Friday, December 31, 2010

I Did It!!

I know you have all been waiting for it. I did it. 40,000 pages. Here is the list (in date order of reading):

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1/2)
American Gods (1/2)
The Unlikely Disciple
We are on Our Own
Blue Sky July
The Remains of the Day
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Water for Elephants
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Hindi Bindi Club
Catching Fire
The Amnesiac
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Tender Buttons
The Stranger
The Tenth Circle
Living History
Extras (Uglies #4)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
More Book Lust
B is for Bad Poetry
Sense and Sensability
Sense and Sensability and Sea Monsters
Three Men in a Boat; to say nothing of the dog
Mr Darcy, Vampyre (unfinished)
Cold Spring Harbor
Someone Named Eva
The Mazerunner
Alvin Prentice
Franny and Zooey
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Chocolate War
Wuthering Heights
Bed in a Tree
Our Town
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Washington Sqaure
Harry potter and the sorcerors Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Cry, the Beloved Country
Organize Yourself!
The Beautiful and Damned
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Ocean Sea
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Society Without God
Family Reunion
Breaking Dawn
The Red Pony
The Reader
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
In a Sunburned Country
Half Magic
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
The Guy Not Taken (partial)
Things Fall Apart
The Iron King
The Owl Service
The Fairy-Tale Detectives
The Plot Against America
The Magician's Book
The Lightning Thief
Into the Wild
The World According to Garp
Middlemarch by George Eliot
A Great and Terrible Beauty
Iron Daughter
Simply in Season
Mansfield Park
Les Miserables
Od Magic
Blood Diamonds
How Proust Can Change Your Life: Not a Novel
Northanger Abbey
Love in the Time of Cholera
The Book Thief
It Walks in Beauty
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Vicar of Wakefield
400 Soups
Beautiful Creatures
My Sister's Keeper
New Moon
Silas Marner
Deciding the Next Decider
The Scarlett Pimpernel
Beautiful Darkness
Pride and Prejudice
Kafka by the Shore (unfinished)
Running the books (unfinished)

Monday, December 27, 2010

End of the Year MeMe's

If any of you have been reading my blog for more than a year, you know I have an "end of the year" blogging routine, three me-me's I have been doing for quite sometime. Here we go:

Exercise #1

1 minute ago... I was checking my new years resolution note on Facebook
1 hour ago... I was watching "Two and a Half Men" with ILs
1 day ago... I was in Independence, Kansas celebrating Xmas
1 month ago... I was enjoying some time in Duluth after Thanksgiving
1 year ago... I was on vacation from my new job with the state of Ohio.
1 decade ago... I was a junion in high school, finding a new group of friends and trying to stay out of fights
1 lifetime ago... I think I was in revolutionary in Russia

5 minutes ago... I was trying to read a book "Legends of Time", it was not going well.
5 hours ago... I was in the car, driving the ILs back from Kansas
5 days ago... I was driving to St Louis to start my Xmas vacation, listening to "Elsewhere" on audiobook.
5 monthes ago... I took a trip to New Jersey to hang out with my old blind camp friends
5 years ago... I was a senior in college, engaged to the love of my life and working on my 4.0 GPA

Exercise #2
The instructions are simple:
Post the first line sof the first entry of each month of the past year.

Its officially 2010. I am sitting in my family room watching Hell Boy with three cats and a big, sleepy black dog. It is snowing outside. Life is good.

The Weekend in Review: Watched The Philedelphia Story with friends, after a tasty potluck of cajun chili, cornbread, and butterscotch pie. It was great seeing people and the movie is hilarious.

This Saturday was the beginning of Purim. This is a Jewish holiday that has an annual party in my group of friends.

Tuesday I made a quick trip up to Cleveland. My little sister and mom are on a cross-country mother-daughter road trip for my sister's 16th Birthday (which was back in January), on her Spring Break.

Last weekend was a bit crazy! DH went to the Kentucky Derby with some people he works with. I was invited, but not interested. So, it was just me and the dogs

It is really hard to believe it is June already. Five months of the year gone. I am starting to think organization is impossible. For my birthday cake I had another three-trip to the store mess to get it done.

I have not been blogging as much as I would like to lately. I feel like my recreational computer time just keeps decreasing. Of course, some of the reasons are good - because I have been going out so much, because I have started walking at my breaks to get a little extra exertion into my day, and other similar things.

Today, I have the great pleasure of working 11 hrs. That would be 7:15 AM to 6:45 PM with a half hour lunch. That is a LONG day. And why am I putting myself through this? For the love of a sister. Tonight my little sister is flying into town and staying for 12 days.

Last night I went to the monthly Nestie Dinner. It was in Hilliard this month. We actually have a pretty good system going where the dinner rotates days of the week and around the city.

It is rapidly closing in on two weeks since my last post. An unintentional lapse sparked mostly, I believe, by my brief but rabid dedication to Les Miserables, which I finished on Wednesday night.

The title of this post used to be a cool marketing invention. Now it is very much over-used. And here I am, contributing to its overuse by putting it as a post title.

They have cut off access to blogspot at work, along with several shopping sites and other things. It won't be long before they get around to blocking my last remaining favorite link, my nestie message board.

Exercise #3
1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
- Worked full time the entire year
- House broke a puppy/took her through obedience

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I will write a whole other post about this!!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not close enough for me to get to meet the baby!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not close enough for us to go to a funeral, thankfully.

5. What countries did you spend time in this year?
Just America, went out to New Jersey a bit, and of course around Ohio, to St Louis, Kansas, and Minnesota.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Just a few key things

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My memory does not really work like that. Memories I will have from 2010 include some great days spent on a lake in New Jersey, a nice Thanksgiving in Duluth, a car trip to Kansas, The NFL hall of fame, and River

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I dont know if I really achieved anything this year? Reading 40K pages? (Assuming I complete this on Friday :0) )

9. What was your biggest failure?
I totally and utterly failed at my New Years resolution to get organized. I am so disorganized it is scary sometimes.

10. Did you suffer any serious injury or illness?
Dog bite? Sprained ankle? Nothing serious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Chrylser 300C

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Those who repealed Dont Ask, Don't Tell
Everyone who helped raise money for Haiti

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?
Despite my efforts to not become jaded, things become worse every year. Lets go with the general alarmism in American media.

14. Where did most of your money go?
We saved a lot, and had a lot of little luxuries

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Trip to Duluth at Thanksgiving, Aaron's surprise trip to Pittsburgh for his Birthday, my sisters' visiting, Harry Potter movie coming out, Eclipse coming out

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
California Girls by Katie Perry, just because it is so overplayed

"Felt Good on my Lips" just because I like it.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? about the same, maybe sadder
b) thinner or fatter? fatter
c) richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Laughing (can you ever do this too much??)
Cleaning. People say this never makes the list of things you wish you had spent more time doing, but really our habits are abominable.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying , Eating

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Witchita, had some great Lasagna at Aunt Barb's house

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I am totally in love, there is no more need for falling :-)

22. What are the main websites you used?
Gmail, Columbus Nesties message board, facebook, blogspot

23. Did you write anything worth reading this year?
Maybe a poem or two, thats about it though.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I really like Deadliest Catch. It has not been on in a while though and I no longer have cable. I have been watching Doctor Who on Netflix

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I try to avoid hating people, it never brings anything good.

26. What was the best book you read?
So many to choose from... I read 85 books this year (including repeats), and rated 11 of them 5 stars. Best Adult Fiction: Middlemarch, Best Young Adult: Mockingjay, Best Nonfiction: The Unlikely Disciple, Best Reread: The Book Thief

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I knew I liked Pink, But I actually bothered to get her Album "Funhouse" and have really been enjoying it. I am not very musically diverse, I tend to listen to the same things over and over.

28. What did you want and get?
vacation to Duluth, a visit from Mich, Rock Band 3, Lots of nice xmas presents

29. What did you want and not get? Jobs in Duluth, a lottery win, other things

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I loved Eclipse, and Harry Potter 6. I wish I had a list of movies I have seen like I have a list of books, but I don't. Easy A was also great.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26. I have no idea what I did. I just looked it up on my blog. Apparently I had a relaxing long weekend and baked a delicious chocolate orange cake. Mmm. Chocolate orange cake.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
no comment

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Presentable Casual, but mismatched

34. What kept you sane?
DH and consolation prizes

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
It does not really change. I like Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt and Vin Diesel's voice. LOL. Maybe add the Twilight boys if that is not too creepy. I loved Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland. I know, I am weird. The Wallstreet Kid is growing up nicely (he used to play that annoying guy on the disney channel, who knew he would be a serious actor one day?), and the guy who plays the main character in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is nice.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I was pissed at everyone in congress for their general lack of progress and cooperation. PS: The tea party is NOT the answer to this problem.

37. Who did you miss?
Everyone who does not live in Columbus!!

38. Who was the best new person you met?
There was one week this year where I met two new people and liked both of them. That is NOT common for me. I tend not to like people. One was a new nestie to book club, another was a friend's coworker.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010 ?
Sometimes you have disapointments in life, but everyone has disapointments in life. It is not that "life is not fair", its that the concept of fair and unfair simply does not apply.

40. What word or phrase sums up this year?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Magic in the Air

The christmas spirts are smiling on me at work today.

