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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Save me from mediocre books!

So I just finished hate reading another book.  Second in a row that I've read and basically disliked to the point where I dreaded reading it and finished it only out of obligation.  The most recent book was "Everything You Wanted Me to Be" by Mindy Mejia.  The story sounded good, but damn, I found it boring.  It felt never-ending and I was endlessly relieved to finish it yesterday.  It's been awhile since I've read anything that I've really loved, that I've anxiously awaited getting a chance to read even a few pages.  Please send me recs for anything you've read recently that you've loved!  I've been reading a lot of darker books lately, so at this exact moment I'm looking for a lighter palate cleanser. I am reading two new books right now - Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (not light and fluffy, darker story, but good very early) and also We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. This one fits my lighter read bill and I'm looking forward to getting it started.  I'll probably read it at the same time as the other and just read whichever one based on my mood at the moment.

So BF and I started counting calories and working out on the regular a couple of months ago and we're still keeping it up!  I'm working out 6 days a week, mixing home elliptical stints with gym elliptical/treadmill/weights depending on my schedule and such.  I haven't had Starbucks in a couple of months - I had to go cold turkey because in the past one *treat* drink has turned into a gateway back into the Bux cult.  Plus, everything I like there is so sugary!  I feel like BF and I have gotten along better with fewer day to day irritations since we've been doing this - working out is definitely just good for the mind, body and soul!  He does his workouts exclusively at home on the elliptical and with his weight bench in the garage.  Whatever works!

It's not always easy because my schedule sucks due to the commute, but I make it work.  I'm very proud of myself for sticking with it, and I've lost 8-10 pounds depending on which day you catch this hormonal female body.  ;-)  We're eating more fruits and veggies, fewer carbs, and keeping our sugar love under much better control aside from periodic splurgey moments.  Good stuff!  Last night when I was leaving the gym a fellow gym goer I frequently see when I'm there was heading out as well told me that I had killed it at the gym tonight on the elliptical and that I was on there forever.  Cheers!  I got a good 45 minute cardio workout in AND watched a show on DVR.  Multi-tasking!  I do need to re-focus on making sure that at least a couple of times a week I do the weights side of things. Definitely important.

Summer is knocking at the door, though it feels like summer already in the air.  We're finally getting a hot streak in the coming days after a lot of cooler than usual weather.  I'm sure I'll be grumping about it in a few days, but for now I'm glad!  We have lots of fun stuff going on this summer, with the travel highlights being Omaha with J&J in June, Colorado in July with BF for my family reunion, hopefully a girls trip in August and then OBX in September.  We may also end up going to Charleston in October/November because BF's sister is due in October with her second child.  Lots of fun things on the horizon!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Things

It's spring!  The last  couple of days were gorgeous, but now we've shifted.  We're definitely in an "April showers bring May flowers" pattern for today and tomorrow.  On the upside, the rain held off until I got into the office, which was a welcome surprise!

I'm sitting in my office in the dark with the blinds open to provide enough functional light to work.  ;-)  I feel like if it looks like my office is dark, some people may assume I'm not here and choose to not bother me.  Ha!  This work week is lasting a small eternity and I'm really just ready for Friday.

This would actually be a perfect day to sit at home and read.  I'm reading a really good book right now called "The Girl Before" by JP Delaney.  It's got me hooked and I'm definitely wondering where it's heading.  I'd much rather be immersed in that than immersed in day to day work stuff, but unfortunately...no such luck!

I put in several requests for time off today up through the summer.  I just figured I'd stake my claim on the days I know I will be out.  I did take a random day off on Friday, April 14th.  BF is taking that Wed., Thurs. & Fri. off just because he's maxed out on vacation time and needs to use it or lose it (sigh), so I chose to just take the Friday off to join him.  Gotta love a three day weekend!  Beyond that, I took off two days in June for our trip to Omaha and two days in July for my family reunion in Denver.  I also took off Labor Day week for our annual OBX vacation.  I'm still expecting a few smaller things to pop up between now and then, but it's a good start!  I'd really like to take a girls weekend trip with my friend, A and maybe a long weekend trip in May, too.  We'll see!  I just figure that I have plenty of vacation time, so why not use it?

