Avoiding an egging

We weren’t particularly in the mood for Halloween this year.  John picked up some candy yesterday, but we didn’t decorate, we didn’t look for costumes for ourselves, and as of this morning, we’d decided to pretend we weren’t home.  I had visions of us leaving all the downstairs lights off and hiding in our room with dinner, the dogs, and the Roku, blinds closed.  I would have put a bowl of candy on the front porch, but that would have been it.  Then John got home and decided we weren’t going to be those neighbors.  Instead, the lights are on, the doorbell is ringing, the dogs are going nuts (Riley LOVES Halloween – he’s so excited he gets to say hi to all the little kids), and we’re holding dinner until the rush is over.  But the kids are cute.  This one little boy was pretty clearly dressed as Thor, so I asked the idiot question: “Are you Thor?”  “NO.  I’m FIVE.”  I stopped asking.  Another little girl ran back to her parents yelling, “I petted the doggie!”  That’s SO much better than candy.

Allons y, Alonzo!

Two sick dogs does not a happy household make.  They’re miserable, we’re miserable, and I can’t believe I’m looking forward to seeing solid dog poop again.  I mean, really.  We haven’t made it through a night without some cleanup necessary in the morning.  It’s been almost a week, but at least in the beginning, it was just one dog.  Last night I shot downstairs at 2:30 in the morning because I heard Roxy’s collar jingle.  I thought maybe she was just getting up and I could get her outside in time.  Nope.  There was already a mess.  I cleaned it up while they were outside and went back to bed.  Got up at eight this morning – another mess.  I’m fairly certain the second mess was Riley.  We were thinking about crating them tonight, but honestly, it’s easier to clean up the floor than it is to clean up the crate AND give each dog a bath.  Before work.

Enough about dog poop?  Okay.  The only other thing on my mind is my DE midterm tomorrow morning.  And Doctor Who.

[Beginning of Doctor Who section – if you’re not interested (I’m looking at you, family),  you can quit reading now.]

We finished Season 4 of Doctor Who today (and Season 2 of Torchwood).  I have two things to say:

  1. Rose got her Doctor!  Yay yippity yay yay!  Makes me very happy.  And maybe a little teary.
  2. I am NOT ready for a new Doctor.  Do I have to?
  3. Does this mean we get Martha on Torchwood?  And maybe Mickey?  I could live with that.  Don’t answer me.  I’ll find out soon enough.
  4. Donna was my favorite.  She was AWESOME.
  5. GREG.  The fish-head episode is long over.  Unless there’s another one even MORE literal than the one I’m thinking of.  What on EARTH were you going to tell us?

I could go on, but John is making dinner and it smells SO good.

What is this – I don’t even – gah

Do I live in North Dakota?  Near any Great Lake?  Do I live in ALASKA?  No.  Do I live below the Mason-Dixon line?  Yes.  Is it October still?  YES.  Then why WHY did I wake up to this this morning?

It doesn't look so bad here, but it was early.

I mean, really, weather, what’s going on here?  The snow switched to sleet briefly and then right back to snow.  It came down steadily ALL DAY LONG.  I don’t live in #$*&% Minnesota, people!

If this is an omen, I may not be leaving the house this winter.  I’ll have to get my groceries airlifted in.  New tires just became a higher priority.  Maybe I should teach the dogs how to pull a sled.  And I can learn to snowshoe.

On top of that, it seems we now have two dogs with stomach problems, so off to the vet we will go (again) Monday morning.

(Obviously – or maybe not if you’re ignoring the news – everyone in the Northeast has it worse than us, but that is not the point.  It’s not even Halloween yet, for crying out loud.)

Wildlife sighting! Hearing, really, but who’s ever heard of a wildlife hearing?