Last night I finally loaded all of my christmas music onto my MP3 player. I unfortunately could not find my favorite album, Sleighride, but I do have about 200 other songs including the entire Raffi album and Barenaked Ladies album.

It was snowing on my drive to work today.

I gave my Christmas cards out and people were amused by the "hee hee hee, ho ho ho" of my toy Santa cards. (I actually used about 4 different cards, so not everyone got this, but everyone seemed happy with what they did get).

A friend of some people in my unit brought bunch of Christmas cookies, including all of my favorites: Holly Leaves (like rice crispy treats sort of), soft molasses cookies, peppermint cookies, and a new possible favorite, chocolate covered mint oreos. (Edited to Add: Turns out she did not bring soft molasses, they are chocolate, and they are delicious)

Unfortunately the christmas spirits do not seem to have control over Football outcomes. Otherwise either the Vikings would have won (so I was happy about real life football), or Matt Forte would have scored a touchdown (so I was happy about fantasy football). Now I am out of the fantasy playoffs and my real life team continues to suck.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pictures from Duluth

Any questions?


I know. It has been FOREVER (or two weeks?).
Blogger is accesible again at work, so I have no excuse. I don't really want or need an excuse though.

Life is good. We leave Wednesday for our Christmas travels spanning across Missouri and Kansas. The Christmas shopping is done, the packages that need shipped are shipped. We did not manage to get a Christmas tree this year, but that's OK. I think if your Holiday is more stressful than fun you are doing too much. The exception to this of course is if you have kids who you want to do everything for. But being currently childless, I think we should do as much makes us happy, and not more.

I have been thinking about my new years resolutions a lot and have some good ideas. I will tell you more when we get back from our trip. It involves new music, books, movies, and habits. I may reincarnate the organization dragon in a whole new, and possibly more-accomplishable form.

Is accomplishable a word?
Oh well.

In case I don't make another appearance, Happy Yule!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Go Play Fetch

They have cut off access to blogspot at work, along with several shopping sites and other things. It won't be long before they get around to blocking my last remaining favorite link, my nestie message board. I feel like everytime I go onto it I am increasing its profile in our security system and likening the chances of it being blocked. I really would like an internet phone, but at the same time cannot justify the $400/yr price tag. Especially when there are so many possible changes in the future.

DH has started applying for jobs in Minnesota. We have not heard back about any yet. If he finds one, we may be moving within weeks. If he does not find one we may be here for ages. I may need a new car. Other costs may arise. We have been saving like crazy for the last three monthes and our bank accounts are starting to show the effort. It does not hurt those numbers that the stock market has been turning back around.

I have had so many thoughts for blog posts to write over the past week, but none of them have panned out because I don't really spend much time on the computer at home. Right now I intended to write a nice long post with lots of details and maybe even pictures, but I have a headache and really don't want to. So I resort to something I have been using all to commonly, the laundry list of thoughts and topics:

- I ran with River the last three days (Thurs/Fri/Sat). Very short, but I did it.
- Had Girls Day with some friends, went to a craft fair and then sat around and gossiped. Candied Cranberries are amazing.
- Made a chore chart this evening. More of a visual cue as to what we have done and need to do rather than directions for what specifically to do each day
- December marked the start of a new reading challenge. I once again was not lucky enough to get to create a task, but its always fun seeing what other people come up with.
- I am about on pace with my reading new years resolution
- I am starting to develop my new years resolutions for next year
- River ate another library book (goodbye $40). Why does she have a taste for those instead of my books which would be like $2 to replace?
- She also re-removed the pom off my hat that my Mom reattached while I was in MN. I don't know why she likes removing the pom and I don't know how she got access.
- My head hurts
- I have started to shower at night instead of in the morning. This is related to my running (in the evening), but also to goals for future changes to routine
- I really need to eat healthier
- I got more pictures printed for my office
- I am caught up at work
- Everytime I hear about people's health issues I analyze them from the Disability perspective
- I love half priced books
- Eclipse came out DVD this weekend, I went ahead and bought the BluRay/DVD pack w/all the extra trimmings.
- I have some Xmas decorations up but we have not yet got a tree. Apparently a lot of the tree farms are having issues and were not open long this year (as in, they already closed for the season??). So we are going to get one precut. Hopefully tomorrow night.
- I want to bake something fun.
- I have secret santa's to buy for.
- I am getting near done with Christmas shopping, just a few more people to go.
- We made our plans for Xmas and are taking a couple extra days compared to usual to see if that makes the travelling less troublesome. We will be out of town for 6 days.

I have to go. Gandalf wants to play fetch. I know this because he just brought me a pair of socks balled up from the bedroom, dropped them at my feet and started "meowing".

Monday, November 29, 2010

Arriving Home

Coming from home, arriving home, always very confusing.

I don't like flying. Its so convenient though, and I am a rational person, so I set aside the underlying conviction that all my planes are going to crash ans concentrate on the fact it is a statistical improbability. This rationality unfortunately can't help what the changes in altitude and cabin pressure combined with cramped quarters and less than fresh air do to my head and stomach. Luckily these unhappy effects usually wear off after an hour or two on the ground.

Arriving back in Columbus today was surprisingly relaxing and nice. We came home to a much cleaner house than I have grown accustom to thanks to DH's efforts before he left. The pets were all happy to see us and River was surprisingly sedate/controlable. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home and thus have a freshly stocked fridge with lunches and snacks for the week. I have so far retained some energy and motivation and got my bags all unpacked and some cleaning done before relaxing for the evening.

Some other updates:
- River: Turns out the reason she is more sedate/controllable than usual is because she got into a tussle with my cousin's dog (our Dog Sitter) while we were gone. While I am not happy that she started another fight, or that it resulted in some injury to both her, the other dog, and my cousin (all minor, don't worry), I am very glad that it seems to have knocked some sense into her. She seems to realize now that she is not the biggest dog on the block and maybe she should not start something all of the time. This was evidenced by he behavior when we fed them tonight. Grim was eating out of both dishes and instead of being assertive or pushy or aggressive, River sort of stood near the bowl that Grim was eating out of at the moment and cowered for a minute or two until I got up to sent Grim back to he own bowl.

- Reading: I did not do much reading while I was in Duluth, but it would appear I got enough ahead before leaving and did just enough reading to stay relatively on pace. I mostly read a Soup Cookbook while I was there (400 Soups). I have read cookbooks before, but now I have learned the lesson that when you choose a cookbook to just read through it should not be one that repeats the same type of recipe over and over and over and over... the point is, with one month and one day left, I have 4542 pgs left to read, or approximately 141pgs per day. Time to get (keep) cracking!!

- Motivation: As mentioned, still going strong. Upcoming plans for this month include starting to run with river (for real). I hate running. I absolutely hate running. BUT, there is not other solution to the equation that has remained a hassle in my life for some time. That equation is that I have limited ammount of time (t) outside of work. In this time (t) I needs to meet all of my personal and household needs, including socializing/recreation (s), household duties (h) and pet duties (p), and health activities such as cooking healthy meals and exercising (e). This would suggest a simple equation
t = s + h + p+ e
But, as anyone that cannot afford to either stay at home full time or hire a made knows, this is pretty much the hardest equation in life. Increase h a little at the cost of s and end up depressed due to social isolation. Don't put quite enough time into p and end up with a dog that keeps you up all night or chews your shoes. Most of all, of course, the goal is to get the numbers right and maximize your utility (that is, your happiness). For a very long time I have been saying I was going to somehow increase p and e in this equation, and for sometime it has not been happening. Increasing two categories at once is not easy. In fact, for me it has been impossible. The solution? Running. Running would allow me to kill two birds with one stone by simultaneously spending time on p and e. This would effectively increase the ammount of t by changing the equation
t = s + h + (p+e)/2
Of course, this is not entirely accurate as there are parts of personal health (e) and pet duties (p) that are not combined, but to keep this simple I will pretend that exercising the dog is the only component of p and exercising myself it the only component of e.
Enough vague nerdery for you? Ok. I will stop.
Now, if only I could find a way to combine cleaning my house with socializing... want to visit LEKT??

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanks for the Food

It is my last night in Duluth and I just thought I would write a quick blog post before heading to bed. It has been a fun trip. As usual, it both feels like I have been here forever and that it is too soon to leave. DH arrived here safely on Tuesday night. We spent out time here enjoying my family's company, and eating lots of good food. We got on a horse once - I rode on a short trail ride with my sister while DH only got on for a minute or two for a photo op. We had a tasty Thanksgiving with good company. We went to a bunch of tasty restaurants including a new family favorite, Duluth Grill. We watched football, played some board games, assembled some jigsaw puzzles, looked at some Christmas lights, and walked some dogs. It was a fun, relaxing trip, a nice way to recharge. Now it is time to go back to my "real life" and get back into the swing of things. I hope to carry some motivation and energy with me and get some things in order at home in the next month. I hope everyone had a great holiday!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I made it safely to Duluth.

I meant to post a couple of days ago about the adventures of packing, but I was too busy at work to do it. I was trying to clear my desk off before I left (figuratively, or clear my electronic desk as the case may be), and that kept me very busy. I did not quite succeed in that, but I did get it in pretty good shape and manage to leave the nasty ugly task that I was dreading undone, which is mean of me, but now my supervisor will probably do it while I am gone, and because my desk is in such good shape other than that she won't be mad or even think it unusual.

