My couch is a nice place to be

Online shopping is the best.  It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and John and I are nearly done with our Christmas shopping (it’s low-key this year, anyway).  We have yet to see the inside of a mall.  I’m sure we’ll go, but by then it’ll be more to enjoy the decorations and the music.  I like the mall during the holidays as long as I’m not one of the desperate shoppers.  Also, I’m on the couch, laptop on lap, wearing my pjs.  It’s 2pm.  🙂  This is okay with me.

Earning it

An early Thanksgiving report:

I’m trying to earn my Thanksgiving dinner.  Molly and I ran our own private 5K this morning.  I inadvertantly made it harder by suggesting we take that turn over there.  Yeah, so we went downhill.  A lot.  Steeply.  The only way back was to climb up.  So our thighs were burning, but maybe that means less stuffing will stick to them.  Then I helped Sean shovel a neighbor’s driveway (they’re out of town), so that counts as a good deed AND more calories burned (big driveway and wet snow).  I feel virtuous.  OH, and then I ran to the store for my mother-in-law to get bread and ice.  I would like to win Daughter-In-Law Of The Year again.

Bring on the turkey and stuffing and green bean casserole and sweet potatoes, please.  I’m ready.


I’m so not getting into the details, but let’s just say that I pointed out to a new-ish employee something that he didn’t do quite right the night before (nicely – I’m ALWAYS nice), I heard a tone in his response that was shrug-it-off/I-don’t-care/I-hear-you-but-I’m-not-going-to-do-that, I was a little sharp in my reply, and he didn’t like it. So off we went to a meeting where he told me he didn’t like being treated that way.


We discussed it, and it’s resolved, and we’re back to behaving normally, but what a way to ruin my day by 9am.  And to make me be extra-special careful around this one person and second-guess every interaction.  Ugh.

We don’t sound desperate, right?

The perfect couple came and looked at our house yesterday.  Please buy our house!  As soon as they walked in the door, the husband complimented my sweatshirt (I really like to dress up for showings).


Then he noticed the games on our shelves and they both geeked out a little over Betrayal at House on the Hill (and thank you very much to Jess for introducing us to that one).  His wife hates being the traitor.


If you don’t buy our house, please move in nearby.  We could be friends!

The stuff of nightmares

We had a substitute instructor fill in for Julia (who I’ve decided I like, although not as much as Lisa) at zumba Wednesday night.  I liked her a lot (Jessica) despite her choice to wear purple from head to toe.  I mean that literally: hat, tank top, sports bra, pants, and shoes were all the same shade of purple.  Maybe I liked her partly because of that.  She was fun and energetic, so I’m sure that played a part, too.  But it was a little like dancing with a teletubby.  The purple one was Tinky-Winky, right?



Pro Tip: Don’t google pictures of Tinky Winky.  There are some super scary/disturbing pictures of teletubbies out there.  I didn’t need to see that.  Of course, they were a little disturbing from the get-go.  They have dead eyes.

Going a little batty

I need to get my eyes checked.  Or maybe I just need a vacation from work.  Or maybe both.  I was logged in to a database at work, looking for which columns in which tables hold the data I need, and I saw a column called BATCHID.  No exaggeration – it took me a full 30 seconds to identify that column as “Batch ID”, not “bat child”.  I was sitting at my desk, almost scratching my head in confusion over why on EARTH we had a column to store data about bat children.  Was it a joke?  Did “BAT” stand for something and this is child data of some sort?  I’ve worked here for nearly five years – how could I have never heard of it?  Eventually, the light bulb came on, and now I feel stupid, but man – I was really puzzled for a bit there.

The rules don’t apply to him

It was SO COLD Tuesday morning when John and I got up to go to boxing.  I think the temperature was in the teens.  God awful cold.  But we bundled up (sweatshirts over normal workout clothes and I was wearing ear muffs (not the fuzzy kind – my ears get cold, so I have some that don’t get totally gross when sweat is involved)) and headed out.  We were a couple of minutes early, so we sat in the warm car before attempting the short walk from the car to the gym.  We should have stayed in the car.  Instead of walking into a reasonably warm gym, we walked into more freezing temperatures.  Doug said he had the heat cranked up to 80, but no warm air was coming out, and the thermostat was stuck in the low 40s.  We did our warm-up fully bundled up and didn’t lose the sweatshirts until 20 minutes in.

