Saturday, December 8, 2018

My Civic Duty

You know this case?

I know it very well.  Because I was on the jury.

It's all public knowledge now.  And it was truly an exhausting experience.

The facts of the case:

  • the defendant got higher than a kite, broke into the home of a complete stranger and shot him.  he then faceplanted THROUGH a glass door, fell over a balcony then hid under a car like a 3 year old that is very bad at hide and seek and cried for Jesus.
  • The defendant's DNA was all over the house.  His prints were on the gun found on the scene.  The ballistics report said the gun on the scene was the murder weapon.
  • In the Commonwealth of Virginia Voluntary Intoxication is no excuse for murder.
I now double and triple check every door and window before I go to sleep at night.  I have nightmares about the video of the body on the floor with the dog jumping around it.  I don't know how I'll handle hearing gunfire.

The defendant's mother apologized to the family of the victim.  I knew if I started crying then, I wouldn't stop.  I came home numb.  Like I'd used all of my emotion for the day.

Folks, don't do drugs.  Especially at the home of someone that you met online and saw in person for the first time that day.  And for heaven's sake, if you are higher than a kite, don't pick up a gun!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It's been an interesting fall

Tuesday I was out walking the dog.  We were walking the neighborhood, I was listening to a podcast.

And I fell.  And fell hard!
I learned a few things as I lay on the ground:

  1. Thank goodness I put the loop of Misty's leash through a belt.  If she was in my hand, i might have been hurt worse.
  2. My poor knees.  My right kneecap is still hurting.
  3. I don't know how the hell I fell, but I DO know that it was hard and fast
  4. I bent my fingers back, and must have snapped my head back as I hit the ground.
I left work early that day because my beck was killing me.

The next morning I woke up and could hardly move!

I went to the chiropractor.  Yes.  I gave myself whiplash.

This is not the first time I've fallen so hard that I've injured myself.  A few years ago I fell in a parking lot and busted by face.

I hate to say it, but I've not been out for a long walk or a run since.  I'm a little scared to.  Thankfully after this weekend I don't have another race to train for.  I can focus on inside workouts that have a soft carpet for me to fall on.

Monday, November 19, 2018


Saturday, my Best friend and I took a road trip!

We drove from Newport News, Virginia to Durham, North Carolina.


Because we had tickets for HAMILTON!!!!

The BFF found us a great deal on a room at the 21C Museum Hotel.  Not only was the hotel (which contained an art gallery) really cool... it was 2 blocks away form the theater!
Yes, the hotel supplied a rubber duck.  If the bathtub could have been stopped to take a bath, it would have been perfect!

After a dinner of pizza at a local place, we went to see the show!

I picked up the tickets, and had to sign a paper acknowledging that the seats had limited view.
That's not TOO bad a view!!

I even managed to talk myself into some swag!

Now, what everyone is here for:  The Show!!

My Takeaways:
  • This show is an amazing piece of stagecraft!  I love the way the choreography helps propel the narrative.  Most knows with dance breaks (I'm looking at you Anything Goes) the narrative takes a rest during the dance number.  Not Hamilton!  And the use of the turntable is amazing!!!  I also think having Burr narrate the show AND be the "villain" (in an unreliable narrator kind of way) is brilliant!
  • As a theater nerd, I'd LOVE to get my hands on some of the costuming (especially the female dancer's outfits).  I want to see how they are put together!
  • I SO want to learn the Yorktown Choreography!
  • I've never seen the Broadway version, but just hearing variations between the actors is very cool!  
  • The guy that plays Burr in the Philip Cast is Nik Walker, and he's hilarious!  
  • I loved the Jefferson/Madison duo of Kyle Scatliffe and Fergie L. Philippe.  They played off of each other and it was a delight to watch! 
  •  I spent most of the performance knowing that I'd seen the person playing Washington (Marcus Choi) before.  I have.. He was on Luke Cage!
  • The Eliza/Hamilton duo of Shoba Narayan and Joseph Morales were simply amazing!  the dept of emotion these two brought was incredible.  
  • I'd LOVE to see the show again.  I'm sure that I have more thoughts, but I was so wrapped up in everything I think my brain stopped working!

Monday, November 12, 2018

At least I finished!!

Yesterday I ran a race!

Well, run might be too strong a word.  I walked a race rather quickly.  And of course, this race was full of the super fact runners... so I got the police escort.