The other night, John and I got up at 2am to let Riley out.  (Riley has been having intestinal difficulties, and we were trying to avoid waking up to another gigantic mess.)  I stepped out onto the deck to shoo him into the yard, and I heard hooting.  Like actual owl-type hooting.  The kind I’ve only ever heard exaggerated in scary nighttime scenes in Disney movies.  And those are always set deep in the woods or on farms or something.  I certainly didn’t expect to hear it in our treeless suburban neighborhood.  And then I heard a second one.  TWO OWLS.  In my backyard.  At 2 in the morning.  May I never hear that again (if only because I prefer not to be up at 2 in the morning).

Hey, I managed to embarrass myself on Twitter this morning.  On the plus side, John Scalzi replied to my tweet.  On the minus side, I came off looking like an idiot.

And on top of that, I look like a nerd trying to impress someone with a big word.  In my defense, I ran out of characters when I tried to say “irrelevant to the discussion” instead.  I was being concise.

I’m going to hide now.

Update: To make the whole Twitter thing worse, I was just catching up on my blog reading, went to Whatever, and found that the article was apparently in yesterday’s Washington Post and John Scalzi posted it on his own blog then.  So now I’m an idiot who clearly doesn’t keep up with his blog.  Just great.

I need to take better notes

There was something I was going to write about, something John said or did, but I don’t remember what it is.  I had a very frustrating day that went straight into an online midterm review.  That went pretty well.  I feel better about the exam, at least.  So instead of whatever it was I was thinking about earlier, you can have these instead.

1. Look!  An adorable baby goat playing king of the mountain and being adorable!

And 2.  This (from reddit) makes me laugh every time I look at it.

I think I need to see Madagascar.  Jungle animals doing hilarious things sounds really appealing at the moment.

Thank you for your time

Dear Internet,

I need a nap.  Every day I need a nap.  Every day I have to get up at five, definitely, but every day would be nice.  Would you mind changing the work culture in this country to make that acceptable?  Not all of us can work for Google or Pixar or Rockstar Games (where I hear they encourage, or at least allow, such things).  If you, Internet, are not the right, um, entity to whom this request should be addressed, would you please tell me who I should ask?  Santa, perhaps?  The Tooth Fairy might be interested in labor laws, but I don’t know how much influence she really wields.

Thank you,


Not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Naturally.

What I should do: study for my calculus midterm.  What I’m going to do: play on the internet and possibly watch TV.  Then?  Bed.  I have to go to Baltimore again for work tomorrow.  On the one hand, the work I’m doing in Baltimore is the best thing about my job.  On the other hand, I have to go to Baltimore.  It’s far.

I need more sleep.  Roxy was due for a seizure over the weekend, but she never had one.  This is good news (seizures are bad), but it means I’ve been watching her like a hawk when I’m home and I keep waking up at every random sound in the night, convinced it’s her.  I’m tired.  But she just licked my elbow and wagged her tail, so everything must be fine.

Update: I jinxed it.  She just had a seizure.  But at least it was before we went to bed.  (She’s fine.  Walking it off.)  I’ve been playing phone tag with the vet since yesterday.  She wants to talk about changing her medication.  (Roxy’s, not the vet’s, just so we’re clear.)  I’m all ears.

It’s scary how easy it would be to turn back into a pumpkin

So…you know how the other week I was over the moon about running?  How I ran my race, and I ran faster than I expected, and I felt really good?  Well.  In the two weeks immediately following that race, I ran a total of 3 miles.  Weird schedule, too many crazy-early mornings – oh, I’ve got plenty of excuses.  But, as John so kindly reminded me this morning, you lose your conditioning a hell of a lot faster than you gained it.  So this morning I ran four miles.  I’ve still got it.  And I don’t want to lose it.  I don’t know if I could jump right in and run ten again, but I’m aiming for 7 or 8 this weekend.  That’s doable, right?

The Bloggess (who you should really be reading regularly because oh my god Snuffleupagus) pins some hilarious and beautiful things on her pinterest page.  You should check in on that every once in a while, too.

I just turned in my third calculus quiz of the semester and I have to take the midterm before next Wednesday.  So I’m going to watch some TV because the band is rehearsing in the basement and who can study through that?

