Because I’m supposed to

Hi, Dad!  I’m sitting across from you, and I’ve been talking to you and/or watching TV with you most of today, but I’ll know you’ve give me a hard time if I don’t post for you, so here.  This is for you.  Hi.  Now stop reading this and go watch more Supernatural.  You’ll like it if you can just get through the first few episodes.  I promise.

Please bother me with trivialities

My brain is stuffed with trivia.  It’s not just me – Corey and Mel have movie and music trivia down (I’m not bad those, but not great), Christine knows the Greek alphabet and can rattle off all prepositions (we don’t know WHY, but she can), I can name all the states in alphabetical order (A through L – I get stuck at the Ms.  There are so many!), and Mom and Dad can come up with all KINDS of crap.

There’s plenty of demand for trivia this weekend, what with the crossword puzzles, Songburst, and THREE versions of Trivial Pursuit in the house.  We’re the right people for the job.  Even if we all blank on the occasional question.  It’s cheating to use Google, but sometimes we can’t help ourselves. Google knows all, and we need confirmation.  What did people do before Google?

Awash in noise

Sometimes there’s SO much happening, SO many people talking, SO many dogs barking and howling and running around, that I can’t process it.  On Thanksgiving, we had nine adults and four dogs around the table.  The noise level was surprisingly easy to handle, probably because the dogs were quietly waiting under the table for scraps.  In contrast, Mom got back from the store a little bit ago and was greeted by four barking dogs and three people milling in the kitchen (Corey, Mindy, Christine, all waiting to start the dinner prep).  The rumor is we’re expecting two more people (and possibly their two dogs) tonight, making the minor turmoil when Mom walked in just now a prelude to who knows what kind of chaos tonight.  It’s not bad, not overwhelming in any negative sense.  It’s just…loud.  The noise surrounds me, stops making sense.  It takes focus to figure it all out again.  The football game in the background (UofL/UK) adds to the confusion.

All this activity drives home how quietly John and I live.  The TV is only on when we’re actually watching it, and since it’s just us, there’s nothing else going on in the apartment.  When we’re working, we’re pretty quiet unless we’re on the phone for work, and we use headphones if we’re going to listen to music. We almost never have people over (and more often than not, it’s just Jess, so we’re only three), so we never have more than one conversation going on at the same time, no cross-chatter.  It’s quiet.

Everything I’ve just written doesn’t mean I don’t LIKE the noise.  I do.  These are my people, and we’re having a good time.  It’s good noise.  So if I go blank for a minute, don’t worry about me.

Overactive imagination

I went down to do laundry (yes, I’m ALWAYS doing laundry), and I found the door slightly ajar.  The lights were off.  I was alarmed.  Clearly, the basement monster got out.  Or was thinking about getting out.  Or was standing right there at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me.  But I turned on the light first because I know what’s up.  No monster.  Which only means he’s fast.  And hiding.  Or already lose and on the rampage.  But my guess is that he was hiding and using his creepy monster powers to make me forget things like my keys.  I got all the way up to the apartment door before realizing I couldn’t open it because I left my keys on the icky folding table I will never ever use.  Had to go all the way back down into the basement to get them.  Luckily, the monster hadn’t taken them yet.  Lesson?  (I have to learn a lesson since I’m stuck in this basement/laundry/monster situation.)  Always wear clothes with pockets when doing the laundry.  Then the keys go into my pockets and don’t get left behind.

Hoping to miss the Thanksgiving travel craziness

Thanksgiving Travel: the general rule is don’t do it if you don’t have to.  And if you do have to, give yourself lots of time, or go in the middle of the night, or go last week.  We’ve dodged it in past years by hosting (which comes with its own complications).  This year, we’re dodging the worst part of the travel (we hope) by traveling ON Thanksgiving.  I’m flying to KY and John is driving to Emily’s house around midday on Thanksgiving Day (today).

With a flight at a time many people are already eating Thanksgiving dinner, I’m hoping to avoid all the airport drama.  And I’ll still make it in time to have Thanksgiving dinner at a normal time (dinner time).  And someone else will do the cooking.  (I planned it that way.  I’m very sneaky.)

Wish me luck!

