ve nearly dropped them on the way into the house because I just couldn’t hold my end up anymore.  Not this time, though.  I wouldn’t say it was easy or that the shelves were light (I certainly can’t carry them on my own), but it was no big deal.  I find it very unlikely that they’ve gotten lighter since my birthday (the last time we bought some), so the only conclusion I can come to is, hey!  Those strength classes I’ve been going to twice a week for the last seven months?  They work!  Amazing, mixed with a little of course they do, ya idiot.


Hmmph.  That title didn’t come out the way I meant it.  Anyway, here is a picture of the wall of books in the dining room (that used to be the family room) with all of the books lined up at the front of the shelves.

We bought two more bookshelves last weekend (the two in the middle, not that it matters) and brought down the two that were in our bedroom.  Those two are on the opposite wall from these.  They’re all 100% full and I’m using three shelves of the bookshelf to the right of the TV in the other room (that used to be the living room).  The four bookshelves in the library (which used to be the dining room) have been emptied of fiction and are slowly being filled with non-fiction books from upstairs.  I moved my little desk (which used to be Dad’s little desk) into the bay window in the library so there would be room for another shelf in the dining room.  Got all that?  There might be a quiz.

Now for the compromise, since as I mentioned the other day, I’m not completely sure I like having all the books forced into a line.  (Where are their souls?  Down with conformity!)  Tell me what you think.

If I had another wine rack, I wouldn't need to do this. But I kinda like it.

They’re not the greatest pictures (I’m not the greatest photographer, to say the least), but you get the idea.  The only thing I’m not crazy about is how the books behind the vases and the pictures and the bottles of wine are hidden.   I know they’re there, but the casual browser (because so many of those come waltzing through my home – this is somehow not a real concern now that I’m writing it down) does not.

Do you like it?  Do you hate it?  Indifferent?  That seems most likely.

The duplicates. All 54 of them. Anyone craving a copy of The Mote in God's Eye?

I have four empty shelves now. They look so lonely.

The books (the fiction), they have been reorganized and reshelved.  I finished just a few minutes ago.  For now, they’re all flush against the front edge (John loves it), but I have a compromise in mind.  I’ll try it tomorrow.  I have pictures, but my phone’s USB cable is upstairs (and the pictures aren’t that great – let’s hope for sunlight tomorrow) and I’m not willing to go get it.  Once I go upstairs tonight, I’m not coming back down.  I also weeded out all the duplicates today.  We have multiple copies of 54 books.  In some cases (The Left Hand of Darkness, War and Remembrance), we have three copies.  There are a couple others we have two of, but for various reasons, I want to keep them in our collection.  The duplicates will probably join the inventory in the basement.  Unless we find someone who’s dying to have a hardcover edition of The Hidden City (the third book in David Eddings’ The Tamuli) or a copy of The Winds of War that is falling apart (most of the books are in pretty good shape, but not this one so much).  Or any of the 48 books I didn’t name.  47.  John doesn’t want to get rid of the extra copy of Johnny Tremain.  (Just like I don’t want to get rid of my extra copy of Anne of Green Gables.  Sure, I have the box set, but I remember reading that copy.)

In other than book news, I found two of the greatest videos ever on The Daily What today.

The first is a bunch of cows looking crazy interested in a Dixieland combo in a field in France. Good music, funny cows.

The second is a juggling video. AMAZING.

Hard choices

A question for the anal ages:

Do you line up your books along the back of the bookshelf, leaving room for other things (like little framed pictures or empty vases or the small ceramic turtle you bought in Mexico) in front?  Or do you shelve them so the spines all line up evenly along the front of the shelf?  And if you do it the second way, do you do anything with the empty space between the books and the back of the shelf?

I’ve always done it the first way.  John has asked me to try it the second way because it’s neater.  I’ll give him that.  I’m not convinced it’s better, though.  I have this irrational fear that wild animals or spiders or some other unpleasant things are going to move in and nest in that unused space.  Because I can’t see it.  And I’m usually so vigilant.

I wish I hadn’t put that thought into words.

Question for Doctor Who fans

This may seem silly (it IS just a TV show), but I have a question.  We want to start watching Torchwood, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves or miss anything if the shows overlap.  (Do they overlap?  I don’t even know.  Don’t answer that.)  We’re in the middle of season 3 of Doctor Who.  We know what Torchwood is, sort of.  When do we start watching Torchwood the show?  (The one that started in 2006, of course, not this year’s.)  Can we start now?  Do we need to stay even, season by season, alternating episodes or does it really not matter?

Great day in the morning!

