Who needs it?

THIS is a really good idea.  I think I’m going to do it (on my personal cell, anyway), and I think Mom shoulddefinitely do it.  Anyone who never listens to their voicemail (which is everyone*) should do it.  It’s not as rude as never listening and never calling anyone back because you never listened to the message.  So go, change your message, and come back.  Go on.  I’ll wait.

Welcome back!

I could live here (link goes to more pictures):

Or here:

I forget about this blog for months at a time, but that means I have lots of content to drool over when I remember.  Our house could look something like this if we threw out 75% of what we have.  And painted everything white.  And had better taste.  And more money.

*Exception: if you’re job-hunting, DON’T DO THIS.  But then, if you’re job-hunting, you don’t belong to this group.  You’re probably listening to your voicemail messages.

Lazy Sunday afternoon

Going to a one-year-old’s birthday party today took all of the energy I had.  I’m home, sitting on the couch, watching Geek & Sundry videos, and I just poured a second glass of wine I don’t particularly like anymore.  I think I’m over the Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc, for those keeping track at home.  I thought I was over it, then I enjoyed a couple of glasses of it a few weeks ago, and now that I’m finishing the bottle, I’m over it again.  And yet I’m still drinking it.  It would be wasteful to just throw it out.  Right?  Also, it would take too much energy to open a different bottle.  Also also, the only other bottle chilled right now is super big, and I just don’t think it makes sense to open a super big bottle just for me.  Not at the end of a weekend, anyway.  🙂  Also also also, if I put another bottle in the fridge (or freezer) to chill, I’ll have to wait for it.  And I’d have to get up and do it.  And have I mentioned that I have no energy?  I think I’m going to work on my puzzle.

Isn’t January over yet?

I can’t multi-task anymore.  I probably never could, but it didn’t used to be so obvious.  If my brain isn’t ready for, oh, let’s say…work, then work isn’t going to happen.  But when I’ve flipped the work switch to ON (and all connections have been made – no shorts here), then work is all I can do.  It’s all I can do, it’s all I can think about, and it’s all I can talk about.  It’s really annoying.  It’s fine during the workday, of course, but REALLY not okay once I’m home.  I don’t have that kind of job.  And look what I’m doing right now!  Stop it.

Hey, brisket sandwiches!  Are a wonderful thing.  I had one for lunch.  And we’re having leftover non-Mexican chicken corn chowder for dinner.  Because it turned out pretty yummy.

No segue.  Just videos. (Both are from The Daily What via wherever those guys found them. Video 1. Video 2.)

My favorite people are the ones who danced with the guy. I think I’d be one of them.

This is fantastic. Question: could it really be the cat’s first experience with snow? How did the cameraperson know to be ready?

Invasion weekend

I have been taken over by a pod person.  Wait – I am a pod person.  I’ve been taken over by a pod?  I think it happened when I almost tripped over that squirrel yesterday.  Not that I traded places with the squirrel.  That would be more like a Freaky Friday scenario.  Hey, I was never really into that whole body snatchers thing, so I don’t know the details.  My point is that I’m not acting like myself.  This is a big build-up for just one thing, but it’s kind of a big thing for me.  Are you ready?  I COOKED today.  Like multiple things, so we’d have food for lunches and stuff the rest of the week.  Can you believe it?  It’s an obvious thing that lots of people do, but that’s my point.  I don’t do it.  I never have.  But now I have a brisket all cooked and cooling on top of the oven and chicken corn chowder simmering on the stove.  (It was originally supposed to be Mexican chicken corn chowder, but since John doesn’t do spicy, I left out the chiles, and I’m thinking that means it doesn’t count as Mexican anymore.)

Aaaaannnnd here’s why I don’t cook much.  I just stepped away from the laptop to check out the soup (and maybe take a picture), and I found that the soup was bubbling, and when I went to stir it, much of it was stuck to the bottom of the pot.  I only turned up the heat because John noticed that it wasn’t particularly hot (when he tasted it).  I didn’t mean to leave it…I suck at cooking.  I don’t think it’s ruined.  I lowered the heat a lot and stirred a lot, and most of it looks fine.  We’ll see.

New career idea

Me to John as he was leaving for his boxing class Wednesday morning (I had to leave early to get to DC): “Kiss me now because if my car starts, I’ll be gone when you get back.”

John to me: “Sounds like a country song.”

True story.

Also a true story: I tried lots of different ways of punctuating what I said.  I’m not sure I like where I ended up.