I finished, but I was dead last.

I had a few things against me:
  • I have cold induced asthma, and it was just barely above freezing
  • Since up until yesterday, the weather had been warm, I've had zero time to train in the cold
  • And I was under trained.
So one third of this was my fault.

I had opportunity to be pulled from the course.  The medics knew of my distress, but instead of asking if I wanted to quit, they told me to breathe through my nose.  

I kept going.  I apologized to every road marshal and police officer that I ran across.  I was sorry that I was keeping them so long.  Everyone responded that they were happy to be here, and to help me on my way.

The course was long, and at times, very confusing.  I couldn't see the finish line until I was almost there.  When I was almost out of steam, a rather nice lady walked with me until I caught sight of the finish.

(I'm kinda upset that I didn't get played in with the Rocky Theme, like most last runners do!)

But I finished!  I ran across the finish line.  I got a medal and a hug from my vet (who also is a runner).

Then I skipped the free food and beer and shuffled to the car.

The next few hours were simply horrible!  I had to take breaks while walking, showering, going upstairs.  My arms were almost too tired to comb my hair.  My poor dog wanted to play, but I was so exhausted, that simply did not happen!

It was a long, exhausting day.  But in the end....

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The joy of not planning everything!

At the end of September, the Spousal Equivalent and I went to Disney World!

Anyone that has ever been to Disney knows that it can be the most planned vacation that you've ever had!  Between Fast Passes and Dining Reservation, your vacation can be rather scheduled.

We got there during a stretch of 90 degree, 1000% humidity days.  We quickly threw most of our plans out of the window.  We decided to only do what we REALLY wanted to do!

We got to the resort on a Wednesday afternoon.

We snagged a room in Bay Lake Tower (which is walking distance to the Magic Kingdom!).  But we weren't there long!  As Disney Vacation Club Member, we were off to our first DVC Event!  Moonlight Magic!

Moonlight Magic a wonder event where Disney shuts down a park for the night and only lets in a limited number of pre-registered DVC members.  The people that don't get in are jealous.  

But it was great!!  We had a free dinner!  Free Mickey Bars!  Our own special showing of Fantasmic!
We sat in the front fricking row!
We got a little wet...
The lines were short for most of the rides too!  And there were characters there that people normally don't get to see!
 Like Rey!
And Captain Phasma!

We ended the night in the new Toy Story Land.  it was great!  And then I had a panic attack on Slinky Dog Dash (damn coaster is VERY tall!).  

In the name of spontaneity, we decided to see if we could get a Chef Mickey reservation for the next morning.  

Staying at the Contemporary has some perks.  One of them is Chef Mickey!

Thursday was one of our Epcot Days.  It was miserable.  I was tired.  We peaced out quickly, then road the monorail to the Polynesian to eat at Captain Cooks's!

I found out that by a great act of coincidence, one on my High School BFFs and her family were going to be at Disney at the same time!  They invited us to Blizzard Beach for the afternoon!

After Blizzard Beach, we attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! 

It's another hard ticketed event.  The lines weren't as short as Moonlight Magic, but there was free candy, exclusive characters and one hell of a parade!

Saturday was our Magic Kingdom Day!!
The Spousal Equivalent decided to play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom as we walked around.
Much fun was to be hand, and the SE managed to beat the game!  But the highlight of the night was dinner at Be Our Guest!

And I even got to see the Happily Ever After fireworks!

This was our Animal Kingdom day.  By this time the SE and I were both DONE.  We rode the 2 rides that we wanted, came back and took a nap!

Monday was the day that I was waiting for!  Breakfast with Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder!
The SE is trying to steal the satchel

We ended our vacation by eating our way around Epcot/

We had a fantastic time!  And I think the difference was the fact that we only made an effort to get to our dining reservations and the rides that we REALLY wanted to get to.

Next time, Star Wars will be open!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Be careful what you wish for

Before we left for our vacation to Walt Disney World (post coming soon), I remarked to the Spousal Equivalent that I am going to meed to buy a car in the next few years, so we need to work out a money plan.

And then on Thursday, October 11th, just before midnight.. a tree fell on our cars.

Yup...a tree.

Well, half a tree...

We spent Friday morning sitting in the dark (power didn't come back until after 9am) on the phone with our insurances companies.  We have coverage.  We are entitled to rental coverage and repairs (or money if the car is a total loss).

But it still sucks!

