Friday, July 31, 2009

Wednesday FAIL

Wednesday was one of those days when nothing works, nothing at all. I spent the day at my desk feeling cranky and headachey (read: normal day) but happily looking forward to my riding lesson that night. Thunderstorms were in the forecast but whatever, I want to ride that horse. At 5pm I suited up: lightweight horse-snot-proof shirt, breeches, tall boots that require extra equipment to get on and off, the whole thing. I was ready to go. I got in the car and called my instructor to see what the weather was like out there. She called the barn and called me back, "It looks like the storms are rolling in!" We rescheduled because horses and thunder do not mix. Also not mixing: me being the tallest thing in the field when the lightening strikes.

I was already halfway to the gym and had my gym bag in the back seat, so I decided to go work out even though it was probably the last thing I was in the mood for. I got there and parked and then realized, damn, I'm dressed like a jackass. I can NOT walk in there like I'm about to ride in the Kentucky Derby. Plus, my boots kind of smell. I finally decide to split the difference and at least take off the boots, but the breeches I couldn't do anything about. I stood next to my car with my boot jack and started to pry those puppies off and some guy walked by, looked at me and snickered. Dude almost got a boot jack in the head but lucky for him I needed it to get my other boot off.

So, I march into the gym wearing leather kneepatch breeches and sneakers. White hot.

Normally I use the gym on campus during the week because the other one I belong to is way too crowded during the week. And yeah, it was way freaking crowded on Wednesday night too. I'm used to being there on Saturday morning when there are the same three dudes in the weight room instead of scores of douchebags with truly unfortunate tattoos.

Every piece of equipment was being used. Every square inch of mirror was being used. Everywhere I wanted to be was full of someone else's bullshit. There was also lot of that thing where the pert blonde girl follows a trainer around and he makes her do tricep work with 3lb barbie weights. It was terrible and didn't help my mood.

I squeeze my way into the weight room and found a narrow space free of douchebag and started to do my bar warmup. Then I felt it. The Gaze of Ick. I seriously felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and whipped my head around to find the source. There he was, that SUPER creepy dude who looks like a chinless turtle and wears his sunglasses inside. He looks exactly like he'd kidnap you and keep you in a box in his basement. It put the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again! Now he was looking at me and it skeeved me out so bad I decided that maybe I'd just anything else somewhere he was not.

I tried. I tried to finish my workout but it was all just too much and I was TIRED. Weary. Skeeved. I went home and found Kenny staring perplexed at a wall bike rack he'd bought that didn't actually work at all for our full-suspension frame bikes. He tried, though.

"Well, we can hang your bike on the top part if we take off the front tire and mine can just rest underneath."

"Um, so what you're saying is that it's $70 worth of FAIL."

"Well, yeah..."

PS. It didn't actually ever rain.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It looks good, thanks for asking!

I just got back from getting my hair cut and it was the highlight thus far of my day. Terrifying receptionist aside, it's really a very nice place. They will bring you a drink and then I get my hair washed and my scalp massaged. Then I chat with my stylist about trashy TV while she cuts. I walk out of there feeling cute, get an iced tea from Starbucks (Hey, fuck off, Starbucks iced tea is awesome. It has crack in it.) which I needed because the minute I got back in my car I wanted to crawl into the back seat and take a nap. I didn't sleep last night and I don't know how I'm going to make it through the rest of this day.

Or, maybe I did sleep, but I think it was probably in fifteen minute increments because I felt like I was awake all night and every time I started to doze off I'd jolt awake, my heart racing. Now, before you start pointing your pointy finger at the caffeine, I've pretty much cut out all caffeine from my life aside from the mug of coffee I worship with breakfast but it doesn't seem to make a damn bit of difference. I sleep or I don't sleep. I don't seem to have much control over it.

Sunday night there was a horrific thunder storm in the middle of the night and it did wake me up, but only long enough for me to acknowledge it and fall solidly back asleep, lightening and thunder be dammed. But last night was quiet, my sheets were crisp, the temperature was neither too hot nor too cold and I was AWAKE BECAUSE OMG MY BRAIN WILL NOT TURN OFF.

Do you know the kind of things my brain likes to obsess about in the middle of the night? Not good things. Not boots or kittens or dessert. No, it likes to work through every bad thing I've ever done, every bit of guilt I've ever felt, every slight I've ever caused and MAGNIFY it into OH MY GOD territory.

It's...not restful.

Sorry, were you waiting for my point? I don't have one. Just that I'm tired and kind of grumpy and might have given the mail guy the finger behind his back for no reason. I'm really not a nice person today.

Related, if you aren't listening to This American Life, please at least listen to this one.

Mike Birbiglia has a jackal problem.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's Business Time.

Sorry I've been slack about updating. I've been fairly busy with my vacation withdrawal and related workplace ennui. The first week back was so hard - everything was so bright and immediate, nothing at all like the smooth ease of being completely lazy and sloth-like. I'm always amazed at how quickly my sleep schedule changes when I have a week off, and just my schedule in general. But now I'm back and as an added bonus I had to travel up to DC on Monday for a non-profit-research-related class.

Now, let me just start with this: I don't travel much, especially for work, so it really messes me up. I get anxious and cranky and worry that things will go wrong. I was also not really looking forward to getting up at 4am to catch the 6am train. I do like the train, I just don't like having to catch it when it's still nighttime and I should be asleep.