I'm watching this last season of Girls and really enjoying it.  It's a bit crazy, but I'm interested to see how it wraps up in these last couple of episodes.  I'm also sad that it's going to be over!  I watched Big Little Lies, too, though I have yet to watch the finale.  I didn't have time last weekend and now I just need to find an hour where I can really settle in and enjoy it.  That show was so ridiculously good.  I read the book years ago, but it was long enough ago that the series felt pretty fresh to me, and I only have a loose recollection of the ending.  I think I definitely enjoy the series more than the book.  Casting was amazing and the whole ambiance of the show is fantastic.

Tonight I told BF that we're doing a very informal, low key date night.  This week has been exhausting and a bit hectic, and we've just been very much existing in the same space and not engaging.  We're not doing anything remotely noteworthy, but I just want us to make an attempt to tune in to each other better for an evening.  We are having salads with shredded crockpot chicken and little cornbread cakes as a side for dinner.  If it's not raining and not freezing, maybe take a brief walk (weather may not be our ally in this endeavor).  We have J the full weekend when we thought it would be a half weekend, so I just want a little solo time for us.  She has spring break next week and originally thought she was going on a college visit Sunday/Monday, but apparently those plans fell through, so we're back to our original full weekend schedule.

I'd really like all of us to do something fun Saturday night - bowling, indoor mini golf, something.  Just something out of the house that isn't just dinner, you know?  I'm getting really stir crazy because the spring weather hasn't fully settled in, and our weekend weather is hit or miss, and we've had a bunch of weird obligations that have kept us from doing much.  I wish it would just get nice already!  :-)  BF and I also talked about me attempting to telework on Monday so that we could get to a minor league baseball game that evening.  It's a little bit of a drive, and on a normal work night I'd never get home in time to make it.  Monday is supposed to be partly sunny and near 80, so it would be a perfect night for some baseball!  I'm going to try to make that happen today.  Maybe I should have waited to send all those other vacation requests!? ;-)

Back to this gloomy weather day I go!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Escapism

The current state of US affairs has led me to feel a constant desire to escape.  However, I also feel compelled to stay informed, sometimes against my better judgment.  Last night I listened to the immigration ban hearing, watched Anderson Cooper discussing more of the day's events and then watched the Bernie Sanders/Ted Cruz debate about the ACA.  I feel like I'm constantly on Twitter reading the feeds of various politicians I follow, the reactions of others around me, and otherwise trying to stay in the loop.

All I really want to do is watch mindless TV, or read, or just close my eyes and pretend the world is a better place than it feels right now.  I keep buying Kindle books, but I'm way behind on reading them. My focus just feels scattered, even though the one I'm reading now is actually pretty good. I was going to read last night in bed, but the room was kind of chilly even though it was 71 yesterday!  I took my little Kindle Paperwhite under the covers, considering trying to prop it up under there to read without having to expose my arms to the chill beyond the covers.  Instead, the Kindle fell face forward and smacked into my lip.  Yeah, I got a fat lip and a cut from my Kindle!  I've been betrayed! ;-)  

Luckily, it only bled a little bit before bed, and while it's sore today and I can feel a small bump, it is not something that is noticeable otherwise unless you're up close enough to see the cut through my lipstick (Yes, I'm still wearing lipstick, ha!).  This is my life, folks!  :-)

I'm glad that it's wednesday, though I wish it were thursday.  I am really looking forward to the weekend, as we are taking a mini escape trip to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which is only about an hour from us.  We rented a cute little house and I'm leaving at 2 pm on Friday that hopefully we can get J, get home, feed the cats, get our stuff and get to the house by 7.  We'll probably grab dinner out that night and then come back to relax.  The house has a fireplace and a hot tub, so that will be nice!  

I'm hoping to get some good reading time in front of the fireplace, some nice hot tub time, and a bit of exploration Saturday afternoon of somewhere close, but new.  We'll head back Sunday morning upon checkout time, so it's a short, but hopefully sweet trip.

Books, just for sharing and record keeping purposes:

Currently reading: "Listen to Me" by Hannah Pittard - It's a fairly creepy book, which I love.  Author creates a great atmosphere, very spooky and mysterious.