On Friday, the word from the insurance company was:  we can't do ANYTHING until the tree moves.  I waited for HOA to move it.. but the guys that live in the end unit cleared it before HOA could do their job.

The damage was worse than I thought it was going to be.

It's now Monday, and I'm waiting.  And frankly, I'm ok waiting.  I have to wait for a tow truck to take my car to the body shop where it will either be repaired, or declared a total loss.  The S.E.'s car has already been declared a total loss, so he's waiting on a salvage tow.

I guess it's car shopping this weekend.

I've spent the entire weekend with a headache from a clenched jaw.  It's not a devastating loss.  SO many people have it worse than I do!

But it still sucks!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

I hate hurricane season!

When last we spoke, it was summer. 

My word.. things have changed since then!

I have a new coworker!  Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks.

And it's Hurricane season.

We've had it nice the last couple of years.  The last major hurricane in our area was Irene in 2011.

Because of this, I've been SUPER lazy at keeping up the hurricane kit and now it's coming to bite my ass.  I don't have batteries or much in the way of non-perishables.  If we're without power for weeks, it's not going to be pleasant.

And as Hurricane Florence approaches, and the shelves are bare I'm REALLY regretting that.

I've been obsessively watching the news and following the weather sites about this one. 

One guy (a former TV weather guy) is forecasting a hurricane of biblical proportions with hundreds dead and months without power.

The guy I like on Facebook just forecasted this morning that North Carolina is screwed, but we might not have it as bad.

The thing that has me a bit freaked is flooding and being without power for more than a few days.  I was not made for "roughing it!"

Last night I so obsessively flicked form forecast to forecast that I gave myself a panic attack.  Hurricane are big, powerful, scary and a bit unpredictable.  A northward movement of the storm track at the last moment could spell disaster for us.

But today is Tuesday.  Florence is supposed to hit super early Friday morning.  I can at least have a small plan of things I can do until then to prepare.  Like dishes and laundry....

At least I have wine...

stay safe everyone!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Keeping Them (well me...) Honest

The last few days have been interesting.... and not in a good way.

And now for some accountability:

I had some days off last week, due to the holiday.  I took my car to the shop for an oil change, tire rotation and other assorted things.  Not a problem.  I have the money for it.

When I picked it up, I was told that I’d need to get new tires in the next six months or so.

Actually it was 6 days.  My tires were dry rotten, so the air was seeping out.  4 new tires, and the rest of my money.

Sadly, because of that the event that I was supposed to attend this weekend isn’t happening (I can’t justify the cost.....).  Instead we went to Busch Gardens.  The member benefits for this month included a $10 gift card.  So breakfast and lunch were paid for.  Instead of going out today, I’m going to watch Harry Potter and clean my kitchen.

I need to re-tool my budget.  Seriously.  I shouldn’t have to buy work clothes until winter (if not longer).  I have some money in savings for our Disney trip.  I just need to plan better so I don’t have to buy lunches.  No more impulse buys.

The other thing keeping me away from the event was the crowds.  I’ve been largely absent from these people... my friends... for an age.  It’s been so long that I don’t exactly know how to re-intrigrate myself in without it being super weird.

This isn’t logical, I know.   Seriously, I need to have people come to my house and pick me up to make sure that I go out and interact with people!

But sadly, that is a project for next weekend.

This weekend I’m meal planning.  I need to make my dollars go farther!
Next week:  Interact with my friends to remind myself that yes, they are in fact my friends!!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Something wild and crazy!

I got the brilliant idea a while ago to start a YouTube channel!

But what would I want to make videos about?

My love of Disney?
My geeky TV show obsessions?
Drag Race recaps?
Scholarly analysis of popular musicals?
Reviews of exercise programs?
How to videos for cooking?

I also have reservations...

Will I sound like a babbling idiot?
Will anyone watch my videos?
Do I have the right equipment?
How do you edit one of these anyways?

I clearly have more thinking to do.

But would you watch?

An interesting Facebook Post I found.

I had something come across my Facebook feed the other day.  It was a list of anecdotes that anxiety sufferers shared with the website.  These are behaviors that aren't traditionally associated with anxiety.  The list resonated with me.

1. “I have an attitude out of no where and I can be really short with people even though it’s not their fault.” — Lisa K.