Anyways, packing. I am bad at it. Speaking of organizational issues... and I feel like packing for a long trip home is the worst. I never know what I may need. I need lots of warm bulky clothes as it is Northern Minnesota, but I also need lighter clothes for indoors. I need nice clothes to wear out when I visit old friends and for the Holidays, but I also need farm clothes that I can wear out with the horses or to play in the snow, but I also need clothes that is warm and comfortable to where under winter clothes when I am going around town. I need to pack winter boots and a coat, and also a warmer coat/parka. I need warm lounging clothes and pajamas. Do you see how this multiplies? So, instead of thinking through it logically I just start throwing everything in a bag, and therefore end up over packing. When I was done unpacking last night, I realized I probably brought something like 50-75% of my normally-used wardrobe, which by the way is just way too much. Oh well.

Anyways, I am in Duluth now. Life is good. DH will join me next Tuesday. Until then, he is stuck with our Bandersnatch (otherwise known as River). I meanwhile have been introduced to my parents two new dogs (one of which is actually my sister's on reserve). Ellie is an ancient Golden Retriever who seems very quiet and is very cute. Maya is the biggest Newfoundland I have ever seen. Massive. I thought our past Newfoundlands were big, apparently not.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Real Day Off

First, a small reading update. In the last three days I have finished two books - The Book Thief and It Walks in Beauty. I now have read 33265 pages total, meaning I have completed 83.16% done with 86.84% of the year gone. To complete my goal I will have to read 140 pgs a day. That is a 5 page reduction in my per-day quota. Another way to look at it is if I still intend to read 145 pages a day (as my last post dictated), then I am 2 days ahead of schedule. I will take it, especially since I am over half way done with Harry Potter 7 and Persuasion at this point. In an ideal world I could get a good 5-6 days ahead before leaving for Minnesota next week, so when I fail to read much there (which is likely), I will still be in the running.

I had Thursday off. It was lovely. It felt special, and DH and I have no idea why. We felt like we could do anything that day. DH asked the good question - why don't we feel that way every weekend? They are all ours to do what we please with, yet they don't have the same sense of freedom that Thusday had. After some doctors appts in the morning, we went out to breakfast at a chain restaurant I had never been to called First Watch. It was fine, but I prefer Bob Evans breakfast. Then we ran some errands, went to Half Price Books (where I of course got a few new books, including Good Poems, an anthology of poems chosen by Garrison Keilor, which certainly will be part of my reading list now), and then went to the dollar theater for a movie. We saw the new Wall Street - Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. It was a bit slow, but I decided that I really liked it. I thought the characters were interesting and realistic, and the acting was fantastic. DH did not like it, partially because he thought none of the characters were likeable or sympathetic. I disagreed. After much discussion about it, we came to the conclusion that he judges characters more harshly than real people and I judge them less harshly. When we got home from the movie we watched the original Wall Street, which was also fine, but nothing special. We went to bed crazy early and I did some reading, of course.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stupid Ankles and other Rambles

You know that ankle I twisted last week? Well, its still bothering me. Partially because I am an idiot and partially because my ankles suck. I am an idiot because I assumed it was not a big deal despite feeling that twinge of sprain and did not elevate, ice, or rest it. My ankles suck because... well, they just do. We have weak ankles in my family. My sisters and I have all had multiple sprained ankles. It was an annual occurence in soccer for me to sprain one, if not both ankles. My first sprain was in 8th grade and I got it walking across a tennis court. Notice: walking, on a flat surface. Talent. The joke has always been that I tripped on one of the lines. Anyways, the point is, my ankle still hurts and I need to start treating it better, you know, like I sprained it.

In other news... um. Maybe I don't have other news. This week is nice. I get tomorrow off. I am going to Trivia tonight. I am getting a lot of reading done. I am reading good books. I had a book club last night that was a lot of fun. I am looking for another book club. I am always looking for more book clubs. We might start one at work. I am already thinking about next years new years resolutions. I have not given up on getting organized, but I need to make it more concrete if it is going to happen. Did I mention I have tomorrow off? And I don't intend to spend it organizing. I do intent to spend it reading. Maybe we will go make a chore chart. DH is taking it off as well, just for kicks.

Um.. I think thats all? Bis spaeter!

OH! And two more books came into the library for me:
Linger by Maggie Steifvater, and
The Scarlett Pimpernel (another book for a book club).

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Reading Task

I have fallen a bit behind with my reading goals and its crunch time. With how poorly some of my other resolutions are going I really want to finish this one. Just to remind you, the goal is 40,000 pages. As of tonight, I have read 32305. That leaves 7695 pages. A different perspective: 85% of the year is gone and I have reached 80% of my goal. A different perspective: there aer 53 days left, so to reach my goal I need to read an average of 145 pages a day. Thats a lot. We will see what I can do. Here is a tenative plan:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - 592 pgs (for book club, I am actually half way through this)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - 759 pgs (I am about 100 pages in, want to finish it before the movie comes out next week)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - 328 pages
Alvin Journeyman by Orson Scott Card - 381 pages
Persuasion by Jane Austen - 304 pages
Everlost by Neal Shusterman - 313 pages
Mike and Mike's Rules for Sports and Life - 208 pages
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami - 467 pages
It Walks in Beauty by Chandler Davis - 368 page
As You Like It by Shakespeare - 320 pages

Total: 4040

Those are the books I currently have fromt he library or am in the middle of... looks like I need to find 3500 more pages. LOL

Ooh! Two new books just came into the Library for me -
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia - 592 pages
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult - 448 pages

Those would bring the total to 5080 pages, leaving 2615 more to find.

I don't know if you can tell from these lists, but I am already instituting techniques to make this happen. Almost all the books listed above are what I would call "easy reads". There is no way I will be able to read 7500 pages in two months of things like Nabokov and Dickens. I have to read things that read fast and that are enjoyable/keep me reading. Another way to get more pages is to read poetry and plays, both of which have more pages for less time in general. In some ways, changing what I am reading to reach the goal is a let down, but in other ways I think its a good thing. For the next few weeks I will only be able to afford to read things I enjoy, if a book is slowing me down I should just skip it. This is not something I normally do and I think it could be good for me. After all, isn't reading a book you don't like sort of a waste of time?

Disorganized Thoughts on the Weekend

On sunday we "found" an hour. Neither of us remembered it was daylight savings time (fall backward), until "noon" on Sunday when DH tried to turn on the NFL pregame programs and found nothing on. It was a beautiful, magnificent discovery. I spent the extra hours playing Sims 3. DH spent the extra hour sleeping through a movie. Ah, the joys of the weekend.

We did almost no cleaning this weekend, which based on the state of the house was really bad of us. I found I just couldn't care that much when I would rather be doing other things. I went shopping with a friend and bought about 10 new tops. I am wearing two of them right now and love them. On Friday night we went out to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and then to see Easy A, which was a hilarious movie. I love Emma Stone. We watched Clash of the Titans on Saturday night, which was pretty boring for an action movie.

Football was good. Vikings won. I lost in fantasy. The Browns beat the patriots in an exciting game. It was not close at all, but it was exciting because how unexpected the blow out was.

My schedule coming up? 3 days of work. Thursday off. One day of work. The weekend. three days of work, then I leave for Duluth.

I will be in Duluth in 9 days. HP7 comes out in 10 days. I am excited. Life is good.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Post #400

Another day, another post.

My right leg hurts. Wednesday night I got a very bad cramp in my calf, which is an occasional occurence for me (not always the right leg, but always the calf). Once the initial cramping is over the soreness lasts for a few days. Then, yesterday while I was walking the dogs I twisted my right ankle, just for kicks. We all know how wonderful of ankles I have.

It is Friday! Yay for Friday. I discovered today that we actually can work overtime tomorrow, so I may put in a couple hours to make up for how bad this week has been with regard to work. I also planned a shopping trip with a friend. I really am in the mood for a lot of football this weekend. Oodles and oodles of first downs, long throws, kick-offs, touch downs, and hard hits. Not the "We are fining you fifteen-thousand dollars" hard hits but the "I love this game!" sort of hard hits. I hope the games are good.

Other "to do's" this weekend - finish my book club books for the next two weeks, clean the house, and nail down my plans for everything that needs to happen before I leave for Duluth.

Yay Duluth! Only 12 days left.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sick, Broken, Busy

We had a lot of plans this weekend. Monday night we went to the preview of an online estate sale with our friend T, then out to dinner. Tuesday night we went to an election party. Wednesday night we were supposed to go to trivia. Today we needed to pick some little thing sup that we won at that auction.

Unfortunately, this was all complicated by (1) me having a cold and (2) the Buick deciding it was it's turn to have battery issues. My cold was not horrible, but it was bad enough to make me not want to work. I ended up cutting all of my overtime for the week and coming home early both yesterday and today. I have been spending the time reading and watching stuff on Netflix. Streaming netflix is pretty much the best thing ever, did I mention that?