It’s really quite an accomplishment for me

I made breakfast!  Like, real breakfast.  On a WEEKDAY.  Because this particular weekday happens to be John’s birthday, and he happens to love breakfast sandwiches.  I made him two bacon, egg, and cheese croissant-wiches.  And coffee.  Because I’m cool like that.  And also because it’s his birthday.  More because it’s his birthday.

Happy Birthday, John!

My eyes! My eyes!

I wish I could unsee this.  Seriously, I’m scared, so only follow this link if you are not easily freaked out.  (You don’t have to read the comments – just click on the picture at the top.)  Even John admitted it was pretty creepy.  But, you know, I had to share.  I can’t be the only person checking behind me every few seconds.

In not scary news, I know this guy!  Kind of.  He was a client at my last job.  He moved to Vegas to play poker professionally.  After winning a lot.  Good for him.  He was always nice to me.

I needed to scrub my brain after that eerie picture, so we watched an episode of Modern Family.  I love that show.  If you don’t watch it, you are missing out.

I had a dream my house was falling apart.  But you don’t want to hear about that.  Other people’s dreams aren’t interesting to anyone but the dreamer.  And maybe the dreamer’s psychologist.  I don’t have one of those, so I’m out of luck.

I’m beginning to think I’m a big whiny baby

I do a lot of complaining and wishing some things were different (not most things, just some things).  And yes, I’m working to change those things, but to some extent, I need to just handle them better.

I don’t want to talk about that, though.

An old man and I bonded over the too-green bananas in the produce section at Giant this evening.  He tore two off of their bunch and said, “You don’t want to buy them when they’re too ripe because you have to eat them all at once or they’ll go bad.”  My response, “I see your point, but if they’re too green, you have to wait a long time before they ripen.  What if you wanted one with breakfast tomorrow?”  We understood each other.  But now I have too-green bananas.

October is the prettiest month

When it’s sunny.  I like the color of the sky.  And the leaves.  And we’ve had so much rain that the grass is still green everywhere.  I should take a picture.

Taken from my car window on the way home from work. I could crop the road out, but you get the idea.

Enough with the pretty – prepare for meanness ahead.

Here’s a tip you’ve heard a million times, but it’s important: If you want a job, PROOFREAD YOUR RESUME.  I read a pretty bad one recently.  If you’re not very good with that sort of thing, find a friend who is.  I don’t have high expectations for this person because she apparently can’t punctuate her way out of kindergarten.  Oh, let’s be generous.  Elementary school.  Also, she listed “Blackberry (Curve)” as one of her skills.  I don’t even know what that means.  Maybe she can program for that platform?  Impressive!  Then say so.  She’s not a programmer, though, unless she REALLY doesn’t know how to present herself in her resume, so I’m assuming she means she knows how to use a Blackberry.  That’s not a skill.  My 6-year-old niece can find her way around a smart phone.

I’m not trying to say that I punctuate everything correctly all the time.  (For instance, is it resume, resumé, or résumé?  Does the accent depend on something or are there just multiple acceptable forms?)  I do, however, tailor my writing style to my audience, and my resumé (I like this one best) is flawless.  (I know.  Arrogant, much?)  It might not get me hired, but it won’t get me dismissed out of hand.  Grammar is important, people!


Now, watch me post this with some hugely embarrassing typo I didn’t notice.

Who’s excited?

I am, I am!  Tomorrow is Les Mis.  YAY!  Tonight, I pick Sparky up from the airport.  Yay!  Also, it’s Friday (yay!) so PRESUMABLY, I can sleep in a bit tomorrow.  Got up before 5 this morning, people.  (John is not pleased.  I tried REALLY hard to have everything I needed in the guest room so I wouldn’t wake him while I got ready, but I needed one little thing and, of course, I needed it 15 minutes before his alarm was going to go off.  Sorry, John.)  We’re having a kick-off meeting this morning, and I was in charge of bringing bagels, and traffic has been HORRIBLE this week, so I figured I’d just get out the door earlier.  Guess what?  I over-corrected.  I was up the elevator and in my little conference room by 7:20.  Just a little bit earlier than necessary.  A tad.  Still, it’s better than the alternative.