Books on my Kindle that I have yet to read:

The Impossible Fortress-Jason Rekulak
The River at Night - Erica Ferencik
More Happy Than Not - Adam Silvera
The Fragile World - Paula Treick DeBoard
The Twilight Wife - A.J. Banner
Scrappy Little Nobody - Anna Kendrick
Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins - Kathy Griffin
The Kept Woman - Karin Slaughter
The Last Anniversary - Liane Moriarty
Leave Me - Gayle Forman
Our Chemical Hearts - Krystal Sutherland
All the Missing Girls - Megan Miranda
Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty
History is All You Left  Me - Adam Silvera

This doesn't include the probably dozen real books I have at home waiting to be read also.  :-o  Looks like I better buckle down soon and focus more on reading than on the garbage TV, LOL.  Some of these are obviously pretty light hearted reads, anyway.  :-)  My current goal is to finish "Listen to Me" by Friday so that I can start a new book for the weekend.  We'll see how that goes.

Anyway, that's all I know for now.  If you need me, I'll be here, waiting for Friday and my escape from reality!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

It's the End of the World As We Know It..

Inauguration Week.  I've been dreading this week ever since the final outcome of the last election was revealed and now it's knocking on the door.  DC is getting ready.  There are already many white blockades out on many city sidewalks, ready to be put into place.  Fencing up in certain areas.  It's just the beginning.  Tomorrow my commuter bus puts their modified operating schedule in place for the rest of the week.  This means that I either have to drive to Metro and take the train in and out of the city, or I can take my normal bus in in the morning, but have to take the train to a certain station after work wherein they will have our commuter buses running every thirty minutes back to various park and rides.  Neither are ideal and I've yet to make a decision.  Some of the road closures start tomorrow afternoon, hence this modified operation.  I'm teleworking on Thursday because even more closures go into effect, and my office is closed Friday.

Watching the news makes my blood boil.  Reading anything this man has to say makes me feel embarrassed, ashamed and makes me question the thought process of every single person that cast a vote for him.  I am legitimately concerned about the future from Friday going forward.  I don't know what to expect, but I know that I have a pit in my stomach and a sense that it won't be good.

I will not be watching this Inauguration.  I will read pertinent info after the fact because I want to be informed, but I cannot handle watching it happen.  It's too sad.  I feel like I'm losing beloved family members with the impending departure of the Obamas.  To go from that to this.....shocking.  The world is laughing at us, or pitying us, or both.  I think a part of me is still in denial that this is actually happening.  It's like I can't process that this could actually be real.  Dumbfounding.

So I mentioned my office is closed Friday, but unfortunately that's half a lie for me.  I've been designated as (semi) essential personnel, thus requiring me to be online for part of the day.  Yes, I get paid double time, but I'm one of the lucky few non-exempt folks on this list.  My current understanding is that I will need to log on briefly in the morning and then be online for a couple hours towards the end of the day.  It could be worse, as this at least allows me some mid-day flexibility.  I'd originally planned to do something with my girlfriend, A to try to put a positive spin on what's sure to be a dark day.  I'm hopeful we'll still do something, even if just a breakfast, but we haven't pinned down any details.

I'm also dropping my car off that morning to get a remote starter installed.  Even though global warming has made our winter basically a joke this year, I still think it will be a nice thing to have.  I'll be getting a loaner for the day since it will take several hours, but I'm OK with that.  I plan to run a few errands while I'm out and before my afternoon lockdown.  It's the time of year where I need to restock on bras and underwear (thrilling) and I also want to go to Marshalls (!).  Hopefully it will work out to do these things with A since I miss our random erranding together that we used to do when I lived closer.

I did do something that made me very happy yesterday.  We booked our Outer Banks beach house for Labor Day week, which we seem to do a bit earlier each year.  I'd been interested in booking the same house from last year, but it switched management companies and jumped $800 a week in price.  :-o  I couldn't rationalize that, so I had to hunt down a new one.  I'm happy with our choice and glad to know where I'll be spending my very favorite week of the year.

