Thursday, November 12, 2015

this week rocked

For the past month or so, I have been working from home four days a week.  I'm used to being in the office almost every day, so not only is being home lonely, but the work is....slow.

I thought being home would give me plenty of time to blog, but the problem is that there is nothing exciting happening in my life.  I'm not kidding.  When Matt came home one night last week, there was a FedEx slip on our building door saying that they tried to drop off a package but were unable to get a signature from the resident.

Well, I am here to tell you that they didn't try very hard because I was sitting here ALL DAY LONG and would've loved nothing more than to sign for a delivery.

I was already (still?) in my pajamas when Matt got home, but when he said he was going to drive over to FedEx to pick up the mysterious package, I flew off the couch and had my boots and coat on in record time.

I might have billed the errand as "an exciting adventure" as we headed out to the car together.  Good old Matt tried to play along and match my excitement.  I'd never been to the FedEx office, and as we turned off the main road, Matt said, "Okay, now this is where things get a little crazy."

Things didn't get crazy - we just drove down some windy roads in the rain to the distribution center, but it was still the highlight of my day.  I'd dreamed up all sorts of possibilities about what the package could be, including but not limited to a check for a significant sum of money, luxurious shoes I forgot I'd ordered, or early Christmas presents.  

Turns out it was Matt's diabetic insulin pump, which I guess is exciting in a necessary sort of way.

This past Monday I actually had some meetings scheduled, and I was looking forward to being out and about.  Unfortunately, as I pulled through the tollbooth and merged onto the turnpike, my car beeped and flashed the "low brake fluid" warning light.  I called Matt to see how dire the warning was, and he advised me to turn around and drive home.  "Chances are the sensor is malfunctioning or it's due to the cold weather, but you don't want to be driving with low brake fluid.  You should be fine to get home, but in case the brakes do go out, stay calm, shift into low gear, and pull slowly but firmly on the emergency brake."

Happy Monday.

I returned home with full brake capacity and a medium iced caramel coffee with cream because the Philadelphia Eagles won their game on Sunday which meant FREE DUNKIN DONUTS COFFEE and if I was going to lose brake functioning and get stranded on the side of the road, I would need coffee to keep me company.  

Matt did a full brake check when he got home.  The brake fluid reservoir was full, it didn't appear there was a leak, and the warning light didn't come on again so it appeared that all systems were go for future travel.    

Since I was working from home again on Tuesday, I decided to take Old Blue out for a few spins around the apartment complex parking lot to check the status of the brakes.

In the middle of my first lap, I heard an unusual clicking sound coming from one of the tires,  The frequency of the clicking increased as I increased my speed, so I decided to put my mechanical expertise to use and got out and investigated all four tires,  Eventually I located a giant rock lodged in the front passenger tire.  

Happy Tuesday.

I pulled the rock out because I live on the edge.  I then walked downstairs and looked at the tire every hour, drove a few quick errands yesterday, and drove to my rescheduled meetings today with no problem at all.

So the bottom line is that the rock did no permanent damage to the tire.

Which I know is the best outcome.  

But I was kind of hoping to take a trip to Pep Boys.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

i think the lab needs to take a page out of the post office's book

I had to get some blood work done last week, because WELCOME TO AGE 27.  I made a 9:15 appointment, and even arrived for my appointment with my kindle and my optimism ONE HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES EARLY.  I'm sorry to report that the whole saga took three hours.

The poor phlebotomist seemed very frazzled when she finally called me back at 10:35, and because I don't want someone who is about to poke me with a needle and draw blood to be in a bad mood, I expressed my sympathy at how busy she was.  She apologized profusely and explained that the corporate office has decided to have ONE PERSON working at a time in order to maximize efficiency.

Note to the corporate office: that is not in any way efficient.

I think before the execs made that decision, they should have had to sit for three hours in a small waiting room with seventeen people who haven't had anything to eat or drink in twelve hours.

As I sat in the waiting room reading my book, I drafted a blog post in my head about my predicament that started with "I think I've found the one place on earth more inefficient than my local branch of the United States Postal Service."

And then, since I am a glutton for punishment, I paid a visit to my local post office on Friday to mail a few letters because I am old fashioned and I also have a lot of time on my hands lately that I am using to pen correspondence like I'm Emily Dickinson or something.

Anyway, I walked into the post office and was immediately greeted by the friendliest postal worker I've ever met, and she handed me a water bottle and a soft pretzel in celebration of CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY.

I could hardly believe my good luck.

I started to eat my soft pretzel right there in the (long, very long) line, and when she offered a pretzel to man behind me, he said, "No thank you, I just ate a sandwich."

"JUST ATE A SANDWICH?" she said.


She speaks the truth.

The soft pretzel was the kickoff to a delicious food weekend, and the next night Matt and I decided to order take out for dinner.  We both ordered cheese steaks and a side, or as I like to call them, accessories.  Because I am so health conscious, I selected a vegetable in the form of onion rings for my accessory, and Matt ordered loaded fries.

On the way to pick up dinner, I asked, "So, what exactly is on loaded fries?" and Matt said, with a smile and all of the enthusiasm in the world, "EVERYTHING IN THE BASEMENT!!"  

After a few clarifying questions, we determined that he meant, "everything but the kitchen sink."

I think he might need to spend some serious time reading my recent blog.

Maybe I'll make him an appointment for blood work.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

someone started celebrating halloween a day early

My mom and I went out on Friday afternoon and returned home to discover Rosie in the midst of an unauthorized candy binge.  It was hard to get mad at her because she looked so guilty, and also because I've been caught in the exact same situation.

I just can't resist a bag of sweet tarts and some Swedish Fish.