Can someone please get Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” out of my head?  I don’t like it.  I keep trying to force it out, but it creeps its way back in every time I think I’ve won.  Stupid little whistling part.

Totally incomprehensible

I don’t know what it is about this song, but every time I hear it, I cry, starting from the very first time I heard it.  Like tears streaming down my face cry.  Sometimes with sobs, sometimes not.  I don’t get it.  I mean, I like it.  I like it very much.  Maybe it hits me deep in the hillbilly roots I don’t really have.

Double espresso doesn’t hack it

There is not enough caffeine in the world to make me alert today.  Roxy had a seizure last night (right on schedule – it’s been a week and a half), so we got to bed late, and then I got up at 5:15 and was out the door by 6:20 (for the third day in a row), which is clearly not early enough because I was trying to be in DC by 8 and it was 8:30 before I got there.  Traffic sucks.  And it was raining, which only makes traffic worse.  I stopped at Starbucks before I got on the highway, and then the barista handed me my coffee, and then she got this horrified look on her face (seriously, like the world was about to end) and said, “Oh no! I put TWO shots in your coffee!”  “How many are there normally?”  “Just one.”  “Don’t worry about it.  It might help.”  It didn’t.  I still had to sing along to the radio at the top of my lungs to stay awake on the GW Parkway.

Also, I think I’m over my usual Starbucks order.  It hasn’t come out right for weeks now.  Disappointing because when it’s right, it’s SO good.

What kind of lab hates to get wet?

Roxy eats mud.  I don’t know why, but she’s tearing up the lawn.  I keep meaning to ask the vet about it.  Or at least Dr. Google.  Tonight, John suggested I try to deter her.  He handed me a full water bowl.  I went out on the deck, he pointed the flashlight, and I dumped half the bowl on her head.  She hates that, but she came right back on the deck (she was ignoring me when I was calling her in because she couldn’t tear herself away from the mud).  This might work.  The spray bottle is probably a better tool than the water bowl, though.

I am a runner

I did it.  I ran the Army Ten-Miler, and I did it 13 minutes faster than any of my workouts.  And it hurt like hell.  The day was just shy of perfect.  The temperatures were low and it wasn’t raining, but the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  A cloudy day would have kept us cooler AND probably not given me a sunburn.  (I wore sunblock.  On my face.  I didn’t consider the back of my neck ’cause it’s usually covered with hair.)  And speaking of hair, I had no hair disasters!  Yay!  Over the last few weeks, my braids have come out of the bun repeatedly, come loose altogether (the bottom hair bands lost forever) twice, and generally behaved like Houdini getting out of a straitjacket.  This morning, though, my braid felt secure in its bun and it didn’t even jiggle.  It came down when I took it down, approximately 8 hours after I put it up.  Good bun.  Good braid.  Good me!  Practice works!  (I’ve been wearing my hair in a braid at every opportunity lately.)

So John and I got up at 5:15 yesterday morning, took care of the dogs, ate some toast, and headed to the Pentagon.  We’d been debating the metro vs parking issue for weeks, but when I heard that there’s only bus service between two of the stations on the line nearest us and we’d have to drive most of the way in just to find a station with uninterrupted service to the Pentagon, I convinced John that parking at Pentagon City would be easier.  Less stressful.  He wasn’t hard to convince.  We got to the parking garage right at 7, just as planned, and joined the mobs of runners trying to get to the port-a-potties near the starting line.  30,000-ish runners = long lines for the bathroom.  EVERYone has to go.  Almost everyone.  I’ll come back to that.

John and I were in different starting waves, so we split up to wait in our own personal crowds.  Eventually (couldn’t tell you if the race started on time, but I can tell you we waited and waited and waited and waited….), my crowd started shuffling towards the start we couldn’t see.  We must have been half a mile away, and we were packed in.  A guy behind me started mooing.  He switched to baaing when we stopped laughing at the moos.