I prefer to remember the times I spend alive and awake

I’ve been hearing lately that the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is the booziest night of the year.  That seemed really odd to me (isn’t New Year’s Eve the booziest?), and maybe it’s not empirically true (is that a thing you can say?), but apparently, it’s enough of a thing to have its own rather charming really off-putting name: Blackout Wednesday.

John and I are about to brave the wilds of downtown Annapolis to find dinner.  Wish us luck dodging the overeager drinkers!  (It’s early yet – we’re probably safe.)

It was a long day

Last night after I finished working, I changed into soft pants and a long sleeve t-shirt.  Several hours later, John cocked his head to one side and said, “I’m fairly certain your shirt is on backwards.”  I looked down.  The logos of the companies who endorsed that particular turkey trot looked back up at me.  Yeah.  Backwards.

John: When did that happen?

Me: When I put it on….?  I don’t understand the question.

Twitter? I don’t even know her! (I’m sorry)

This is why Twitter is fun.  I do not know Fancy Lady Rae (@imafancylady), and she does not know me, but we connected on Twitter recently while the Bloggess was retweeting everyone’s mortifying moments.  Without the Bloggess, I wouldn’t have enjoyed these few moments before going to bed last night:


Then I made it awkward by saying good night.  Who does that? I just didn’t know how to say this is really fun, but I’m tired, and I have to work in the morning, so….let’s stop now.  I suppose I could have said that.


I have seen a lot of cute kittens on the internet lately (more than usual, I should say – kittens OWN the internet), and I keep having these short-lived lapses of judgment.  I do NOT want a kitten.  I do NOT want cat hair everywhere, and I do NOT want a litter box in an apartment, and with all the moving, I do NOT want the added hassle of finding places that allow cats, and I most certainly do NOT want anything to complicate leaving the country (which we are SO totally still going to do).

Do I sound like I mean it?  Because I really REALLY mean it.  Except for a few seconds now and then, when I see an adorable kitten snuggling up to someone (or some owl – you must have seen THOSE adorable pictures, right?).  As long as those few seconds don’t turn into a few days, I’m safe.  Right?  NO KITTENS.

Mr. Blue Sky

All it takes is one sunny day.  Yesterday was a gloomy, chilly, rainy day.  Today has been the clearest, sunniest day in the history of clear sunny days.  And even though it’s a bit chilly (I wore a scarf with my jacket and hat to lunch), it is glorious.

Good things that happened today, in no particular order:

  • John had a good phone interview for a great job
  • Jess got very positive news about a potential promotion
  • I had a GREAT run this morning (five miles with perfect music)
  • Lunch was half of a delicious burger, split with a giddy Jess
  • Except for one meeting this morning, I have not wanted to reach through my computer screen and throttle anyone

It’s a banner day!  And it’s Friday!


Partly the clothes, partly the lifestyle

I have expressed my love for Athleta before, but it was reinforced yesterday.  I took the day off to shop (and relax), and, as is my wont at that store, I tried on nearly everything they had.  I did not BUY everything they have – that would be crazy – but I did get the things I was on the lookout for.  I’ll just lust after EVERYTHING ELSE.

I love them so much.

Horror movies

One of my coworkers is a horror movie buff. I noticed a reddit thread the other day about horror movies that were actually horrifying, and I thought of that coworker, so I sent him the link.  (I didn’t actually read the discussion myself.  Not my thing.)  He then proceeded to make me a list, a very long list, of good horror movies that I should see (his definition, of course).  There are 18(ish) movies on that list.  I humored him, of course, and maybe I’ll watch some of them, but for the most part, I think that would be a really stupid move for me.  I am easily scared.  Easily freaked out.  Like, woke-up-from-a-nightmare-the-other-night-and-was-too-afraid-to-go-back-to-sleep easily freaked out (for real – that happened Sunday night).  The Sixth Sense gave me nightmares, for crying out loud.

I want to like scary movies, but almost every time I try one, I end up regretting it.  It’s not fun.  I  have mostly learned from those past mistakes.  I know it’s not a good idea for me try any of the movies on his list, but I still kind of want to.  Maybe during the day.  A bright, sunny day.  Which is how I watched Cabin in the Woods, suggested by the same coworker (he didn’t suggest the middle of the day part – that was my idea).  I really enjoyed that one, but it’s not a typical horror movie, so I’m not sure it counts.