Somethings I have watched:
Donnie Darko - weird but really good
Mansfield Park -Jane Austen is always nice
Wristcutters - a dark dramady about what may happen after suicide
I also have watched episodes of Doctor Who, Primeval, Law & Order SVU, and am currently watching Alice in Wondeland (Yes, the new one w/Johnny Depp that I have been craving to see again).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ah, November Air!

First, I encourage everyone to get out and vote. Yay democracy in action!

Second, apparently Novemeber is National Blog Month or something and there is a challenge to post everyday in November. I already failed that challenge by not posting yesterday. I started to write a post, but it was taking a political term and I do not write political things at work because of the state employee political action issues. I do plan to finish that post, hopefully on Thursday. So, I am not going to post everyday. I will try to reinvigorate the blog though!

Third. It is November. Back at the beginning of October I pointed out I had three months left to make any progress on my New Years Resolutions. Now I only have two months. It was not an organized month. Maybe I am just not meant to be organized. I will start projects or processes, they just don't last. I am not quite resigned to my fate yet. I started November off on the right note with a cleaning spree on Sunday. I think the main problem I have had with this resolution is my inability to come up with concrete goals associated with it. We had discussed having a chore chart, and I think we will do that this month. If it works it will be at least one thing. I also noticed that I have fallen a bit behind on my reading, and need to pick that up to read 40K pages. I really want to reach that goal!!

Monday, November 1, 2010


The title of this post used to be a cool marketing invention. Now it is very much over-used. And here I am, contributing to its overuse by putting it as a post title. I intend to add pictures of the events described in this post to my blog at some point, but if I wait until I have the pictures to right this I won't remember anything.

Friday night we went to BW3s for dinner, mainly because I was craving it. YUM. Mango Habenero Sauce and blue cheese. Yummy. After that we finished that we went out to buy the last parts of our costumes, including *dah da da dah* blond hair dye. Then we headed back to the house. We watched "Percy Jackson: Lightening Thief" - a bad book which turned out to be a worse movie - while I dyed my hair blond. DH was supposed to help, he was not very useful for applying the actual dye because he was too nervous, but he was great for the small conveniences of having him run around getting me a fan, or pouring me a drink while my hands were all messy. I am now a blond, at least temporarily (6+ weeks?). We will see what happens. I really have never dyed my hair before (not successfully at least), so I don't know exactly how this works with roots growing and such. Basically, I will leave my hair like this until I decide it looks too bad, then will either get it cut or professionally dyed to fix the issue (back to my regular color?). Whatever you do when you want to be done dying your hair. It is quite the change!!
Anyways, that was Friday. On Saturday I went to the last outdoor Farmer's Market of 2010. I got apple cider, cheese, and a secret addition to my mom's very belated Bday present. (you will get it soon, like 11/17 perhaps? LOL). I dropped the loot at home and then went in for a couple of hours of overtime. I don't mind working Saturday's. It is totally relaxed, you can leave when you want, and it feels like every task you do will make Monday better. When I got back to the house I just wanted to sleep. So I did. When I did get up I finished making the last part of my halloween costume, walked the dogs, and then dog dressed.

I have to admit, DH's and my costume was a stretch. It was obvious what we were dressed up as, but we gave a twist to it for our political friends (who are pretty much all of them). Pretty esoteric of us ultimately. I went as Alice in Wonderland. DH went as the Mad Hatter. Those costumes are pretty obvious. However, then we carried tea cups and wore name badges - Christine O'Donnell and Joe Miller. In other words... (wait for it)... we were the mad Tea Party. I know. Really really academic of us and all that crap. But the parallel is too interesting to me not to draw it.

I was going to discuss that point a bit more (the comparison of the political movement being called the Tea Party to the mad tea party that occurs in Alice in Wonderland), but I simply don't have the energy and want to get this posted.

The halloween party was great. Besides us there was a bad guy w/damsel in distress (she was even tied to a railroad), hermione and ron from harry potter, two chilean coal minors, and the miller high life delivery man.

I expected to spend Sunday mostly relaxing and watching football. I did that, but I also managed to get a lot of cleaning done. It was a good day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sountrack's for Life

As previously mentioned, there has been a lot of negativity at work. It was particularly bad this morning and I started brainstorming some "cheer me up" songs. I am not just looking for up beat/positive songs, I am looking for songs that remind you that life is not all bad and you need to move forward. Here is what I came up with so far:

"If you ever stopped loving me", featuring the line "Thats alright, I'm OK, it ain't nothing but another day," in its chorus
"It's a Great Day to be alive", featuring the chorus "It's a great day to be alive, I know the sun's still shining when I close my eyes, been some hard times in the neighborhood but I wish everyday could be just this good".
"Bad Day" - which just has the right feel despite the fact I can't find the lyrics that make it work

I have mental song lists for other things as well. For awhile I really wanted to make a "driving" sound track, for all the songs that make me feel cool when I drive the 300C (which I get to drive this week BTW because we had a battery issue with it and don't want it to stall in DH's garage again if it turns out to be the alternator because there is no way a tow truck could get in there if need be). That list included "Supermassive Black Hole" and "Meet me on the Equinox" from the Twilight Saga Soundtracks, "Diamond" from the Snatch Sound track, and "Spybreak!" from the lobby scene in The Matrix. However, I have not come up with 8-10 more songs to add to make it a full mixed CD.

So. Any recommendations for either of these playlists? I know I don't have many readers, but would be happy for more ideas if anyone out there has any?

I think creating your own "soundstracks" for life is great. Our senior year of high school we made a 3-disk high school soundtrack. I unfortunately lost the CDs, but I still enjoy the music from them and it is really reminiscent of those years of my life. I also made a soundtrack of songs my family likes. It was called "Volume 1", I think it could be about time to make Volume II. I also think we should have a Christmas Volume. I would also like to make an "Truman Sound track" for my undergraduate years, though I have not made a list for it. The problem with all of this is that I don't have great access to getting the songs I want for these CDs or a good set up/computer to do it on. I have had problems with many of our CD burners. I have not tried the newest laptop, so maybe its better, but alas. My father has an awesome set up for making CDs. I always intend to make some CDs when I go home, but I never have the time (when I am there I would rather spend my time doing other things, like shopping with my Mom or playing board games with family, or cooking, or visiting high school friends, etc). Alas. Alas alas alas.

Oh well :-)

Please comment and help me add to my song lists.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two Themes

They have honest-to-god real snow and slush in Duluth today! I am so jealous!! I am burning up here today, its probably 75 degrees outside and feels a gajillion degrees in the building. But, the weird part is, my little sister got the day off school. This is so odd to me! I feel like an old geezer, but I can't help but say that when I was young it took more than a little snow and slush to cancel school!! It took ice coating EVERYTHING, or very rapid snow accumulation, or extremely cold weather (like 20 below w/windchill of 50 below). I know, this is totally a "we walked to school up hill both ways" type of complaint, but I SWEAR things have changed!!

Second, today is my area's recognition event for the quarter. That means we have an area-wide potluck and have a short event where we all talk about how great everyone is and hand out gift cards at random. I was lucky enough to get a Starbucks gift card (I swear, the universe is TRYING to feed my habit!!). My unit provided breakfast. Our supervisor has this thing for breakfast and really went ALL OUT. I brought 4+ dozen mini muffins. Our supervisor brought a whole hot breakfast - cheesy hashbrowns, eggs benedict, waffles, and breakfast meat (bacon, link sausage, AND patty sausage). We also had fruit, cinnamon rolls, donuts, juice, yogurt, and scambled eggs. Remember, this is just our unit that provided breakfast. There is 6 units in our area. We have a full nacho bar, two units worth of desserts, and more meats, salads, and pastas. I think that in the first hour of work I consumed 800 calories and worked on one case. In the second hour I consumed 400 more calories and worked on one more case. I have been eating and then bezzling more ALL DAY. I currently have a bowl of veggies w/dip that I am snacking on. I am SOO FULL. I dont know why I am eating! But it is delicious, and its once every three months. No work, all food, all the time :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010


In high school we used to make list of "happy thoughts". These were lists of little things (or big things) that made us smile. They were chalked full of inside jokes, crushes, and other typical high school nonsense. I think though that the idea is a good one - a list of reminders of things that are good in life instead of just complaints. But, in order for a happy thoughts list to be effective at the moment I think I need to vent a few other things.

I have just sort of been in a funk. No really telling exactly why, though I have my suspicions. A cloud was cast over the weekend because on Thursday night River bit me. Now, River has bit me before, but this time was different. As usual, it involved resource guarding. We were in the bedroom and Grim had a nice rawhide. River had her own rawhide, but that hardly matters it seems. Anyways, River attacked Grim, I pulled her off. All of this is fairly standard at our house unfortunately. In the past when I have been bitten I have literally stuck my leg inbetween the dogs or some such thing in order to break up the fight. This time I had already pulled river off Grim and had her five feet away, off the bed, when she spun in her collar and bit my arm. Don't worry, its not serious. A nasty bruise, a cut that looks like it is nothing but bled a bit more than expected. Now all healing. We already have had issues with River, clearly, but this indecent throws into serious question whether we will be able to keep her in the long run. Aaron and I are not scared of River and feel no immediate threat. She still has not shown direct human aggression. We can still literally take food or rawhide out of her mouth if we want without being bitten. BUT, when happens if she is not so respectful of other people? If she does not see them as dominant/in charge as she does us? Especially with regards to kids. So... who knows that we will do. We are controlling the resources more. We are not giving her an inch in terms of rawhide or food. She now eats separately and chews rawhide separately from Grim. We of course will probably be doing more obedience. But ultimately I don't think any of these things actually solve the problem. She is resource aggressive towards other dogs, and when she gets wound up over this she snaps at anything that gets near her. Controlling the resources or teaching her to sit on command is not going to change this. I guess its just an issue we will deal with when we get there however.