But I did it. I got up at the crack of dawn and made myself presentable and drove myself in the dark of morning to the saddest place in the world, the Richmond train station. Now, we have a beautiful big fancy old station downtown (which I think might be back in business for the high-speed thingy only?) but most of the trains go through this pile of sadness:

(I filched this photo from Flickr! It ain't mine. Hopefully nobody will bust me.)

Right? It's awful. Inside it's just like a Greyhound station, all brown tile and despair. I usually hightail it out to the patio to wait because at least it's outside, even though its where all the smokers are hanging out.

The station in Ashland is the cutest:

And the Fredericksberg station isn't bad either (or as least the view from):

Anyway, the train was on time to the second and I scored a suite of facing seats so I could put my feet up, fire up the iPod and zone out. It was not the worst place to spend two hours. I got into DC a little after 8am and that's when things got rough. I had to navigate the Metro at rush hour. The DC Metro is really pretty easy, but not when I'm not being pushed around by hoards of impatient people all GO GO GO. Gah! It was rough but I just hung back and tried not to get in anyone's way. Those commuters will cut a bitch. I got my farecard, got to the right train and off I went.

I made the class with a minute to spare and settled into the empty back row. Each row was three seats at a slim 6' table, so I was hoping to be the only one on my row. Hahaa. The woman who sat next to me was friendly and all, but really do you usually sit back with your hands behind your head and elbows all askew when someone you don't know is sitting right next to you? Yeah, me either. Thanks for showing me your pits, lady. She also moved her seat wayyyy over my way so I was perched at the very corner, trying to take notes without my paper falling off the edge. Ugh, but that wasn't the worst of it, by far.

She had this incredibly annoying habit of responding to everything the instructor said, as if they were having a one-on-one conversation. It was like this:

Instructor: "Your mission is what is important to the corporation."

Lady: "Mm-hm! Yes it is."

Instructor: "It's important to know your board and know what kind of connections and relationships you can use to find the right corporations."

Lady: "Mm-hm, mmmm-hm!"

Oh my God. It was insane. She did that in response to nearly everything he said for the entire eight hours. I wanted to lean over and hiss: "HE CAN'T HEAR YOU BUT I CAN." She also enjoyed answering rhetorical questions, but that's not really surprising, considering.

The class was endless but by 4pm we were done. I had a 5:50 train to catch back home, so I went to Union station and skulked around until I was able to pick up some free Wi-Fi and caught up on my interneting. Now, Union Station is a TRAIN STATION. That is what I'm talking about. It's full of shops and food and weirdness and has some really good people watching, though the bathrooms could not be more disgusting.

I finally boarded the train home and magically managed to place myself in the same car as a bunch of shrill 9 year old boys and their parents, who all seemed to have endless cellphone calls to make. I picked up and fled after ten minutes and walked into the next car which was...nirvana. It was a Quiet Car, with signs everywhere telling people to shut the hell up. Perfection. I had a blissfully quiet ride home and was back on my couch by 8:30pm. The end.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vacation Travelogue

Wanna know what we've been doing? Do ya? DO YA? Sure you do. I'm too relaxed to bother with much typing, but I have a ton of boring photos for you.

On Saturday, we went to Kate's parents place to play in their pool and enjoy the Fourth. Wine was drunk. A dramatic reading of "Ludlow Kissel and the Dago Bomb" was performed. Here's a photo of the view from their new back porch:

And, because my priorities are so out of wack, the only other photo I took was of their new Wolf range, which I may have inappropriately fondled:

Damn, it's pretty.

Sunday it rained, so I shopped. A lot. Shoes.

Monday we were all touristy and went to Monticello. It was beautiful out and the garden was so gorgeous I nearly fell out:

A fine row of tomacco.

I swear, it looked just like that! We didn't mess with the photos at all.


Today we rode our bikes at Freedom Park in Williamsburg (the non-colonial part, which is all strip mall outlets and scary dolls shops. Sad.) We rode there last year so I won't go on about it except to say that it's a lot of fun. Here's a dorky bike photo, though, so Tuesday doesn't feel left out:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Vacation Ahoy.

Yes, I'm nine hours away from having ten days off IN A ROW. I mentally checked out, oh, around Tuesday, but now I'm clock-watching and hour-counting and completely pissed off that I have to spend my lunch hour at the dentist office. My crown suddenly feels...higher? It ain't right, so I have to get it rejigged. Fun.

But, next week I'm OFFFFFF. In the grand tradition of the staycation, we're staying put. We have no money for fancy gallivanting, so we're going to just have fun at home. We'll probably take the bikes somewhere interesting, we'll definitely be going to see some movies (my first priority is to see Moon, which is directed by Duncan Jones, AKA David Bowie's son. Since I more or less helped pay for that boy's college education, I'd like to see if my investment has paid off. Also: Sam Rockwell. Woo.)

We'll also be doing some eating of unhealthy foods, some sleeping too late, and some slothful sitting around and drinking. I'm really looking forward to it. For those of you who've been slogging through my blog entries for years, you're probably wondering why I'm not heading off to Knoxville right about now, eh? Well, my friend Marianne who hosts Internet Dork Camp had a baby this spring, so we're going in August instead. Gotta give her new daughter time to learn how to make a perfect margarita, don't you know.

I might update with photos of my sloth next week and I might not. In the meantime, please feel free to check out my entry about last Sunday's bike race. Or don't. Nobody reads that stuff anyway. I'm used to it.