Should I try again?  Maybe I’ll become inured to them.  I’ll toughen up and be able to just enjoy the movie and let it go after.  Or should I give it up?  I’m 36 years old – maybe that’s old enough to know I’m not going to get over this.

I don’t feel like giving up.

Here’s his list (not comprehensive, and in no particular order – he was thinking of them off the top of his head):

  • Let The Right One In
  • High Tension
  • Eden Lake
  • The Orphanage
  • Audition
  • Pontypool
  • Babadook
  • Bad Milo
  • Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Verner
  • Evil Dead movies
  • Dead Alive
  • Dog Soldiers
  • The Grey (he says it’s not scary, but it’s good)
  • The Mist
  • Pan’s Labyrinth
  • Silent Hill
  • Slither
  • Sunshine
  • The Thing
  • Trick ‘r Treat

It was JUST like the book (mostly)

I usually like the book more than the movie version of the book.  Shocking and controversial, I know.  And that’s not even really what I want to talk about, but I mention it today because in the case of Gone Girl, I didn’t like either the book OR the movie.

I read Gone Girl in 2012, and THAT time, I liked it.  It was entertaining, full of twists, engrossing.  Then I heard they were making a movie out of it, and I wanted to see the movie, so I made John read it.  He didn’t like it as much.  It had been a couple of years, so I re-read it.

I did NOT like it the second time.  Nick and Amy are entirely unsympathetic, totally horrible people.  I forced myself to finish it the second time.  (I’m not sure why, actually.  Maybe I was hoping it would turn around.)  But I still wanted to see the movie.  After John read it, he was much less enthusiastic about seeing the movie, so we didn’t get around to it until this past weekend.

The casting was perfect.  It was very well acted, and it’s a very good adaptation of the book.  And I didn’t like it (neither did John).  So…points for consistency?  Except for the first time I read it.  So there went two and a half hours spent with characters we didn’t like.  I mean, we really didn’t like this movie.  It left us feeling…bad.  Unclean.  Not entertained.  Just bad.

So John chose the next movie, also an adaptation of a book, but at least this time it was an adaptation of a book we both liked.  We both read A Long Way Down recently (since the move to Annapolis), and the movie (also a very good adaptation) was mostly faithful to the book, with good acting and likeable characters.  Likeable?  Likable?  Likable looks like lickable.  Anyway, we enjoyed it SO much more than Gone Girl.  TONS more.  It was a palate cleanser, despite being about four people who don’t like each other (at first) and met accidentally when they all tried to kill themselves.

I have banned myself from choosing movies for a while.  John isn’t complaining.

Those who falter and those who fall

May I have your attention, please? Attention, please.  I have accomplished a great feat of laundry tonight.  And juggling.  I would appreciate it if you would hold your applause until the end.

After three months of living in this apartment, doing laundry in the dank smelly basement with a folding table (that I don’t use) that has a ring of dirt on it (from a potted plant, maybe) and a floor that I know has flooded at least twice since we’ve been here, I have FINALLY managed to do a complete load of laundry (complete meaning both washers followed by both dryers, since they are NOT full-size units) WITHOUT dropping a single article of clothing on the gross, icky floor.

Your applause would be welcome now.

I will admit that it was a close thing.  One pair of my underwear landed on my shoulder on its way from the dryer to the laundry bag.  My shoulder is infinitely more preferable than the floor, so I forgave it.

Usually, a sock lands on the floor and I start yelling (“EW!  Grossgrossgrossgrossgrossyuckewgrossugh”) as I swoop down to pick it up (hopefully not dropping anything else in the meantime) and shake it SO very forcefully.  The yelling helps de-grossify it, and the harder I can shake it, the more I’m convinced the grossness falls away.  I have not yet resorted to running anything through the wash again, but it’s only a matter of time.

It’s too soon to tell if I have crossed a threshold, but now that I’ve managed to set this record, I’ll work twice as hard to defend it.  No more clean clothing of ours will hit that disgusting floor.  This I swear.  This I swear by…the stars.

It’s humid in Oregon, right?