I bet some of you are wondering why you did not hear about this sooner, thinking "I SPOKE with her on the phone, why did she not mention it?". I didn't mention it because I don't like retelling it over and over. I don't like the look of the people (or silence on the phone?) as they wait for me to account for what we are going to do about it. Lets just say it involves a lot of issues that are close to the heart.

Ok, so besides River, there has been some negativity at work. There was a contest for unit decoration my unit feels was unfairly judged, a meeting with the administration that turned into a complaint fest, and other various little things. Nothing major, just little bits here and there. Also, I have been having some difficulty concentrating at work. I used to always be ahead or at least caught up, but I have not been working as hard and therefore have not been as caught up, and I am not sure why, or how to fix it. (Note, I am still way ahead of the average, just not up to my own standards and abilities). This may be as much a symptom as a cause, who knows.

I have not hosted or had people over in FOREVER. I feel like the carpet in the front room has to be replaced or removed before I am comfortable having people over. It is in bad shape thanks to the combine efforts of the animals, to the point it is embarrassing. I am already up to $900 for its replacement (I am saving up my overtime), so we are getting there, but it would just make me really happy to have it taken care of.

As far as Halloween, I have just not been as into it as normal. I did not have any desire to host my usual pumpkin carving party (and didn't). I did not even carve my own pumpkin. I did not get a costume yet, though we have a working idea. I am at least excited for the halloween party. I uncharacteristically have the urge to pull out all my Christmas stuff 2 months early and start decorating for that. I have NO IDEA why. I mean, normally I am all about Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, and only want to decorate for Christmas when the time comes. But right now I seriously think some green and red would make things look nicer.

I am not excited about things I am reading. I have just completed two books (How Proust Can Change Your Life and Blood Diamonds) that are one star reads. My next two books are book club books. One is a re-read, which is a very good book but I am not in the mood for re-reads. The other is a new read but its by an author I have read before and found to be just OK.

I originally was going to start this post with complaints and end it with a list of happy thoughts, but it appears that I am just not in the mood for the good part (big surprise). The two main things that were going to be on the happy thoughts list though:

- Tomorrow is Rockbandholiday (Rockband 3 comes out)
- I get to go home to Duluth in 3.5 weeks

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another Weekend Update

This blog is rapidly becoming a slew of weekend updates. I do think of other things to blog about, but typically either don't have time or my enthusiasm wanes before I have the time. I am sure anyone else who tries to keep a blog understands entirely.

This past weekend went by quickly, but was nice. On Friday we watched The Blind Side. It was pretty good, entertaining and interesting, a bit too feel good, which I expected. We are absolutely loving Netflix and can now stream programs through our PS3. Some other things we have watched: Doctor Who, The Guild, A Haunting in Conneticut, and Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog. DH has been watching a lot of documentaries. Its so nice to have all of this good entertainment at the tip of our fingers and not have to rely on television programming.

Saturday I worked a little OT (money money money money money ... Money). After that I spend the afternoon baking a cake and watching football. In the evening we went to a dinner party. DH did not want to go because the OSU-Wisconsin game was on, but alas, social ettiquete. Anyways, it turned out to be good in multiple ways. The dinner party food was good (and more difficult, OK for Aaron), the chocolate cake was a hit, the company was good, and we played a fun game called Acquire (about hotel monopolies). Best of all, we did not watch the blood bath that was OSU getting beaten up by Wisconsin. I am glad I did not see the ridiculous, frustrating game.
Sunday morning we relaxed, got McD breakfast (yum.. I can't help it, I love fast food breakfast!!), watched some Netflix. I did some cleaning. In the afternoon we watched football and I read. I finished my book Mockingjay, which is the third in the series that starts with Hunger Games. It is YA Sci Fi Dystopia. I would post a review here, but it would contain spoilers and I don't know if any of my readers are reading that series. Suffice it to say, I gave it five stars. After I finished I headed up to Grandma's. Unfortunately I had a pretty bad migraine, so I was pretty miserbale company I am afraid, but it was still nice to be up there as it has been awhile. I made it home by 10pm and went pretty much straight to bed.

I have been having a ridiculous # of headaches recently. It has been a long time since I have had these many problems with them. They had become somewhat rare. *sigh*.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gallavanting Across the Midwest

DH and I headed to St Louis this week to visit his parents. We had a long weekend because of Columbus Day. It was a pleasant and relaxing weekend. FIL was unfortunately sick with a lingering cold/fever. Because of this we kept it low key. MIL and I did some shopping and hung out, the guys mostly watched football. We all watched some football. I bought a pretty new fall jacket from Kohl's. It's orange and it makes me smile. (see if here). I also bought a couple of patterns (a simple skirt, shirt, and dress, as well as a doggie jacket, which may be the first project because River needs it). We had a lot of fun sorting through fabrics and drinking Starbucks.

Saturday night we went out for Mexican (FIL was feeling a bit better), and then watched "Book of Eli", which was terrible in my opinion - boring, preachy, and unrealistic. Great combination. After the movie we bowled, batted, pitched, hoola-hooped, skiied, and flew on the Wii. Lots of friendly competition, lots of fun. By Sunday FIL was mostly better and MIL was starting to go down hill. We watched the Lions beat up on the Rams, did a bit more shopping, and just enjoyed the day and each other's company. We had burgers and fried potatoes for dinner, and my Apple Cake for dessert, all of which was delicious.

Monday morning FIL had to head off to work bright and early. MIL stayed home for a couple of hours to see us off. We watched "The Express", which was pretty good, sorted through some of MILs fabric, and eventually headed off, which is when the real adventure began. DH was driving and I was not paying attention. We crossed the bridge from Missouri to Illinois and thought we were on our merry way across 70E, towards Columbus. WRONG. At the bridge, about 6 gajillion roads all cross the same bridge and then branch off their seperate ways. Apparently while I was babbling about random gossip, or singing along to some song, DH managed to take the wrong lane and head for Chicago on 55N. We did not realize this until we stopped for lunch over an hour later. After eating we went to get back on 70 and realized 70 was not there. By this time we were so far north it did not make sense to just back track. We also managed to do this on the one trip that we did not have our GPS with us (this might actually have contributed to the problem, since when I do have the GPS I check it frequently for fun). So, with no map, and no GPS, I ended up calling home for directions. My mom pulled out her map and directed us across 48 to 72. This new route happened to land us directly in Urbana-Champaign, so we called up our friend who live their and stopped for ice-cream before continuing on. Back on the road, DH managed to get a speeding ticket, so I took over the wheel. It felt like it took FOREVER to get around Indianapolis and back to Ohio. We left St Louis before noon and did not get home until after 10pm. While it was great seeing our friends in Illinois, it was a really long day and rather exhausting. I did not get to sleep until after midnight and had to be up at 6am this morning.

I think I will be hitting the sack early tonight. Now lets just cross our fingers and hope that DH and I did not catch the bug that was going around STL.

PS: WHat does it say about middle america that you can be 50 miles away from the area you usually see and not notice a difference?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Its been a long time... I think I should be going

It is rapidly closing in on two weeks since my last post. An unintentional lapse sparked mostly, I believe, by my brief but rabid dedication to Les Miserables, which I finished on Wednesday night. I was reading that book in all the times I would normally be writing blog posts. I am sure a lot has happened since my last post, but I am not entirely sure what, or which things are interesting enough to blog about.

Some Highlights (and low lights for that matter):
- first beef stew of the season
- OSU football w/50 pack of McNuggets
- DH got a new wool coat, it looks great
- Nestie Dinner in Dublin
- Two Nights of Trivia (one of which we won)
- Review of Mansfield Park (see good reads, I am quite proud of that review)
- Les Miserables
- Found Money
- My first overtime/raise paycheck
- Low productivity at work- my first substantive quality assurance return
- Middlemarch: the movie
- the motorcycle vs Fools Rush in Bet
- "Shiver" book messing up MN
- "Forever" book taking Forever to read.
- DH's lost wedding ring.- last minute trip to St Louis (pending).

See? Things Happen. But nothing that is so amazing it dictates it's own post. So, you get some rambling. I am sure you are used to it. She was not able to reach the clmt.

I am currently on hold with Binder and Binder. Their hold message is really annoying. It is one of the Binder's talking in a low, calming voice, about how you might be eligible and they have a large staff that will be with you shortly. Let me be honest here. Binder and Binder is probably the last company I would go to if I wanted to file a disability claim. My opinion may be biased by my position on the "other side", but they are hard to work with, they don't allow us to speak to the clmt and they are not consistent at calling back with information. They do not respond to call-in letters. It is annoying.

