I, um… what?

Have you ever gone digging around on your computer and found something that you can’t really explain?

Because seriously, I have no idea why, exactly, I created an animated GIF involving a box of cereal. I’d like to think there was some sort of reason. For the moment I’m drawing a blank. Although I am a tiny bit worried. Surely I must’ve had something better to do when I created it a few years ago, right?

I don't get it either.

That said, I totally want some Lilo & Stitch cereal right about now.

Dopey, Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy… Doc?

After 20-odd years of allergy problems, I’ve decided to take the plunge and have booked an appointment with an allergist for testing and then weekly allergy treatments.

For a long time, it was ok to just take my prescription antihistamines (Seldane back in the day, then Allegra after the former was discontinued) but I’ve noticed in the past year or two that my allergies have been getting worse. Muuuuch worse. This past week, my head’s been hurting from being so stuffed up and generally bleah. Mind you, pollen on this level doesn’t help matters:

Reflected, Pollen Remix [365portraits: 117]

The only thing that stinks is that starting a week before my appointment, I have to go off my antihistamines so that the testing will be accurate. So for people who are around me between May 5th through 12th, I apologize in advance if I start clawing my eyes out right in front of you.

On an unrelated note, my television remote has mysteriously vanished in the last half hour. Hmmm. Where the heck did I put that?

Weekend To-Do List: Update

I am declaring victory over this weekend.

No, really. It’s not even 2pm yet, and while I don’t have everything done on my to-do list, I wasn’t really expecting to. (Plus as said before, I still have regular things that need to get done like write some reviews.) But accomplishments? Galore.


  • Re-arrange living room (tv, bookshelves, couch)

Charlie helped me out with this last night and I really like the difference. There’s more room between the couch and the tv now, which is good since it’s a wider screen. Also much better for playing Wii games since before there was very little room to do so. Even better, the tv is no longer opposite the windows (so no glare) and all three of the nice bookshelves are together. I still have some tiny things to do (like re-hang my Charles Vess Rose painting) but it’s looking pretty good.

  • Organize closet and dresser (move pants, t-shirts) and get rid of old clothes

I ended up tackling this on Thursday and while there are some small bits that need to be done once cold weather is officially gone (so I can get the rest of my shorts out of a box and pack up my winter running gear), on the whole? Much better. Pants are now hanging up, and instead of moving the t-shirts into the dresser (too many!) I moved the polo shirts and that works just fine.

  • Run 8-10 miles

Knocked out a 12-miler, so major victory. Not a very good 12-miler, but I’ll take it. Incidentally, I do hope it rains tonight because I could actually see huge clouds of yellow pollen over parts of the National Mall. How disgusting is that? Even worse? I could sort of taste it at times. Gaaaaah.

  • Saturday morning farmer’s market photography

Not a lot of great shots, but one or two that I think will work. I think I’m good now for Artomatic, fingers crossed.

  • Sleep

I’m going to take a nap this afternoon, I think. And I did get some good amounts of sleep too. Including a nap in the car on the way home from Leesburg yesterday. (I wasn’t driving.)

On Hold:

  • Buy primer and paint for Artomatic (provided I decide on the color)
  • Read book club selection for next week’s month’s discussion (Farthing by Jo Walton)

I didn’t do this, but it should wait until I am certain what I’m going to hang (thus, the color selection). And I’ll probably just buy it at McLean Hardware after work so that won’t be too hard to accomplish. Krista wisely pointed out to me that this month’s book is actually China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun and ta da, I have already read it. So while I do want to start Farthing soon, it can wait a bit.

Yay! Things done!

Getting Far Too Excited

I am definitely getting excited about my upcoming community-supported agriculture share. Perhaps a little too excited. But what can I say? I love the idea of having fresh vegetables delivered automatically every week. I love that the money is going to a local business. And I love getting their newsletter with random little tidbits like this:

We are currently planting herbs in the green house and this year will have an eco-friendly and unique way to send you fresh herbs. All the herbs you receive will be in a bio-degradable earth friendly container which, with a little extra care, will allow you to keep growing the herbs!

Seriously, how cute is that?

Thanks to their newsletter archive online, I know that last year’s first shipment had asparagus, strawberries, kale, spring onions, and basil. 2007’s didn’t have basil or asparagus, but did have mint sprigs. What will 2009 hold? Well, aside from a lot of eating, of course.

Also, I went for a second swim this morning with Julie and Laura. They start their swim class next Monday, and I’ve got an 8:30am meeting then, so Mondays with them will be out for a while. This time I used an extra pair of Julie’s goggles and yes, I am sold. I will buy a pair ASAP. (Plus I still need to get my information from the eye doctor so that I can order a pair of prescription goggles.) And my strained tendon has stopped being even a tiny bit sore, which is a big relief. Good, good times on that front.

The first shipment last year

Weekend To-Do List

For the first time in quite a while, there are no visitors in from out of town, no big events, no family dinners, nothing scheduled for this weekend. I find the idea rather startling in a good way. (Don’t get me wrong, all the visitors were great, the events were fun, and the family dinner was delicious. But after a while it gets exhausting.) So now I’m finally making my Weekend To-Do List, for all of the things that I’ve been putting off each and every week.

This is a work in progress; I’m sure there are more things that I’m forgetting… and of course this leaves off the regular events like “write reviews” and such.