This morning, not as cold as Tuesday, but still plenty cold (right around freezing), there was a sign on the door: “No classes today. The heat is broken.”  But the door was open and the lights were on, so we went in and found Doug on the weight machines in the freezing cold gym.  So again, we stayed bundled up and warmed up with him and had class anyway.  We mentioned the sign at the end, and it turns out Doug never noticed it.  It wouldn’t have mattered, not to him.  He says he’s going to be there to work out those mornings, every week, and we’re welcome to come work out with him, class or no class.  It’s like we’re his playmates.  I am totally okay with that.

Slacking off and feeling bad about it

I didn’t go to yoga last night.  I went two Tuesdays ago for the first time in a year and a half, and it was great.  I’m ready to get back into it.  Really.  Except that last Tuesday was the first day I tried Doug’s boxing class, and I was all-over achy (especially in my shoulders).  Yoga has lots of shoulder work, and I hurt.  I ran that morning, too, and three workouts in one day seemed excessive.  Excuses?  Sure.  But I didn’t go.  I was going to go last night, but then I didn’t, and now I feel like I let down the instructor, my yogamates, and I don’t know who else (maybe all the people in the world who would go to yoga if they could).  You know, because the world revolves around me and everyone is paying that much attention to what I do.  If the class were bigger, I probably wouldn’t feel this way, but attendance has been dwindling.  When I went two weeks ago, I was only one of two students.  So I made a commitment to go, to myself, to the instructor, to my yogamate, and then I didn’t show.  Bad Zannah!

What am I missing?

You know what I don’t understand?  Vests.  Not the sweater vest or leather vest (although those, too).  I’m talking about outerwear here.  The puffy kind or the quilted kind – it doesn’t matter.

puffy vest

quilted vest

I don’t understand the point.  Under what circumstances would I want warmth and protection from the elements for my body but not my arms?  My arms get just as cold, if not colder, than the rest of me.  I guess I’ve just never been in the right situation, but I really cannot imagine what that situation might be.  When I run in the cold, I certainly start out in need of body and arm warmth, and I’ve never felt that my arms warm up before the rest of me.  When it’s time to lose the outer layer (if I ever warm up that much), it’s not just my arms that are overheated.  And I’ve really never had hot arms just walking around outside.  The whole idea sounds ridiculous.

Is this a fashion thing I don’t understand?  ‘Cause there are lots of those.  I mean, check this one out:


Does this one even close, tiny as she is?  And what’s up with those gloves?  Honestly – I need someone to explain this to me.  The whole vest thing, not just the oddity in that last picture.


This is how I’m supposed to be living.  (Sometimes.)  Our open house this week was from 11-1 (our agent got someone to cover for him instead of totally flaking), so John and I headed to a nearby historic district to hang out in a coffee shop/cafe.  We sat at a counter that used to be a shoe shine stand in the front window, ate English muffins, and I had the best chai latte I’ve ever had.  It was a little loud, but you know, Sunday morning coffee and brunch crowd – I don’t know anywhere we could go for coffee that time of morning on a Sunday and not find a ton of people. We were lucky to find this unoccupied counter space at all.

It was so nice and pleasant on a chilly, overcast November morning.  Lots of people walking by with dogs and kids.  People wearing cute coats.  (I can feel the urge to shop coming on.  Must step away from the computer.)

Don’t fence me in

Yesterday, I thought I was going to have to return a horse to its owner.  The trail I run on (when I run, which has not been all that often lately) is paved, but there’s a gravel path that runs along a lot of it.  It has more ups and downs, and I don’t usually run on it, but you can see it and the people on it for the most part.  Yesterday, I was running along a stretch where there’s an animal hospital on the far side of the gravel path.  I glanced over to check for horses (they have a small fenced arena), and hey – I saw one.  Outside the fence.  It was on the gravel path.  BY ITSELF.  No bridle, no saddle, just a horse, happily munching on some grass.  There was a woman heading in to the animal hospital when I got there, so I checked with her.

“Excuse me – did you know there’s a horse loose over there?”

“Yeah, he belongs to the neighbors.  They do that sometimes.”

“Do we need to tell them?”

“Nah.  They probably know.”

Okay, then.  I guess the neighbors felt the horse could be trusted not to wander off…  He certainly paid no attention to me as I went by.  It’s still weird.  I live in suburbia, not farm country.  This horse was not far off from standing on a sidewalk in front of a house in some development.  I wouldn’t mind living in farm or horse country, but horses don’t exactly roam free out there, either.  Fences, people.

Common courtesy

Is it so unusual for people who are selling their houses to actually be living in them?  To actually request a heads up before someone comes to see the house, particularly if it’s a weekend or an evening?  I mean, we make plans, too.  We eat meals, we shower – we’d like to be sure that we and the house are ready.  I imagine most people selling a house are in the same boat.  But every agent who calls to set up a showing seems surprised and put out that we live there.  We ask for a window of time when they expect to show up so we can make sure we’ll be there or that the house is ready.  We have NEVER said no – we’ve always managed to accommodate them.  And then they so rarely actually show up during that window.  TWICE an agent has called to say they’re running late and/or not coming, and we think they’re angels for doing that.  That’s how low the bar is right now.