The continuing saga of the mysterious battery drain

My car dies sometimes.  We thought we were holding the problem at bay by pulling the master fuse when we’re not in the car because that would keep the accessories (radio, lights, clock, etc.) from draining the battery while it’s off.  John was supposed to be using the time we were buying by doing that to research the problem so he could fix it for me.  We got about a year out of the last battery, which we replaced right after Christmas (just a few weeks ago).  Fresh new battery means no problems for a while, right?  Yeah…no.  I was able to start the car (and drive it places) three different times Monday night (after leaving it sitting in the driveway for three full days), but Tuesday morning it was dead.  Since I still pull the master fuse out every night, nothing on that panel can be what’s killing the battery (there goes my new radio).  The locks have been acting up all this time, too, so that night when we got home (in the dark, in the rain), John unplugged the relay for the power locks (and possibly some other relay, but I haven’t found anything else that’s been disconnected yet).  So far, I haven’t had any issues (and I was already used to using the key and the manual locks to lock and unlock the car since the power locks have been so unreliable).  Okay, it’s only been a day and a half.  We’re going to try not to use my car all weekend again as a test.  From Friday night to sometime Monday, we’ll leave it sitting in the driveway and use John’s car for any errands.  If it starts after two or three days, then we’ve probably found the problem.  I’m not sure what happens after that.  Is the relay bad?  Or is it something in the wiring?

Man, I’m much happier focusing on this issue than the stuff that’s happening at that place I have to go to every weekday.

It’s just not that hard

As you all know (because I’m nothing if not repetitive consistent), I get coffee from Starbucks on mornings I go to DC.  I just get a tall, so it’s long gone by the time I pull into the garage, and I always have an empty cup to throw away on my way to the elevator.  The other morning, I was carrying it upright, as though it still had coffee in it, and I was reminded of how obvious it is on TV when actors are clearly carrying empty coffee cups.  How hard is it to fill a cup with water?  It would look so much more realistic.  But it does give me the opportunity to pretend I’m an actor who’s pretending to drink coffee for the 30 seconds it takes me to get to a trash can.

My bathroom should be big enough for a swimming pool

The bathrooms in our house aren’t all that great.  They’re not awful or anything, but they’re not the spectacular bathrooms I would like to have.  The downstairs half-bath in the hall is fine (you can’t ask much from a half-bath, and it does its job),  but upstairs is a little disappointing.  Our master bath doesn’t deserve the name, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot we can do about it.  I mean, yes, we could replace the vanity and upgrade the shower (and put in a nicer floor), but it’ll still only have a single sink and a walk-in shower with no tub.  There’s no room to do anything bigger.  We’d have to do MAJOR renovations to the whole upper floor, like add rooms over the garage (which would mean a whole addition to the house), and that’s just not likely with our current plans.  The main complaints I have about the other bathroom upstairs (the one I use) are that the bathtub is too small and the water pressure SUCKS.

So naturally, I sometimes find myself daydreaming about the perfect bathroom.  A few years ago, we were in Boulder for a work thing, and we stayed at the St. Julien Hotel.  That bathroom was incredible.  The tub was super long and really deep (I could practically swim in it), and the shower was awesome. I think that bathtub might be my happy place.  (Serenity now!)

You’ll have to believe me. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

Why are standard bathtubs so small?  According to Wikipedia, average height for women in the US is between 5’4″ and 5’5″ (and you have to be shorter than that to fit comfortably in a regular tub) so the evil bathtub industry clearly has something against baths.  Which seems to be contrary to their interests.

It’s a mystery

Going to bed early didn’t work.  I had crazy dreams and I woke up too many times.  So what’s different?  I haven’t been overeating, I haven’t been drinking caffeine much (and what I’ve had was all gone no later than mid-morning), I haven’t been exercising at night…  I haven’t done anything out of the ordinary the last couple of days. The only thing I can think is that sleeping sitting up (because I’ve been so congested) is just not working for me anymore.

Boring boring boring boring.

I’m putting off stuff I don’t want to do, but it’s not leading to interesting stuff here…


Hmph.  I might be boring right now, but my book isn’t.

Best idea I’ve ever had

Guys, I’m so tired.  I woke up a dozen times last night for no reason I can think of.  So you know what?  I am going to do something crazy and go to bed RIGHT NOW.  Plus, like, ten minutes. I have to take care of Roxy’s feet first.  And I’m sure I’ll read for a while, so it’s not like I’m going to straight to sleep.  But still.  In bed before 8:30!  That’s crazy and wacky!