John ran this race 5 years ago with a goal of finishing in 1 hour, 40 minutes (10 10-minute miles).  He said people were packed so close in at the beginning that his first mile took him 13 minutes or something crazy like that.  He made up the time later on and finished EXACTLY when he’d planned.  Magic.  I wasn’t counting on magic, so the possibility of a really slow first mile was pretty scary to me.  Luckily, my pack spread out pretty quickly once we finally got across the starting line, so it wasn’t really an issue.  The main race clock (and the timers at the mile markers) were set to the actual race start (which was about 20 minutes before I started), so I relied on my own watch to track my time, starting the timer as I passed under the yellow and black balloons.  (The Army needs to get better colors – yellow (or gold – whatever) and black make for some seriously ugly balloons.) Once I got past the first mile and realized I wasn’t going to have any crowd-related pacing problems, I let go of the what-if-I-don’t-make-it-through-five-miles-fast-enough-and-they-don’t-let-me-finish anxiety and concentrated on moving.  On concentrating.  On keeping my legs churning and my feet landing mid-foot or further forward (my right heel was giving me some trouble).  And then I got the 3-mile mark and found I was averaging well under 11-minute miles.  And then I got to five miles and saw that my average pace was 10:12.  Too fast!  So I slowed down for the last five miles, knowing I was going to be paying for the faster start later.

I did.  I still am.  But it’s a good hurt.  I worked hard for this hurt.  But I’d like it to stop now.  The second half of the race is a blur of bright sunshine and cowbell.  (LOTS of spectators had cowbells.)  I remember thinking the 14th Street Bridge would never end.  And I remember wondering whose bright idea it was to put three (four?) hills in the last two miles.  And then I saw Amanda and Greg and Alex near the finish (thanks for cheering me on, guys!) and then I could see the finish and then I smiled and then it was over.  And then we (John was waiting for me) came to almost a complete halt in a sea of people all struggling to get water (John had some for me because he’s wonderful.  And fast.) and get out and sit down.  For a while it hurt more to be standing still than it had when I was still running.  And we were like a mile from the car.  So we got our bananas and muffins and water and trudged all the way back to the mall parking garage.  When we finally got home (after a ridiculous search for a breakfast place – we at Anthony’s in Falls Church.  French toast!  Exactly right.), we put aside all plans to actually get much thesis and calculus work done, showered, and collapsed on the couch for some well-deserved TV.

It was fun.  No – it was painful and I was afraid it would never end.  But I would do it again.  I don’t want it to be so hard.  If I keep doing it, it’ll get easier.  If I keep repeating that, it might come true.

Moment of truth.  I’m going to check the official results.  Before I do, did I tell you that John finished a full 10 minutes faster than the last time he ran this race?  Because he’s cool.

Okay – my official time was 1:48:47.  (Only one second off what my watch said.  Look at me!  I know how to work a stopwatch!)  I beat my 2-hour expectations by a substantial margin and only missed John’s first time by just under 9 minutes.  Maybe next time.  🙂

Now I’m going to take more ibuprofen and go back to bed.  Lots more ibuprofen.

Right, I said I’d come back to the bathroom thing (many moons and paragraphs ago).  Yeah, the race had only barely started when, by the dozens, guys started hopping the guardrail on Route 110 and sprinting for the treeline to pee.  It was hilarious and a little disconcerting.  Was it planned?  Is that the best place?  Did they pass the word around?  Are these the guys who didn’t want to wait in the long port-a-potty lines?  Or just the ones who drank another liter of water while waiting for the race to start?  I mean, I have to go practically once an hour, more when I’m drinking lots of water, and yet I managed to plan ahead so that my last chance before the race started was enough to get me all the way home, almost six hours later.  Which, now that I think about it, pretty much means I was dehydrated.  Or a crazy-efficient sweater.  Sweat-er.  One who sweats.  Not the cable-knit kind.

That’s enough.  Go to bed already.