Yesterday, an agent called to set up a showing  between 11 and noon this morning (Saturday).  No problem.  We were ready at 11.  It’s 12:30 now.  Around 12:15, I called her to see if 1) they’re still coming, and 2) if she could give us an idea when that might be.  I’m always super nice about that call – I get that they’re looking at a lot of houses and a schedule is hard to keep to.  So they’re still coming, and she thinks it’ll be near 1.  We’ll see.  A courteous person would have noticed the time (maybe around 11:45), realized they weren’t going to make the window, and called us first to let us know and see if we could wait or arrange another time.  OF COURSE, we’re going to be accommodating – we want to sell our house.  Just, you know, CALL us to let us know you’ll be late.

I know not all real estate agents are pushy and rude and inconsiderate (they just can’t ALL be like that),  but it seems like those who aren’t are in the minority.  A very small minority.  Where are they?

Support your local muppets

I found how muppets earn extra cash!  If they live in this area (and many others), second jobs may be necessary.  In their off-hours, when they’re not taking Manhattan, capering, or hanging out with kids (none of which pays much, I’d imagine), they’re washing cars!

Tell me those brushes couldn’t be the cousins of these guys…

Yiiiiiip yip-yip-yip-yip

I would TOTES* pay more for car washes if the muppets sang me a song while they did it.  In the meantime, this will have to do.

*I apologize for my unironic use of “totes”.  I got carried away by my enthusiasm for muppets.

Hours of amusement!

I haven’t had much time to play on the internet lately (very sad for me), but not working on Tuesday gave me a chance to browse Reddit.  I saw a hilarious picture of a church that looks like a chicken (posted by Reddit user Chillypow)…

…and followed the link to the BEST SUBREDDIT EVAR!!!1!  The title on the page is “Pictures of things that look like other things”, and the pictures are mostly of inanimate objects with faces.  CUTE faces.  Call it a mood-lightener.  I can now browse pleasantly amusing (and amusingly captioned) pictures to my heart’s content.  Like this one (posted by Reddit user Dewdeaux).

These chairs just found out they’re being auctioned tomorrow.

This is what the internet is good for.

Sometimes, they’re really truly asking for it

I hit someone yesterday.  Lots of times.  With my fists.  He asked me to.  Insisted, in fact.

Oh, hey, background: I’ve been going to the M/W/F boxing class since that first time I went in early August.  I like it.  A lot.  But that’s not where I hit the guy.  I mean, yes, it was in a boxing class, but not that one (because yesterday was Tuesday, not Monday, Wednesday, or Friday).  John and I both go to the  M/W/F class, with this one instructor (Nick), and a fairly stable group of regulars.  John has been going to the T/Th class with a different instructor (Doug), and for a few months now, he’s been the only person there.  (The class is at 5:30am, it’s at the other location, not everyone likes Doug’s teaching style…)  John has basically been training one-on-one with Doug twice a week, and he really enjoys it (now that he’s convinced Doug that he really doesn’t want anything to do with kickboxing).

Too much background?  I like to explain things.

John has told me a lot about Doug, a lot about how his class is very different from Nick’s, and he’s invited me to go along many times, but I didn’t feel ready.  I feel more comfortable now that I have some basics down (kind of), so I decided Tuesday was the day (since Tuesday was Veteran’s Day and I didn’t have to go to work).  The first thing Doug did once it was my turn on the mat (John and I traded rounds with Doug on the mat, and then in the ring) was stick out his chin and tell me to hit him.  My first jab was somewhat tentative.  “No, HIT me.”  So I did.  Right in the mouth.  Doug: “There.  That’s what it feels like.”  Then he put his hands up, and he let me hit him, sometimes blocking, sometimes not.  I think he was trying to get me recognize openings and also stop dropping my right hand (’cause then he’d tap me on right side of my head).  Early on, I hit him with a left hook to the ear, HARD, said, “OH, I’m sorry,” and he said not to worry about it.  That I can’t hit him hard enough to hurt him.  I know I’m new at this, but he says the same thing to John, who has a powerful arm.  And seriously, guys, I landed that one.  ON HIS EAR.  And he didn’t even blink.  His head must be stone.  After that, I got over my fear of hitting him and took him at his word that I couldn’t hurt him.  You want me to hit you?  I’ll hit you.  I’ll try, anyway.