Wild party, man

Here’s the aftermath of New Year’s Eve:

Yup.  We’re party animals.  We even went out to eat on our anniversary.  The actual day!  Can you believe it?

Portrait of the couple on their 12th anniversary

(Yes, that is my Hogwarts scarf.  Yes, we were about to go out to dinner to a fancy(ish) restaurant.  Yes, I wear my nerd regalia out into the world.  Oh, did I tell you I got a compliment on my TARDIS hat?  It was from a girl who works at Advance Auto.  Whovians are everywhere.)

Things are looking up

It’s time for a Roxy update.

  1. She’s doing SO much better.  She wags her tail sometimes, she gets up without assistance, she meets us at the door and asks to go outside, and she even trots off the deck with some of her old excitement.  Sometimes.  We think the liver medication she’s on might actually be helping.  She’s also not favoring her paws like she was.
  2. Speaking of her paws, we took her to the doggie dermatologist yesterday morning, and he confirmed that her paw problems are most likely caused by her liver issues.  His solution is another antibiotic, another topical cream, and a change in her diet.  He says she needs a special kind of protein, so starting tomorrow (when I can get to the store), Roxy will get cottage cheese and calf liver with her regular dog food for dinner.  She’s going to love it.  The best part is that he thinks this should actually improve her paws, not just keep them from getting worse.

Right now, she’s wearing socks and resting quietly on her bed.  (We’re supposed to keep socks on her paws for ten minutes after putting the new topical cream on them.)  It’s cute.

Speaking of cute (or terrifying – you decide):

John thinks it’s fake. I think it’s hilarious either way. Here’s another one:

And here’s a really neat optical illusion.

All videos courtesy of The Daily What (here and here).

New floors, a little insanity, and an epiphany

We spent Saturday wincing at all the hammering and other assorted loud noises coming from upstairs as a team of four put in hardwood floors.   Totally worth it, but man, it was loud.  And COLD.  They had windows open up there and a saw set up on the front porch, so they had to keep going outside, meaning the door was always open.  On top of that, it snowed all morning and then my car wouldn’t start, so we just huddled in the dining room with the dogs and lit a fire.  And played on the internet.  And read.  And reshelved books.

Starting Saturday night, we became crazy people who clean.  And clean.  And clean.  And also crazy people who walk into a mattress store and buy a new bed in less than 20 minutes.  And then tie it to the roof of the car and drive home.  On the coldest,windiest day of the year.  (This was Sunday, I think).  And then, because Monday was New Year’s Eve and we were having people over and some of them were spending the night (and this new bed was for the guest room), we became the crazy people who have to run out and buy sheets and then wash them so they can go on the bed.  (This new bed that is a double, which is a size we’ve never owned before, so we didn’t have any sheets that would fit.)  On the day people are actually coming over.  And THEN, because I’m a crazy person who is also an idiot, I went to Wegmans on one of the four worst days of the year to go to Wegmans to get everything we’d need for these people coming over in LESS THAN FOUR HOURS.  What are the four worst days of the year to go to Wegmans?  The day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, the day before Easter, and NEW YEAR’S EVE.  It was a madhouse.  And they were completely out of the yummy pre-made dips made of cheesy goodness that I usually get.  Otherwise, I found everything I was looking for.  I just had to fight for some of it.

New Year’s Eve was fun, but as John and I were dragging our tired asses to bed at 2am that night, I came to a realization.  The demographics of our little group have changed.  (Okay, yes, duh – I know.)  Our friends have babies, and babies mean schedules and crying and parents who leave early to put said babies to bed.  All of that is perfectly understandable (and we love their babies and love to see their babies), but if half of our guests are going to go home long before midnight, maybe New Year’s Eve isn’t the best night to have our little get-together.  (Also, DAMN I’m tired today.  2am is entirely too late for me.) Instead, I declare Derby Day to be our day.  It’s always a Saturday (so no one has to work), it doesn’t immediately follow any other holiday (so no one’s exhausted from family and travel), it starts earlier, and there’s no obligation to make it to midnight (although people are more than welcome to stay late).  And it’s fun!

(I think we should try to do a summery picnic thing on the Mall (or somewhere in DC when the weather’s nice), too.  Easier for everyone to get to and also fun!)

That’s what I learned from New Year’s Eve this year.  I’ll show you the screaming sheep I found tomorrow.