This one hit me hard.  My "F You" threshold gets turned WAY down when I'm anxious.  And it comes out of the blue.  If you ever listen to me having a strong negative reaction from me, especially if that reaction is out of the blue... it's usually anxiety.

2. “I cannot express myself right. I can’t find the words, they don’t come out in the right order and I cannot process what people are telling me. I can’t look at them, hear them speak and have no idea what they just said or did not understand them at all.” — Laura P.

There's two sides of this for me. 

#1- I'm ALWAYS searching for the right word.  My mind blanks out of the correct noun ALL THE TIME.

#2- if I'm flustered, or trying to be part of a conversation, I'll spend more time trying to craft something to say than actually listening to the conversation. 

3. “I brush people off and close myself off. So many people think anxiety looks like running around and being visibly upset, but most often it’s a battle within your own mind. I know I’ll come off snarky, and I do, if people force me into talking (especially small talk) when I’m having a panic attack.” — Amanda P.

This.  So much this!

4. “I question every little thing and no amount of reassurance will convince me that the people in my life don’t hate me.” — Lillian S.

And of course when people DO try to reassure me, I'll start the internal dialogue: "Of course they SAY that, but do they REALLY mean it?"

7. “I lash out in anger. My brain fills up with anxiety and I sometimes say things I don’t mean because I feel like I’m in a fight or flight situation. It hurts my relationships with other people if I don’t watch what I say when anxious.” — Morgan M.

See number one.  It's another reason why I tend to hermit.

13. “I stop answering any and all texts, I rarely talk when I’m with someone or I talk too much.” — Erika K.

If I'm in a social situation and develop verbal diarrhea?  That's anxiety.

16. “I cancel plans… even if it means missing out on something I used to love. Anxiety has been a huge part of my life for about two years now and I have missed out a lot. Just thinking of planning something can be so physically exhausting. I don’t think people know that I am so drained from just worrying about what could happen, I would rather stay home.” — Kayla L. 

It doesn't happen very often.  Maybe once every few years.  But when I'm SUPER anxious and have to leave the house I spend all day paranoid that the house will burn down and the pets will die.  Irrational?  Yes.  But thankfully it happens very, very rarely.  (Though I came home years ago and there were fire trucks in the apartment complex.  It wasn't us, but I freaked the f*ck out!)

What does all of this mean?  Well, I should get out of the damn house more.  (It's a personal goal).  it also means that if you ever see behavior from me that seems out of left field.... don't take it personally.

Friday, June 1, 2018


For over a week my routine as been out of wack.  Without the AC, I've not wanted to do anything that will generate heat: laundry, cooking.  Or anything that will make me sweat too much, like cleaning.  We're struggling with keeping the house dehumidified (lest my allergies go nuts!) and keeping the cats from melting.  I've woken up with a headache almost every day this week.

I'm out of sorts, and feeling rather sad, anxious and just plain off.

There's now an end in sight.  They'll be here on Monday to fix the AC (sooner if there's a cancellation today).

I just have to get through three more days.  Then maybe I'll be able to get back to normal.  And I'll be able to cook... and do wash.  And not watch the cats melt and the dog pant.

And when I get back to a routine, maybe it can help pull me out of this funk.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Worst. Long. Weekend. Ever.

Remember in 2016 when our AC went out?  Well, it happened again.  Exact same symptoms.  The inside unit is working, but the fan in the outside unit isn't a-spinnin'.  We noticed it on Wednesday of last week.  Told the landlord right away.  Friday they called... the earliest their usual repair people can come is in 2 weeks.

2 weeks????  We're on a waiting list for the next available appointment, and he'll call around to see if someone can get here sooner.

Thankfully the weather wasn't in the triple digits like it was the last time this happened. So it's been livable.   The only issue I really have is how INCREDIBLY humid it is inside.  We're emptying out dehumidifier twice a day!

We spent the weekend monitoring the pets.  The dog was super pant-y and one of the cats melted.

Friday night the portable AC unit in the bedroom stopped working, leaving me with 2 hours of sleep before my Saturday morning race. 

Thankfully, Target had another unit.  It was bought online and I picked it up afterwords.  Cue a blessed nap!

After my very cold post-race shower and a nap, I sent the Spousal Equivalent to Viking Burger for lunch.  he came back with everything but my fries. 

Monday I went to order breakfast on the SE's app, and forgot to put it in the cart....

And today, driving into work, I found myself with the tire pressure light on.

Can I have a do-over?

How was your weekend?