I have been reading a lot lately, clearly. It is nice. The main reason DH and I made the challenge concerning Les Miserbables and Pride and Prejudice is because these are books we wanted the other person to read. I wanted Aaron to read Jane Austen, he wanted me to read Les Miserables. As far as I can tell, it is his favorite book. I spent a lot of time while I was reading Les Miserables complaining about it. First, about the long historic narratives of things I did not care about, then about the abuse of coincedences in forming the plot, then about the pages and pages harping on particular points, beating you over the head with ideas that could have been offered covertly with as much effectiveness (if not more). Victor Hugo wanted to be SURE that you knew what the book was about. He was not taking any chances of it being misinterpretted. Anyways, after all that complaining and whining, I ended up giving the book four stars. DH was surprised. The fact is, despite all of these annoyances, the book was chalked full of philosophy and interesting ideas, the part of it that actually concerned the characters was gripping and even a page turner, and it has an emotional satisfaction to it. Now, if I could, I would edit out 500+ pages, but I can see why it is classic and why DH likes it. I am sure we will soon watch the Mini-series version of it, and then perhaps the musical. Anyways, this reading challenge had nothing riding on it.
Another bet, however, had a bit riding on it. DH wants a motorcycle. I am OK with one from most perspectives, but would like to make sure that it makes sense moneywise. Would DH get as much utility out of a motorcycle as we could get out of using the money to go to Europe or fix up the house? I don't know. And so we have been debating the motorcycle. Well, trivia last week they asked a "casting call" question: What movie features Matthew Perry, Salma Hayek, and Jon Tenney? DH said "its that one movie that you own, where they get married fast and go down to south America." I told him I had no idea what he was talking about and I had never seen a movie like that. I told him I own the movie "Three to Tango", which has Matthew Perry, Naomi Cambell, and that guy from Law & Order. He did not believe me. We made a guess, which turned out to be wrong. The correct answer is "Fools Rush In", a movie I have heard of but never seen. DH continued to insist I owned it, until finally we made a bet. It was DH's idea. He said that if I owned it, he got to choose if he got a motorcycle, and if I did not own it, then he would not bother me about it for a year. Worked like a charm. I OF COURSE do not own it. DH cannot bug me about the motorcycle anymore. So, tell me, why do we put something HUGE like a motorcycle on a stupid little thing (whether I own a movie?) and put nothing on a big challege that we both have control over, like a reading race? I don't have a clue, but hey, whatever works.
I should go back to work. Bis Spaeter.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mmm. Rain.

There is nothing quite like having a wet dog jump into your bed with you two minutes before your alarm goes off. Luckily it was River, and not Grim. River's version of wet is hardly damp. Her hair is SO short that it holds no water. Grim on the other hand remains soaked for hours. Anyways, that was my wake up call this morning. When she jumped up on the bed I figured she must be cold and through the blanket half way over her. She did not think this was enough so she burrowed under my legs. Two minutes later I turned the light on to find her absoultely adorably wrapped up in the bottom of the blankets.

Its cold and rainy here. I love it. I was glad to look at yesterday and see its not supposed to get hot here again, at least not in the next 10 days. By then it will be October and I will be quite annoyed if the temperature spikes again. I am excited for October. DH has a great idea for Halloween costumes, but it could be hard to pull off. We will have to be very creative. I get to put up our Halloween decorations on Friday!

This past weekend was fun. Friday night I met my cousins and a friend at the dollar theater to watch Eclipse again. I can't help liking those movies, as bad as they might be. Saturday morning DH and I headed out to the mall and did some shopping. (I know if will be hard for his Mom to believe, but DH does actually initiate shopping trips now!). In the afternoon we headed out to the OSU football game versus Eastern Michigan. We parked down by our friend T's house, which is a 45-60 minute walk south of campus, we walked up, went to the blow out of a game with T and a few other friends, and then walked all the way back downtown to O'Shaughnessey's for dinner and drinks. We ended up staying out later than intended because the company was so good.
On Sunday I got to sleep in. I don't know when the last time was that I slept in that late or even wanted to, but I certainly wanted to yesterday, and DH was kind enough to get up and walk the dogs and all of that. When I finally did role out of bed I ran some errands, then spend the rest of the day watching football. It was a pleasant day, if somewhat unproductive.

Now I am back at a week of work. There is no overtime this week, so I feel like I have all this extra time. I will get off work at 4:30pm Monday - Thursday, and then at 11am on Friday! I am sure I won't know what to do with myself!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's on like Donkey Kong

Ok. I have no idea where that title comes from, who first said "Its on like Donkey Kong"? I might need to research the history of that. Anyways. DH and I are racing. As for about 11pm Monday night we are racing to the end of our books. My assigned book is Les Miserables (1463 pgs). His assigned book is Pride and Prejudice (390 pgs). A handicap is necessary in this sort of race, since I devour books, but this one might be a bit large. We will see. I am currently on page 336. He is currently on page 68. I am going to see a movie with friends tonight (Yes. It is Eclipse in the dollar run theater). That will give him a big opportunity to get ahead, if he takes it. Tomorrow we are both going to the OSU football game. Sunday I imagine will substantially be spent reading on both of our parts. I imagine that if he is really dedicated he could finish by Sunday night, where as that is not really a possability for me,

My part of the task would be made slightly easier if I was finding Les Miserables captivating, but I am not. It has this way of getting really interesting and sucking you in, and then totally changing locations and characters, or going into some long description of a historical event, so as to suck all momentum and life out of you. I am not quite sure how this is DH's favorite book. I knew in advance I was not a big Victor Hugo fan, having read The Hunchback of Notre Dame (horribly depressing by the way, I prefer the Disney version where everyone comes out happy at the end instead of dying tragically and heart broken). I am not against unhappy endings, but that book takes it to the extreme a bit.

But I digress. Actually I don't digress, because this post does not have som other point I was trying to get to. I just wanted to tell you all about the race. So now I am free to ramble as I will.
So onto a little political rant I guess. Politicians simplify things a bit much. It drives me nuts. I am so sick of hearing Anti-Free Trade commercials. I am not necessarily pro-free trade, but these commercials treat it as if its an obvious answer, that of course Free Trade is taking away jobs and therefore it is evil and we should not do it. Seriously, if ANYTHING in economics or politics was that simple, it would be SO obvious what needed to be done that we would not even need two parties, But in reality things are more complicated than that. That anti-free trade person is not mentioning that without free trade you would be facing much higher prices in stores everywhere. My point is that it is complex, and should be treated as complex. I think thats the problem with democracy overall. Competition and trying to win the popular vote encourages oversimplification. An average voter does not have time to understand or sort out the complexities (I am inclined to actually say does not have the intelligence, but that may be a bit too overtly pessimistic) Ah, democracy. The worst form of government possible, but better than all the alternatives.

PS: As far as "its on like donkey kong", I cannot find the origins. It is just a general phrase going back to the original video game, propagated no doubt by the awesome rhyme. It pops up in random pieces of music and movies at least back to 1992 and perhaps before that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekend Installment #3 - Lack of Cable

The third and final installment is supposed to be about the effects cancelling cable has had to this date. It certainly is an adjustment. I think it was felt most acutely by Aaron when the first commercial came on during the college football game on Sunday and he had no other game to flip to. I don't mind this so much. College football is OK, but NFL football is where my heart really lies - which means that I felt the loss of cable greatly on Monday Night when we did not have Monday Night football, which plays on ESPN now.

I watch football in so many ways. We have it on in our house almost all weekend. Some games I really watch. Some I watch while I do something else, like read or clean, or back in the good old days - do calculus homework. In high school I loved collapsing on my parents living room floor on Sunday with 6+ hrs of football ahead and a good math assignment. I know, I am a total nerd. For a long time, football and studying went together so well for me that I would be rejuvinated in my studies by the start of the football season. So, some games, I watch, some games I sort of watch, and some games I nap infront of. There is no nap like a football nap. They are wonderful. I can nap just as well infront of network football as I could infront of cable football, thats for sure!

So, besides missing out on some football, the loss of cable also has us watching more movies - we may get netflix soon. I watched Sleeping Beauty over the last two nights and it was quite enjoyable. It also has us watching a bit more network television. We watched House on Monday night. It was horrible. Seriously. What happened to that show? It was SO BORING. They did not have a case. They were not witty and funny. There was not emergencies and drama. It was all House being too sweet to Cuttie and emotional angst. Blah. I won't be following it this season. Last night I watched the premier of biggest loser (while reading Les Miserables, which is an entirely other blog post all together). The show makes me think of work SO MUCH now. (BECAUSE the majority of people applying for disability are obese). According to the show 2/3 of all American's are obese. I am not sure I see that in society, but whatever the number is it is very blatantly too high and getting higher. Its sad that two of the potential contestants collapsed during the pre-testing for the show. It is also sad that the way they set the show up, some of the people who need it the most didn't "make the cut" so to speak. I probably will marginally follow this, as I usually do, until it started to get old. I have been trying to lose a little weight and so far its going great, though I am confident that most of what I have "lost" so far has been water weight. We are making a pretty chart, when it gets far enough to be interesting, I will post it.