As per usual this time of year, we've also been discussing other trips we'd like to make.  I do want to get BF and J to Omaha this year and that will likely be either during the end of J's spring break in April or the weekend after she gets out of school at the end of June.  That's basically a definite, just a matter of picking the weekend.  It will be a pricier than usual Omaha trip since we'll have to stay at a hotel since no one has room for three of us, but I'm still excited to bring J to a new state and to meet my family.

Beyond that, I may try to get to Omaha in March or April on my own if we decide on the June trip as a group.  We're also discussing a weekend trip to a cabin type location, maybe in West Virginia or something accessible for February with J, and then maybe a small, more local beach trip (ie Ocean City) for BF and I in May.  July will be Denver, CO for my family reunion with BF in tow, and of course, OBX in September.  There will also be a girls trip in there, though I have no idea where or when.  Nothing too crazy, just a small escape out of town!  Ocean City last year was fun, though far too short.

Anyway, anything to keep my mind off the Trumpocalypse that's looming, right?

If I don't pop back up in here, sending good thoughts out to everyone this week.  We're going to need them!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017

This long weekend was glorious.  I felt like I was off work for a week even though it was only three days!  DC was pretty dead last week, but Friday took the cake.  My office didn't close early (boo!), and I was legit the ONLY PERSON ON MY BUS HOME.  It was kind of comedic!  That night I got home and BF surprised me with the holy grail of Christmas gifts --- a NES Classic!  It's a tiny version of the original Nintendo and it has 30 games built into it.  We'd been hunting for one for awhile to no avail as they are very hard to find.  I couldn't believe he'd lucked into one that day and it was pretty awesome.

We spent our evening at an ugly sweater party, which kept us out until almost 3 am.  I can't remember the last time I was out that late.  :-) Saturday we ran a couple of errands including a bountiful stock up trip to Target, and then J got picked up later that afternoon.  We went out to dinner at a new to us Thai place in town for New Year's Eve and it was a good meal.  We came back home for the evening and split our attention between muted college football and watching Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper's NYE coverage on CNN.  Love that pair!  

Sunday was a crazy lazy morning.  BF actually stayed in bed until 11, which is totally out of the ordinary!  We just lazed around and finally got up to make French Toast, bacon and mimosas for our New Year's Day breakfast.  The afternoon was filled with some house chores and then watching both the Skins and Chiefs games.  Skins lost, but Chiefs won!  Can't win them all, I guess.  

Monday was another pretty lazy day.  We didn't leave the house, LOL.  We watched some college football, we had leftovers for lunch, we made taco salad for dinner.  I also finished Season 2 of Fuller House over the weekend and started a new to me Netflix show, Lovesick.  I'm almost through Season 1 (it's only six episodes) and really enjoying it!

Today is our three year dating anniversary, if you can believe that.  We are going to use a gift certificate from BF's sister and brother in law for a celebratory dinner tonight, and we've also booked a local hotel stay for Saturday night just to do something a bit different.  We'll go out to dinner in the area and come back to the real world Sunday.  :-)  

I'm actually hoping to plan a short winter getaway for us soon, too.  However, that will require some more planning, so it's in the works.  I need to figure out dates that are workable for my backup at the office as well.  Hopefully we'll make it happen.  I would love to go somewhere with a little nicer weather for a long weekend.

It's hard to believe that 2017 has arrived already.  Another new year!  I'm not a big fan of resolutions, so to speak.  I did put together a list of things I'd like to work on in the coming year, but they're less resolutions and more the crystallization of things already working my head to make myself better and the world around me better.

Working a full week next week is going to be tough.  On the upside, the week after that is a short week.  MLK Day the office is closed and Inauguration Day I'll either be teleworking if my office is open or they'll smarten up and close.  It's apparently under discussion at this point.  Either way I will only be in the office three days, which is fabulous.  I'm trying not to think very hard about the events of Inauguration Day because it will make my blood boil and I can't deal with it yet.  Sometimes I wonder if I'll spend the next four years selectively filtering my TV news and limiting myself to the written word where the visual of things is gone and I'm left to just stew over the actual content, which will be plentiful.

For now, I'm just going to do my thing, and have faith that the world will not automatically self-destruct on January 20th.  :-o  

Cheers to 2017, and cheers to the good things to come that will balance out the bad.  As George Michael said, "You gotta have faith".  Amen, George.  Amen!