It got cold this weekend for maybe the first time this fall, and we realized just how dry our apartment is.  We can crank up the heat, but it’s not going help the dry skin we’re both suffering from.  This morning (after brunch at Miss Shirley’s Cafe (Wow – I tried to type Miss Shirley’s Face over and over.  It took three tries to get Cafe right (and I just did it AGAIN).), which was disappointing, I’m sorry to say), we went to Home Depot and bought a humidifier.  We have high hopes for it, although it didn’t seem to help in the front room today.  I just moved it to the bedroom and shut the door.  Maybe it’ll be better by the time we go to bed.

In more positive news, I gave up on the steampunk short stories I was reading and moved on to a fantasy novel by an author I like, and I feel SUCH relief at being able to dive into a book I really enjoy.  Apparently, forcing myself to read something causes me stress.  The whole day turned around once I made the change.

Cold hands make typing difficult

My day has been unsatisfying, I think because I don’t really like my book.  I like it okay, but I would prefer to like it more.  It’s a collection of steampunk short stories, some of which I like better than others (of course), and I’m just not excited about reading it.  I’m halfway through, and I know that if I finish the story I’m on and put it down, it’s unlikely that I’ll pick it back up.  That seems like a shame.  Like I’m punishing the book for something that isn’t its fault.

This is dumb, isn’t it?

Colin Hay seems like a sad guy

Last night, John and I went to see Colin Hay at the Birchmere in Alexandria (a bit of a haul for us now, although I guess it always was).  I bought him tickets for his birthday, and when we got there (early) and waited and waited and waited, neither of us were convinced it was worth the drive.  But then the show started.  He was good.  He was really good, and we really enjoyed it, and I want to buy all of his albums and learn all of his songs.  But seriously, so many of them were SO sad!  I cried THREE times.  In between the songs (and in between the bouts of crying), he talked a lot, there was plenty of funny banter, and his accent is a weird combination of Scottish and Australian, so it was fascinating to hear him talk anyway.

Still, I want to hear more of his stuff.  Without the crying.

Pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza – man, that looks weird

You know how you can go for months on end without eating fast food, without craving it or even thinking about it, but then you’re on a trip and you go through a drive-thru and then find yourself craving it?  And, probably, eating more of it?

Yeah, I’m doing that with pizza right now.  I love pizza, but I tend to go overboard and eat ALL the pizza when we get it, so I’ve been avoiding pizza.  But I love pizza, and when Jess suggested pizza for our movie night this week, I thought it was a brilliant idea.  (We watched Mean Girls and Bring It On (she had never seen either) and then Victor/Victoria (which I had never seen) and then the first episode of Crazy Ex Girlfriend (because I can’t be the only person who loves it) and then we were well into the third bottle of wine and called it a night.  It was great.)  The problem is that now I want pizza.  More pizza.  Pizza again.  It doesn’t even have to be good pizza.  I will eat all pizza.

I could go to the one place in town I know about that sells it by the slice (and only buy one slice), but I am also trying to stop eating out for every meal, so I went to the store. My compromise is pizza muffins (cousin to the pizza buns that became one of my food obsessions growing up, along with hot dogs and then toast).  We have tomato sauce, we have mozzarella, and we have English muffins.  That’ll work, right?

No children read this, right? They shouldn’t start with this post.

I was sitting at my desk in the early evening the other day.  It was pretty dark out already.  The overhead light was on (I don’t remember turning it on, but there it was), and my keyboard was in shadow.  It was getting hard to see the keys.  I have a desk lamp, and I reached over to turn it on.  Nothing.  It wasn’t plugged in.  I wouldn’t even have to get up to do it, but I just…didn’t.  Too much effort.  Instead, I listened to this YouTube video, and I felt much better.

Still didn’t plug in the lamp.

How am I supposed to answer that?

Work is getting to me (and yes, I’m working on the solution to that).  Actual question I got from someone today:

Do you have the issue [specific customer] wanted fixed by next week?

Do I have it?  I don’t know what that means.  Do I have a ticket for it?  Maybe.  What’s the issue?  That customer has a lot of open tickets.  Which one are you referring to?  Or maybe you mean, do I have it for action by me personally?  Maybe, but I can’t answer that until I know which one you’re referring to.  I don’t know of any issues that have to be fixed by next week.  (And that’s not how we operate, and you know that.)  They had two issues last week that had my attention.  One got resolved (it was a problem they caused and could resolve), and the other has a workaround and isn’t that urgent.  Was it one of those?

Protect me from vague questions.