  • Re-arrange living room (tv, bookshelves, couch)
  • Organize closet and dresser (move pants, t-shirts) and get rid of old clothes
  • Run 8-10 miles
  • Saturday morning farmer’s market photography
  • Buy primer and paint for Artomatic (provided I decide on the color)
  • Read book club selection for next week’s month’s discussion (Farthing by Jo Walton)
  • Sleep

Somehow it feels good just to write it all down. We’ll see how much actually gets done, of course…

Lemon Bars and Chlorine

This was a nice weekend, over all. On the downside, Charlie’s been coming down with a bad cold (or something) and spent all Sunday out of commission. Which meant, of course, that he got to avoid the craziness of a family holiday dinner.

The dinner was, needless to say, ultra-delicious. My mom’s side of the family is populated with great cooks and the food we had this year was no exception; ham, scalloped potatoes, carrot souffle, scalloped pineapple, green beans, asparagus, and probably something else that I’m blanking on. Plus three desserts; banana pudding, a carrot cake, and lemon bars that I’d made and brought with me.

Lemon BarsThe bars turned out pretty good overall. Next time I need to make sure I really push all of the crust out nice and flat; it was a little high at one end and those bars had to get thrown out because they were almost all crust and no lemon. Also, I need to buy a lemon zester before I make this again because using a cheese grater is a real pain in the butt. Still, overall, they were good. (Jim, I’ll edit in the recipe under a jump when I get home tonight.)

This morning I finally got off of my butt and went lap swimming for the first time in approximately 20 years. So yes, I did indeed survive. If my counting was correct (and it may very well not be) I swam 20 laps (or 40 lengths) of the pool, which comes out to 1000 meters. With little rest breaks between each lap, mind you, with which to confer with Julie and Laura. It was a nice time, although I clearly need to get some goggles because everything is now a tiny bit blurry. Also, need to find my rubber flip-flops. It’s been a while since I’ve had to do the whole shower-at-the-gym routine. (My current gym is all of 5 minutes away, my old gym was a 2 minute walk around the corner.)

I’d originally wanted to use this spring to tackle a triathlon, but missing Philly back in November put a hold on that. But I might give one of the mini-triathlons from Tri It Now a stab. If I get the bike serviced I am pretty sure I could handle that right now with no problem. (Famous last words, I’m sure. I can hear Moose cackling at my naivety.) In the meantime, though, I just need to keep at it. Practice makes better…

Continue reading Lemon Bars and Chlorine

In case you hear of people laughing so hard they drown…

I feel like I should somehow warn the world that (provided all goes well) I am going to take a stab at lap swimming on Monday. I am pretty sure that I have not done actual lap swimming since, um, 1986 or so.

Saying that this is going to be entertaining? Understatement of the universe. I’m sure there must be a German word for when you are simultaneously looking forward to something and terrified of it, all at once. They’re good with that sort of thing.

On the bright side, new lighting for Artomatic is officially purchased. I suppose there’s a small chance it may somehow fail horribly and I’ll have to use the old one, but hopefully the first weekend of site set-up I can test it out and make sure. (But if someone out there wants my old lights, well, they’re probably going to need a new home.)

And I have told myself that in May, I have to get my old Wine-Book Wednesdays posts up and running again. All it will really take is a good hour or two to scan in about two dozen more images. So if there aren’t any new posts by May7th, feel free to nag. After all, it’ll have been a year since the last one. Yeesh.

This weekend Charlie and I are seeing Chicago at the National Theatre. I’ve never seen it before—on stage or for that matter the movie version. I know absolutely nothing about it. Hopefully entertainment is heading our way tomorrow night.

Wishing I Had a Porch

Last Saturday was a little crazy busy for me; I had a 12-mile run in the morning (with another one scheduled for Sunday morning), business to take care of at my parents’s house out in Vienna, and dinner with some of Charlie’s co-workers up in Chevy Chase. And let me first get out of the way, the run was great—Charlie and I ran it together, and despite some nasty headwinds beating us down, we had a really good time. Likewise, dinner (at La Ferme) was also excellent, with good company and good food.

But I have to say, the best part of Saturday? It may have been after I’d finished taking care of everything out at the family estate, and I got to sit out on the deck and read my book for about an hour.

A Peaceful Afternoon [365portraits: 094]

I know, it doesn’t sound like much. But one of the things that I’ve really missed when I moved into Arlington was having my own porch or balcony; it’s something that while in both Falls Church and Tysons that my place had and I somewhat took for granted. There are a lot of nice parks in my current neighborhood that I can walk to and kick back and relax at… but there’s something extra-special about being somewhere all by yourself and just able to really and fully unwind. Especially in the spring.

It was just a great way to spend the afternoon; finishing the second 400 pages of Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life, drinking a (rare for me) soda, letting the sun keep me warm, and not worrying about anything else. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, and being outside means that I don’t find myself looking at everything in my home and thinking, “I really should take care of that.”

I also got to fiddle around a bit with a new camera lens; it’s a macro lens that lets me get some tight focuses on objects and blur everything else out behind them. I’m definitely still learning its finer points but so far I’m pretty happy with what it’s letting me do.

Daffodills Daffodill

Mom’s daffodills are already getting a little droopy and towards the end of their cycle, so it was nice to have someone appreciate them while they’re still out. (You know, for someone who hated hated hated weeding the garden all those years, every now and then I think that it would be nice to have a garden of my own. What sort of horrible subliminal brainwashing is going on with me?)

And speaking photography, I started looking at alternate lighting ideas for Artomatic this year, and may have found paydirt. Of course, what I really need to do is get up early on Saturday and hopefully finish up the set of photos for the exhibit. And then print the photographs, and buy frames… and paint for my wall at Artomatic… get new business cards…

It’s no small wonder I still owe some people e-mails from two months ago. Or why updates here are few and far between. I’m ready to become fabulously wealthy and live a life of leisure, can’t you tell?