Seriously, could today have been any better?  Only if it had unicorns and sparkles.  And it’s not over yet.  There’s hope.  Sure, we got up super early on a Saturday, but it was only so we could go to the giant used book sale that happens every six weeks in a warehouse in Annapolis.  Worth it.  AND I had a croissant and my favorite candy-coffee from Starbucks for breakfast on the way (tall, skim, no whip white mocha with two pumps of toffee nut – yes, I’m one of those now).  Extra worth the early wake-up.  AND we hung out with Jess while looking for books and then having bagels.  Better than extra worth it.  And THEN we went to IKEA and bought two more bookshelves, upper shelf extensions for those two plus the six at home that didn’t already have them, plus two wall shelves to go over the couch (and hold more books – maybe the graphic novels?).  We’ve spent the afternoon since then putting the shelves and the extension together while watching Law & Order: SVU, and now we’re going to pick up dinner from somewhere and settle in and watch a movie.

A day like today makes me so very happy.  Books, best friend, shelves, dinner, and a movie, a whole day hanging out with John, and sure, I didn’t do any calculus like originally planned, but John and I worked it out on the way home from IKEA.  Today we get the furniture part out of the way and relax a little.  Tomorrow, we’ll run, mow the lawn (it grew, like, two feet in 8 days), and do homework (my calculus, his thesis).  Sunday is the responsible day.

You don’t own me, Twitter. I can quit anytime I want.

I’m catching up on Wil Wheaton’s blog (I’m in June 2009 in his archives – John wishes I’d just skip ahead already), and I found a video of his friend venting about Twitter.  I think I’ve seen my potential future (re: Twitter, of course, not in general.  I hope.).  I’ll do my best to avoid it.  But the video is hilarious and made me start following him.  Go.  Watch.  Laugh.

Happy Friday!

This week was a short week (thank you for Labor Day – I love three-day weekends) that still managed to feel like a regular week, but Friday is finally here.  Tomorrow I get to see Jess at a great big book used book sale and then I’ll spend the rest of the weekend immersed in calculus.  Except for Sunday morning when I have to run.  And except for later Sunday morning when I’ll help John with the lawn, assuming it dries out.  I’ll have to pretend the internet doesn’t exist, I think.  Give it the cold shoulder.  Hope it doesn’t take offense and will let me back in later.  How forgiving is the internet?  I know it never forgets, which is somewhat (a lot) scary.

You’ve got to THINK about these things

I didn’t think it through.  Tuesday afternoon – dentist appointment that leaves me with a temporary crown on the left side.  A little tender.  Can’t bite down hard.  No problem, I think, I’ll just do most of my chewing on the right side of my mouth.  But wait!  This morning, I had an appointment with my oral surgeon. Time to expose the post that was implanted so my dentist can screw on a fake tooth in a few weeks.  But doesn’t that mean I’ll have stitches and be sore and tender?  On the right side?  Yes!  It does.  Mushy food it is.

I could have scheduled this better.

Of dentists and dogs

“Now relax” should be banned from all dentists’ vocabularies.  They should get fined every time they’re caught saying it.  Sure, I’ll relax now that you’ve poked me in the cheek with a giant needle, shoved a giant rubbery tray thingy between my teeth to hold my mouth open, shined a light in my eyes, and started up the drill.  Totally relaxed, no problem, taking a nap.  (I wish I could have napped.)  It was awful.  All three hours of it.  (Would’ve been a FANTASTIC nap.)  My dentist is great and all, very nice, friendly staff, but that doesn’t mean I look forward to going.   (I know, I know – who does?)  And yesterday is why.

This morning I found Roxy in the bathroom with the door closed.  No idea how she got there.  I worked from home today, and around mid-morning, she had a seizure.  (She’s fine now.)  I usually keep a pretty close eye on her during her recovery phase (she rambles around the first floor, slobbering on everything, bumping into the walls, the furniture, getting stuck under the table – she tried to take a chair with her, legs first – and I try to keep her out of the water bowl, keep her from knocking things over, from slobbering on the books on the bottom shelves…the important stuff), but as she gets closer to normal, I start going back to other things.  I checked my email, realized I hadn’t heard her stumble into anything for a minute, and went looking.  Not in the dining room, not in the kitchen, not in the hall, not in the family room…but I could hear her breathing.  The kind of breathing she does when she’s head first into a wall and her nose is getting smushed.  (Happens a lot – I know that noise.  To her, people.  Happens to her. During recovery.  Geez.)  Followed the sound of her breathing, found her in the bathroom.  Behind the closed door, under the pedestal sink.  Maybe she needed some alone time, but I don’t understand how the door closed behind her.  She’s not that clever.  Certainly not in that state.  Wish she could tell me.