Other Random Thoughts : I am reading Les Miserables. I am going to Trivia tonight. I am going to the OSU game this weekend. Today is the first of fall and it was supposed to be hot. I don't know if it actually was hot because I have been inside. It looks cloudy out which is awesome. I hope it storms. I hope it pours rain and thunders and lightenings. Life is already good, and that would make it even better.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Installment #2 - Austen vs Eliot

I have been waiting until after book club this week to post about Middlemarch by George Eliot, because I did not want to "give away" too much of my thoughts on it prior to the meeting. But, now that I am reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, I cannot help but comment on both.

When I started reading Middlemarch, I almost immediately labelled it George Eliot "a smarter Jane Austen", which apparently is a common response. However, now that I am reading Jane Austen again I am not quite sure the description fits, or the comparison fits. At first glance, the comparison is only natural. They both are female authors (George Eliot is a pseudonym) writing about a similar time period. Books by both authors are greatly concerned with marriages, livings, dowries, fortunes, and love. George Eliot offers a detailed and rich portrayal that so clearly mimics the complexities of human behavior that it is quite disarming. In contrast, many if not most of Jane Austen's characters are caricatures rather than characters, parodying the archetypes and flaws that made a women's life in her time so insufferable. I am not a scholar, but I would hazard to guess that most of Jane Austen's books were actually making fun of the people who read them, frequently I would imagine without the readers knowledge.

And why this soliloquy? I have embarked on a Jane Austen fest. There are some authors who I just get into for periods of time in all of their varieties and exploits. The obvious examples are Stephanie Meyer/Twilight and JK Rowling/Harry Potter. I will start reading one, or see a movie from one, and all of the sudden will want to read, reread, watch, and re watch everything they have. Well, my current audio book as mentioned is Mansfield Park. That lead me to re-watch Pride and Prejudice Friday night (the Kiera Knightley version), which lead me to pick up Emma (BBC version), and Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson version), from the library, which I also watched over the weekend.

I am thinking that perhaps I will see if there is a BBC of Middlemarch next.

That is my musings on Jane Austen and George Eliot for the day. I think it might segway nicely into my next intended post about cancelling cable...

Weekend Installment #1: Eggplant Adventure

This weekend was very relaxing and I feel like I have a lot of things to say about it, despite its generally laid-back nature. So, here is installment one: eggplant adventure.

On Saturday morning I went to the farmer's market on my own. I do not know the last time I went alone was, there is always someone willing to meet me there, but unfortunately my normal partner's in crime were celebrating a Jewish holiday and my back-ups were all otherwise occupied. I did quite well for myself though. I recently borrowed a cookbook from the library called Simply in Season. As the title suggests, the book focuses on recipes for produce as it comes into season in the spring, summer, and fall. The recipes sound delicious, although the other notes in the book are both a bit too hippie and a bit to religious for my tastes. Of course, when I say hippie I am using the 90s version of the word (pot smiking, tree hugging, granola eating "one with the earth" types), not the 60s version (pot smoking, other drug taking, rock-festival attending types). Almost every page either included a bible quote, a story about how gardening ties you to the earth and is good for you, or both (or in the rare case, a mini-lecture on the evils of agro-business, of fast food, etc). Anyways, the recipes still are enticing, and they did inspire me to try some new types of produce. I am interested in trying Leeks and Kale, Eggplant, and a number of other things (these being the fall varieties). So, I embraced my book-inspired produce kick at the Farmers market and picked up much more than I normally do, including the first of my experiments: Eggplant.

I have had eggplant before, for sure. But, I have to admit I have never cooked it, and never had it in such a way that I was considering whether I liked it or not. I know that sounds odd, but it has been one of those things that when it came up I ate it and did not give it much thought. Sunday I cooked it up. I used a slightly altered recipe from Simply in Season called "Spicy Eggplant" that called for sliced Eggplant to be coated in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, fresh cilantro, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, and then broiled. The main alterations I made was replacing the lemon juice with lime juice, and using a curry blend that included coriander in lew of straight coriander. Incedently. I also took the opportunity to try a bit of raw eggplant, as my cookbook said "not normally eaten raw". I don't know why its not normally eaten raw, it was quite tasty, much like summer squash or zuchini raw, only crisper (which in my opinion is a good thing). I totally can see throwing it in a salad or putting it out to dip. Anyways, I also prepared a raw-corn salad of my own design w/raw corn cut off the cobs, plenty of cilantro, sweet peppers, hot banana pepper, and tomatillos (all raw), tossed in lime juice.

The final result? A delicious meal. The eggplant smelled wonderufl cooking with all of those spices on it, and once out was tasty and paired perfectly with the raw-corn salad. It was a hippie meal if I ever saw one, but quite yummy. I did miss having a bit of meat involved, but I think that in all reality we as a society should probably eat a bit less meat and the occasional meat free, wheat free meal could do us a lot of good. I will certainly make this again and continue to experiment w/Eggplant and other new ingredients.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Insert creative post title here...

So, these blankets I have been making have proved to be very popular. I already have had two people, one in my unit who was a recipient of the gift, and one who is a friend of my supervisor, ask if I sell them. If there were any profit to be made, I would be happy to sell them, but there isn't. The material's alone for each blanket, without any labor, range from $20-30 depending on how careful you are in fabric selection. Some of the blankets I have given away are actually even more than that in materials because I could not resist a particular polarfleece or cotton print that was a bit more pricey. I don't expect people to pay more that that for a blanket like this (I would place their value at around $25?, which means my labor adds no value). I guess if people wanted solid colors, and I bought everything on sale, I might get materials down to $15, or if the cotton was clearance. The point is, there is not really profit to be made. I feel bad because I like making them and I wish I could provide them for more people, but it just doesn't make sense. I told my unit member that if she really wanted one for someone I would be happy to do the labor for free if she provided materials, but thats not an offer I am willing to make to the whole building. No etsy shop for me I guess. At least not for blankets.
There is sort of an etsy craze going on, everyone seems to have an etsy site. Etsy, for those of you who don't know, is this awesome website that allows people to sell their hand made goods or supplies for such goods. It is sort of a neverending online craft fair. You can find so many interesting things on there. I have considered the possability of opening one up for the beading I have been doing, but I am so lazy, so inefficient at handling little things like mailing and bills etc, that I am certain it would be a disaster.

In other news, my friend R has started working at BDD. She is in the same position I was a year ago, in her first week of training. She is, like I was back then, experiencing the joys of being in a training class with somewhat unorganized trainers and classmates who can't follow what is going on. No, training is not that bad, but its certainly annoying at times. Its nice eating lunches with her.

In other other news, our cable actually is gone now. On the downstairs (main) TV this had the expected effect. We now have ABC,CBS,NBC,FOX,PBS, and a handful of random channels. (RTV anyone?). The consequence upstairs was much different. The TV does not have a built in digital antenna, so we are still plugged into the cable line. The result is that we are getting the random channels that our cable company failed to block. We have about five channels, and I think they can safely be called "the channels no one would bother paying for specificlaly anyways" - Big Ten Network (great to get football games, but otherwise useless), Hallmark, versus, and nickolodean toon. I already miss Mike & Mike in the morning. Luckily that can be remedied with a radio.

Enough random thoughts for now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I need to post more often so the unpleasant posts move more quickly down the page and can be replaced by fun things.
This past weekend was a blur of blanket making. Actually, that blur didn't start until Saturday around 10:30AM. On Friday night DH and I went out with our friend T. We walked from his apt over to the Short North to try out Lemongrass Bistro. The appetizer we had was amazing (seared tuna tar tar). The entrees were pretty good, but not worth the price. I would love to go back there for sushi sometime, but doubt I would go back for a hot meal. After dinner we walked down and got a drink at Rossi, and then walked back south to get some delicious Jeni's ice cream, then back to T's house where we shared a bottle of wine. It was a very fun night and it was great catching up with T after not having seen him for probably 2 months! Saturday morning I got up surprisingly early and felt surprisingly good considering I had drank something near a half bottle of wine. I met R & M at the farmers market. It is in full swing. I think I need to plan meals in advance this coming week if I want to take full advantage of it. After the farmers market, the sewing began. I finished my fifth blanked around 5pm, the sixth I finished around 11pm that night, and the 7th I did entirely on Sunday.
Now I am back to work and officially off probation. That means that I spend the last day and a half in training for the various new claim types we will take on now that we have established we are trustworthy. My one-year anniversary also comes with a nice pay raise and the ability to work overtime, which I am instantly embracing. I am not sure exactly how much I will work, but I will work it. I am saving up my overtime money for new front floors. DH and I are sort of on a savings kick (which we desperately needed). We also have decided to cancel cable and our land line phone. We are looking at switching our Internet to a new company that will be cheaper and more portable (something we could "take along" with the laptop for DH's work).
Overall it has been a very busy but very good few days.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor FREE Weekend

We spent a pleasant weekend with friends B&R who were visiting from Illinois. They got in late Friday night, which gave us a chance to clean the house thoroughly before their arrival. I tried the magic eraser (actually the off brand copy) and am absolutely amazed at the results, it got stuff out of my tub that I did not know needed to come off (that I thought was permanent stain due to prior owner's mat).