It must run in the family.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

the whole nature vs. nurture debate also annoyed me

Well, it's just another wild night around here.

And by wild I mean Matt and I just spent a considerable amount of time comparing our respective pronunciations of the word "Alabama."

I pronounce the third "a" as I would in flat or cat, but Matt pronounces it like spam or clam.  He tried to back up his argument for his pronunciation by saying that it's how Florida Georgia Line sings it in their songs, except he pronounced Florida as "Floor-i-duh" instead of "Flar-da" which is how I say it AND IT'S LIKE I DON'T EVEN KNOW HIM.

I think diction and pronunciation is endlessly fascinating.  In fact, my family has endured countless hours of listening to me pontificate on the belief that if we're going to pronounce train as "chrain," we either need to change the spelling or change the way we say it.

After Matt had burned out on the  topic, I broached the subject with Emily.  We discussed our pronunciations for bagel (beggle), syrup (seerup), and water (wooder).

And just when I thought we couldn't analyze those words any longer, Emily told me that when she uses the word water in a sentence, she says wooder.  But, when she says the word by itself, she says wah-ter.

She is so complex.

Speaking of being complex, or maybe the opposite, I've been listening to a lot of podcasts since I've been working from home so much.  I was in the market for some new ones, so this weekend I checked out the top rated podcasts of the week, and decided to subscribe to one called Limetown.

It.  Was.  Fascinating.

It's about the investigation surrounding three hundred people who disappeared ten years ago in Tennessee under very mysterious circumstances.  Since it was only ten years ago, I thought I'd be able to recall hearing about this case on the news, but I couldn't.  So yesterday I decided to do some serious Limetown research.

And right away, I found out why there was no news coverage.

Because it's fiction.

I'd been duped.

It reminded me of my freshman year of college when I had to take a psychology class.  As part of the class, we had to participate in three studies run by grad students.  I signed up for my first one, trekked all the way to the graduate studies building, signed in, and took a seat in the waiting room.

Another student who was waiting struck up a conversation, and we made small talk as we waited for our turn.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  I began to get frustrated because didn't they know my time was precious and I could be in my dorm painting my nails or taking a mid-afternoon siesta in the library studying?

When the grad student leading the study came out and called my name, I said goodbye to my waiting room friend and followed the grad student into the meeting room.

"Well, you can go!" he said.  "You're all done.  The student in the waiting room was part of the study.  We are observing how people react to strangers in various stressful situations."


I did what any angry eighteen year would do in that situation which was to march right out of that psych building and call my mother.  I was FURIOUS.  I felt betrayed.  I hated knowing that I was being judged on what I said and how I acted without being told ahead of time.

I bet that same grad student is the man behind the Limetown podcast.

And that's why I wasn't a psychology major.

But maybe I should've studied linguistics.

Monday, October 26, 2015

the week i joined the fixer upper bandwagon

I wasn't around much last week because I spent the week at my brother's babysitting my niece.
 I know what you're thinking.  It's a real shame that she isn't cute.

Annabelle and I spent five days together and I'm pretty sure this is how she felt about me leaving.

Since Annabelle is only three months old, she did a lot of sleeping, which means I did a lot of TV watching.  I got so caught up in a Fixer Upper binge that it almost made me want to go buy a house that needs a brand new kitchen and to be completely updated.

Oh wait.

I've done that.

I also watched countless episodes of The Pioneer Woman and it brought back memories of the days when Michelle and I discovered her show and watched it constantly.  At the time, we considered a microwaved Healthy Choice chicken margarita dinner to be the height of culinary sophistication, but the Pioneer Woman made cooking sound so easy and delicious, and really, what meal isn't delicious when there are multiple sticks of butter involved?

There was one occasion when Michelle got so caught up in a moment of culinary inspiration that she got up from the couch MID-EPISODE and went to the store to buy ingredients for a salsa recipe.  The recipe called for eight cloves of garlic, but Michelle used eight BULBS of garlic which significantly and unfortunately altered the taste.

It turns out that more butter is better, but not always more garlic.

Lesson learned.

I got home from my babysitting adventure on Friday afternoon and Matt had the day off since he had gone to our house inspection in the morning.  It was a beautiful day so we decided to head to the park for a walk.  And it was glorious, except for the part where Matt pointed out all the dead animals he saw.

My mom and I walk on the same trail pretty regularly and I've never noticed dead animals, but five minutes in and Matt spotted a dead mouse and feathers from a bird that he hypothesized was plucked out of the sky by a hawk.

I didn't know that hawks could grab hold of other birds while they were flying and Matt said, "Oh yeah.  One time I saw a hawk grab a blue jay with its talons."  

Just as I felt a tear in my eye thinking about the poor blue jay unable to escape such a terrible fate, Matt whispered, "It was pretty much the coolest thing ever."

Matt and his lack of sympathy for the animals at the bottom of the food chain was going pheasant hunting the next morning.  When we got home from our walk he started to get his gear together and the next thing I knew he appeared in the living room wearing an orange hat, orange vest, gloves, and his brush pants.

I thought he was so excited that he was going to sleep in his outfit, but it turns out he just wanted to make sure he had everything and that it all fit.

Basically he was a boy standing in front of a girl asking her if his brush pants looked okay.

They looked very rustic but unfortunately Matt didn't get any birds on his hunting trip.

If only he had a pet hawk.

Friday, October 23, 2015

it could be their way of saying happy friday

I received an email this morning from the management office of our apartment complex regarding the previously mentioned water situation in neighborhood.  While I was appreciative of the reminder so that I wouldn't make the mistake of drinking brown water again, what really made my day was the wording in the closing.

Behave.  Instead of behalf.

Maybe management is also trying to send us a reminder for the weekend.
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