So that was fun.  I’ll go back.  I just don’t know if I can take boxing five days a week.  Plus, if I’m boxing every morning, when will I run?  John hasn’t been running at all, and he’s missing it.  We’ll have to figure this out.

Painful chocolatey goodness

We woke up Sunday morning with nothing in the house for breakfast (not unusual, as I’m sure you’re aware).  We debated the usual breakfast options (Panera vs. Starbucks, most of the time), and then one of us (can’t remember which one of us – might have been me) suggested Cocoa Puffs.  I love Cocoa Puffs.  Decision made.  We went to the store solely for milk and cereal.  (We were not about to be distracted by anything with any nutritional value.)

What I had forgotten about Cocoa Puffs, right up until the first spoonful, was that they kind of hurt.  They’re really rough on the roof of your mouth.  Totally worth it, though.  So good and chocolately and they turn the milk into chocolate milk!  It’s great.  So I hunkered down mentally and enjoyed my Cocoa Puffs.  The roof of my mouth had time the rest of the day to settle down.  Until the first crouton on the caesar salad I had for dinner that night.  Oops.  And ouch.

Flaky agent

We like our real estate agent, mostly.  He’s a little odd, but in an interesting way, and he talks too much (when we get back from being out during an open house, we want you to go home so we can relax), but he’s nice, and he’s giving us a discount, and he’s doing the hard part of selling our house for us (except that he hasn’t sold our house yet).


At least three times (I think four, but I can only think of the reasons he gave for three), he has flaked on us for an open house.  The first time, his mom broke her leg, and he was the son in charge of getting her to the hospital and helping out. We totally get it, sorry it happened, do what you need to do, we’ll do the open house ourselves.  No problem.  The second time is the one I don’t remember the reason for.  The third time was two weeks ago.  I got a text 45 minutes before the open house was supposed to begin saying that he was stuck in traffic in Maryland and would get there as soon as he could.  Then he didn’t respond to my next text, and he didn’t answer when I called.  So we started the open house ourselves, and when it was halfway over, I texted him again to tell him to just skip it – go home.  He didn’t respond.  Later, we got an email about the horrendous traffic and how he’s so sorry and blah blah.  Sure, things happen.  But seriously?  Where the hell was he exactly, and why stop responding to me?  The fourth time was today.  About 90 minutes before the open house was scheduled to start, I got a text from him saying his dad is having chest pains and he’s going to the hospital to be there for him.  My response, again, is of course, I hope he’s okay, do what you need to do, we’ll handle the open house ourselves.  No response.  And we haven’t heard from him since.

So what’s going on?  We’re no longer certain when he’s being truthful.  Are these excuses to not do the open houses?  We’ve told him we understand if he doesn’t want to do it every single weekend.  He could get someone to cover for him (which he’s done once) or we could take a week off.  He’s the agent – what should we do?  He says keep doing them.  Okay, then.  He keeps sign in sheets when he does show up for them, but we never see them (we haven’t asked yet), and it seems like every week, 5-6 people come through (so he tells us when we get home).  But on those occasions when we do the open houses, we get one person.  Maybe two (it was two today).  So how is he always getting 5-6 people in?  Last week, he did the open house, and he said only two people came, so that felt true (even if it sucks).  Are the other times exaggerations?  Or the truth?

I’m a winner!

You are reading the blog of an award-winning photographer!  Well, “award”…no, it’s an actual award.  See?

Don’t let the blue color fool you, though.  There were 12 winners, and the judges refused to give us our rankings.  We had a photo contest at work, and the 12 pictures that got the most votes will be put into next year’s calendar.  Everyone at work will get one.  So, while I won, I was one of 12, and I may very well have been 12th of 12.  I know I got at least two votes (mine and Chastity’s).  Also, there were only 18 or 19 submissions, so….I’m saying I’m taking this award with a grain of salt.  🙂  There were some very nice pictures in competition.

This is the village of La Rocque Gageac, along the Dordogne River.

You like?  I bet you all would have voted for me.

What does a healthy diet look like again?

I haven’t exactly been eating right lately.  Part of that is due to lack of groceries (maybe most of it), part of it is laziness (okay, that’s most of it).  We didn’t buy any candy for Halloween last week, but we DID pick some up Sunday afternoon.  We are now the proud owners of a giant bag of peanut butter cups and KitKats.  A half-empty giant back of chocolate and peanut butter candy.  That was dinner last night (for me – I think John might have eaten something more substantial), and it was most of my dinner the night before, too.  But hey, it’s not all chocolate all the time.  I had a salad Monday night, and another one for lunch Tuesday.  Oh, hell.  I know I need to go to the store.