Anyways, we had a good time. R and I went to the farmers market. We all played Rock Band, ate good food, and played Frisbee/Football/Soccer in the nearby field (with and without dogs). On Sunday we treked up to Cedar Point where I enjoyed Millenium Force and other roller coasters. DH's cellphone fell victim to the Mantis. We came back to Columbus and topped the day off with a delicious and friendly dinner at Buca de Beppo, excellent. They left Monday around noon, then ended up having to come back 5 hrs later (after they had made it half way home) for a forgotten and crucial briefcase.

I have some really cheesy thoughts about theme parks and life at the moment, maybe I will post them in the next post, maybe I will get distracted and move on. Other possible upcoming posts: Review of Middlemarch, commentary on my fall reading challenge, and update about work.

Friday, September 3, 2010

And so it begins... YAY!

Football season is officially back!! While we had been somewhat enjoying the preseason NFL games, it is exciting to have college football in full swing w/the NFL soon to follow. DH and I scored some great tickets for the game last night. We are lucky enough to have lots of friends with tickets and are able to buy a few here and there at the low student prices.

The game, for those of you who either live outside Ohio, or are in Ohio and live under a rock, was OSU versus Marshall. Our tickets were on the south end zone, five rows up from the field. This is by far the closest we have ever been to the action and it offered a different perspective than I have had the opportunity to see before. When the play was not TOO far down the field, and we were behind the quarterback, I could actually see the play developing, which is something I have never been good at. I could see why the RB did or did not try to cut through a certain hole, and when a receiver magically became open in the chaos of the play.

We also were right by the band and the cheerleaders, which was cool. Those cheerleaders really work hard, I just can't imagine throwing a girl up in the air, catching her by one foot and then finding the strength to balance her and hold her up for a few minutes. Its seriously impressive.

Another part of the entertainment for the night was a very large meeting of the marching band Alumni. There were so many of them!! It was really cool. They sat in the section where the rival band usually sits (and then some, since there were so many of them). They also performed before the game and at half time. At half time they did a big show, it was really cool. The grand finale was Script Ohio... x4!! Thats right, they had enough band members there (+some) to do four Script Ohios, two on the main field and one in each endzone. Very impressive. They had a lot of the drum majors from various years, so there were batons flying everywhere. I think some of those men LIVE for this reunion. When else do they get to use their finally honed baton skills? There were also alumni cheerleaders. We were waiting for one of the 50 yr old guys to try and do a lift and throw their back out, but luckily that did not happen.

The game, by the way, was a complete blow out. We left a few minutes into the fourth quarter (as did half the crowd it seemed, based on our walk back to the car). It was a really fun night. I love night games, and I love football!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Roadhouse in Hilliard

Last night I went to the monthly Nestie Dinner. It was in Hilliard this month. We actually have a pretty good system going where the dinner rotates days of the week and around the city. For example, last month dinner was on the first Tuesday and was south of Columbus. This month is was the first Wednesday and it was West of Columbus. Next month will be the first Thursday and will be Northwest of Columbus, etc. It's a good system. Dinner was in Hilliard, right near where I normally have trivia. Luckily or unluckily Trivia was cancelled due to a political science conference. Anyways, the restaurant was called Roadhouse Grill and Wings. I managed to arrive a half hour late - not because I was busy or could not get away from work, but because I never looked at the time on the evite. I assumed 7pm. I think that for a long time we were doing 7pm as the start time and then a couple of months ago it switched to 6:30pm. The company was good, SD had her son there, who is about a year old and absolutely adorable. I ordered Mango Habenero wings w/blue cheese. The wings themselves were delicious - crunchy and perfect. I see why they have won some best wings awards. However, the sauce was sugary and I believe it was butter based, it hardly would stick to the wings at all and did not have any zing to it. The blue cheese was.... well let me go back and say the "blue cheese" was no good. I am not sure what the waitress brought me but I will eat my shorts if it actually contained any blue cheese at all. I would go so far as to say it was disgusting. The sides I tried (onion rings, mozeralla sticks), were excellent. The dessert (and our reason for going there- funnel cake), was a bit overcooked. I guess it is a restaurant of extremes.

In summary:
Wings 9/10
Sauce 3/10
Blue Cheese (0/10)
Sides 7/10
Funnel Cake 4/10

I may go back for the wings, and try a different sauce and avoid the blue cheese. Maybe they are not all so buttery?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Autumn Commeth

Signs are popping up all over the place that summer is over and fall is on its way. There are a handful of leaves on the ground. The farmers market has pie pumpkins, sweet potatoes and gourds. There is pre-season football and we had our fantasy football draft. Halloween stuff is going out in stores. There is rumor that the pumpkin latte is about to return to Starbucks. Most of these signs are welcome. Unfortunately, the sign of fall that I most look forward to just does not want to come -- cooler weather. Today was over 90 degrees. I walked out for lunch and immediately felt like I couldn't breath (I am not sure if that is the temperature alone or the air quality warning). I want the cool bite of frost in the morning and the fresh crispness of fall. I boo this heat.

Fall means a few other things as well. September 1st means that we are about 2/3 of the way through 2010. I think its probably a good time to evaluate how I am doing on my new years resolutions. After all, there is still time to make progress.

(1) Get Organized!!This was my biggest goal of the year, and I knew it would be a big challenge, but I did not realize how difficult it would be to even get started. I am not ready to give up on this though. I have four months left, I should make atleast SOME progress on it. I still hardly know where to start though! I am just not an organized individual. I don't have a plan for how I am going to work on this, but I am going to try again.

(2) Cook More, Eat HealthierWhile I have been cooking more in the past few weeks, I overall have been failing at this. Part of it is the above - ORGANIZATION. Part of it is our current social habits. There is typically at least two nights a week where I am meeting people at a restaurant. However, I hope to continue what I have been doing the last two weeks (and perhaps improve upon it).

(3) ReadingI was kicking this challenge's butt, now I am just keeping pace. If you recall the goal was to read 40,000 pgs this year. My latest stat is that with 64% of the year gone I have read 62% of the needed pages. This means that I am about 800 pages behind. I am confident I will catch up and do fine on this goal. I have taken a "break" from reading somewhat this summer because I have been busy with other things, but I still am going along at a decent pace, and usually the start of the new season motivates me (new seasonal reading challenge). I am currently in the middle of two books, which if I finish them quickly will be enough to catch me up.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Yesterday Sucked, like a Dyson

I am my parents child.

My parents have massively different sleep habits and requirements. While my mom requires lots of sleep and tends to have a relatively early bedtime, my father has had various arguments with insomnia throughout his life and frequently gets up ridiculously early, yet still remains fully functional.

I say I am my parents child because like my Dad, I don't require THAT much sleep. 7 hrs is ideal. 6 hrs is OK. But, like my mom, I do NEED it. If I don't get a full night of sleep, lets say 6 hrs, I become ridiculously nonfunctional.

Wednesday night we went to trivia. We got home around 10:15pm and took River out of the crate. As expected, even after a late night walk she was not quite ready to settle down for the night, even though Aaron and I were. The result was that I was up half the night - stepped on by the puppy, keeping puppy from playing with the cat door, keeping puppy from chewing thing she shouldn't, trying to get puppy to lie down. I am a bit ridiculously patient with her, I really should just crate her on such evenings, but I feel bad doing that when its our fault that she has extra energy. Anyways, I did not get much sleep, and not much continuous sleep.

When I woke up in the morning I did not feel that grumpy or that tired, but within a few hours my minor sleep deprevation would raise its ugly head. By 11:00am at work I wanted desperately to go home sick, to just walk out, because of some minor things going wrong that would normally not phase me. I took lunch early and struggled through the rest of the day, arriving home ready to collapse in a heap and not deal with anything else. My poor judgement continued after work. I proceeded to take the dogs to the park, as planned. When there, River had one of her incedents (resource guarding), and in another show of poor judgement I did not immediately remove her. The result was a dog fight. Both dogs actually in the fight were fine once we got them seperated, but someone, a third dog that I did not even notice near the fight got bit in the ear? I don't know if this third dog stuck her head into the middle of it when I did not notice or what. I of course left the dog park at this point, even more distressed, and of course River cannot go back to the dog park, at least not that dog park where she has clearly shown the resources are an issue. I may still take her to the swimming dog park where she has never shown any resource guarding issues (the resource she guards at the closer dog park is the water bowl, which is not an issue when there is an entire lake there...) We will see. I also hope to (1) get river into doggy daycare on Wednesday's where they will help work on her behavior issues and help burn off extra energy and (2) start taking her to my cousin's house who has a fenced yard and lots of dogs so perhaps we can specifically work on the water guarding thing in a more controlled environment.

It took me a long time to calm down after the dog park. On a normal evening I would be pissed (mostly at myself), but would get over it quickly and move on, but I was so overly tired that I just totally over-reacted and broke down over it. It was a mess. I was a mess.

When I did straighten myself out I continued my evening as planned. I went to the library and picked up a new audiobook (A Great and Terrible Beauty), I called my friend T who I had not seen in ages to see what was up with him and if he wanted to do something, and I went to the fabric store and got supplies for the next three blankets I am making for my two helpers and coworkers. Back at home we took the dogs for another late walk (which is sort of becoming habit, a good habit I think as it gets both us and the dogs moving), and headed to bed very early. River snuggled up and slept. I slept. I feel much more well rested today, and hopefully today goes much better. So far, its looking good.