Thursday, October 30, 2008

Attention Mother Nature

I am not ready for this cold.

And I am cold. All the time. Last night O. pulled out the godawful ugly comforter that I nixed last year. He put it on the bed and I didn't even argue, because it was wonderfully warm. Apparently I'm going to have to "put it away" straight into the trash if I want to get rid of it, but not until I get something that matches it in warmth.

The only place I'm not cold these days is work, because when DCPS turns on the heat, they TURN ON THE HEAT. It's about 95 degrees in the hallways. The only reason it's not 95 degrees in the classrooms is because we all have our window unit air conditioners on to balance it out. No, I'm not kidding. We'll have them on all winter. It makes my little environmentalist heart hurt...but not enough to suffer without it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

In which I spend time in the fresh air, and enjoy myself.

Yesterday O. and I hiked section A of the Billy Goat Trail. For him it was fairly easy--I think he is part billy goat--but it's basically at the limit of my (limited) hiking ability. For example, I climbed this:

I really do enjoy things like this, although I'm not very skilled at it. It's worth the hard work though, for views like this:

Hard to believe we're only 20 minutes from DC, isn't it?

The hike took about four hours, and we left late enough that it was pitch black by the time we got back to the car. Luckily the last mile and a half of the hike was along the C&O canal towpath, which is relatively flat. We were lucky that the weather was so nice so late in the year, so this is probably the last time we'll go out there this year...a four hour hike in the cold is probably pushing my limits a bit.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I had an epiphany this morning, as I struggled with a particularly bothersome pair of pantyhose. Now, I do not often wear pantyhose anymore, because really, who does? But this morning it seemed appropriate, because 1) I was going to church, and 2) the bruise described in my last post was still very much in evidence. Despite my threats to make up some wild story featuring O. and a letter opener, I really didn't feel like answering questions about it.

So, as I struggled with these pantyhose, I realized that whenever I get a run, it is always in the left leg. How do I know this? Well, I put the right leg on first, and it's always fine, which gives me hope for the overall fitness of the garment. And then I put on the left leg and it's shot to hell. Because let's face it--the flimsier the pantyhose, the more money we have to spend on new pairs. Sometimes I think my cats climb into my lingerie drawer and claw the hell out of my pantyhose, just for fun. I mean, how else can you explain why the shredded pairs would be in the drawer instead of in the garbage where they belong? I mean, it couldn't possibly be that I threw them on the floor when I took them off, and then picked them up a week later and washed them and put them away...Oh. Wait...

As an aside, I hate the word pantyhose. It sounds...unrefined. But nylons sounds stupid and stockings sounds like the things that are held up by a garter belt, and I do not have enough time in my life to bother with those things. Hence the title of this post...and I know that doesn't really cover it either, but I just could not make myself title a post Pantyhose.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Lethal Fashion

Last weekend, I bought these fabulous boots:

They look even more fabulous in person, because they fit my legs perfectly. And, they're comfortable as long as you're not doing a ridiculous amount of walking in them.

They're also lethal weapons. Exhibit A:

That would be the side of my knee. That would be the side of my knee after I tripped over a box in the library, flailed around trying to stay upright and kicked myself with my right heel.

It bled. It hurt as much as it looks like it did. And it made my fabulous outfit slightly less fabulous.

On the up side, it's two days later and I'm not limping anymore.

NaNoWriMo 08

As you can see from the badge to the right, I'm planning to participate in NaNoWriMo 2008. This year I have a couple of things going for me, namely that my comprehensive exams and thus my Masters degree will be over, so I have less of an excuse not to do it. That doesn't really change the fact that I'm a consummate procrastinator, but it does give me a little bit of an advantage.

50,000 words in 30 days. About 1,666 words per day. It's doable...if I keep up with it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wakeup Call

In the past eight days, I have only dined out twice. That might seem like a small victory, but for me it is huge. I did cheat a bit on my seven-day vow to eat at home, but my intention was not to turn into a hermit, so I'm counting it as a success.

And I have a pretty good weapon in my battle of willpower. I use Quicken to track my finances. Quicken, of course, has some handy-dandy reporting features, including the ability to see how much money you've spent in each of the different categories you've set up. So on a whim, I ran a report to check the total under Dining.

Then I had to sit down until I stopped hyperventilating.

I won't share the entire total (although you could figure it out if you wanted to) but the report showed clearly that I was spending an average of $275 a month on eating out. Two hundred and seventy five dollars a month. That's obscene.

And then I remembered something...

I bought this computer in April. Transferring my data from my old computer was way too much of a hassle (believe me, I tried.) My bank records only go back to April.


My $275 suddenly skyrocketed to $350. That's so far beyond obscene I don't even have a word for it.

And it's not like I've been dining at the Palm. I've been known to go out for a pricier dinner now and then, but that obscene amount is mostly made up of Jerry's subs, Chipotle burritos and McDonalds chicken nuggets. I've been nickel and diming myself to death, and let's face it: I do not make enough money to drop $350 a month on anything, much less something that:

1. Doesn't stick around.
2. Probably wasn't good for me anyway.

My intention is still not to turn into a hermit. I enjoy spending time with my friends, and I do enjoy eating out and trying new restaurants. But even the convenience factor of takeout is overrated, because opening a can of Campbells still takes less time than sitting through a drive-thru.

In the past few days, the thought of that horrible, horrible sum of money has been enough to make me turn up my nose at the idea of going out in a way that nothing ever has before. Thank God something has; the thought of the amount of money I've thrown away this year makes me sick.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My wallet sighs in relief...

This afternoon, I bought gas. For under $3 a gallon.

No, I'm serious.

$2.93 for regular at any of the three gas stations at the intersection of Rt. 198 and Rt. 1 in Laurel. You too could be doing the happy dance of cheap(er) gas.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I always laughed at magazines like Lucky and Domino. Magazines about shopping? What the hell? And then I had a layover in Miami. Pickings were slim at the airport newsstand, and J. was buying anyway, so I picked up a copy of Domino.

Big mistake.

So many pretty, pretty things...and so little money to buy them with. I can ignore magazines like Vogue because I think most of the clothes are ugly anyway. But when I see things like this:

or this:

I mean, do I really need a silk skirt imported from India? Probably not. And I can definitely live without a $90 exfoliant. But that doesn't change the fact that I waaaant.

Also? is the best thing ever.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Willpower, Lack of

I do not cook. I can--I'm no gourmet chef, but I can put together an edible meal--but mostly I don't. This is okay, because I am a very, very lucky woman. O. likes to cook, and he's pretty good at it. And given that most of my attempts to cook anything remotely interesting result in him coming in to rescue me (see also: Christmas dinner '07) we usually just cut out the middleman. He cooks, I do not. It works for us.

The fact that I don't cook goes hand in hand with the fact that I eat out. A lot. The day the lady at Checkers greeted me by my name--before I handed her my debit card--was a bit of a wake-up call. So I started going to McDonalds for lunch instead.

Between the fact that this is becoming quite a drain on the wallet and the fact that I'm on track to clog every artery I have before the age of 35, drastic measures seemed in order. I am twenty-two hours into a vow to avoid eating out for one week. This is proving more difficult than I'd anticipated, mostly because I am blessed with the lethal combination of very intense food cravings and little to no willpower. On my way home tonight I had to talk myself out of stopping by Jerry's for a sub. This would be immediately after O. told me dinner would be ready when I got home. Right now, I'm thinking about the fact that Taco Bell is right down the street. Luckily, the one thing more potent than my food cravings is my intense laziness, and I'm already in my pajamas.

Please don't invite me out for dinner this week. When it comes to food, no isn't usually in my vocabulary.