It’s always the last few days before vacation that suck the most, that seem to just drag into forever long days, isn’t it?
Originally, I had planned to work through Wednesday of this week, then drive east on Thursday. After getting entirely too fed up with work and too eager for vacation to get here already, last week I decided to take half of Wednesday off and just make the drive early. So now I just have today and half of tomorrow to get through. Though I decided not to tell my parents this; they still think I’m coming in Thursday evening instead of super late on Wednesday. I have a key to their house, so it’s not like I’ll be breaking in or anything … but I decided to let my sister in on the gig, just in case I need a partner-in-crime on these shenanigans. You never know.
Meanwhile, it seems my body is hell bent on trying to distract me. I discovered that an overabundance of garlic is a migraine trigger for me last night, which was awesome except not. Actually, it explains why I got that migraine two weeks ago – I had the same frozen meal and didn’t see the beginning signs. I figured it out immediately after I finished eating dinner, so I downed a bunch of water, slammed a bunch of advil, turned all the lights low (even on the computer), and hoped I had rescued myself in time. Luckily I mostly had, so that’s a relief and something I won’t have to deal with today … unlike my uterus. Nothing like cramps waking you out of a dead sleep at 3am, am I right? But if it’s doing this now, it means I’ll be done with this feminine crap by the time I get to the beach, which is totally fine and I can handle that. However, it also means I’ll be dealing with it on my 11-hour drive tomorrow, which is so not on my list of things I want to deal with.
In the meantime, I have last-minute chores to do tonight since I’ll be literally leaving right after work tomorrow – laundry, packing, taking out trash, cleaning out the fridge … all that crazy nonsense. I’m really looking forward to my first real time off since starting work here back in October!
This weekend for me is just a flurry of activity that really isn’t all that exciting. I leave midweek for about 11 days of vacation, heading back to the east coast to see family and enjoy the beach. I SERIOUSLY CANNOT WAIT. However, I am also one of those people who need to accomplish all the things before putting my toes in the water and ass in the sand (as Zac Brown Band would say).
So right now I’m taking a brief respite from … well, really stupid chores. Like ironing cotton shorts prior to packing them, where they’re sure to get re-wrinkled, but the point is I TRIED. Right? No, most of the stuff I’m doing is for when I get back from vacation. Like giving the apartment a thorough cleaning before I leave so I don’t hate myself when I get back (mainly so the ants don’t take over). Bathrooms, vacuuming, mopping, dusting – hell, even the oven is going through a self-cleaning cycle (which is why it’s BLAZING hot in here). Last-minute chores mainly being one last load of laundry (for running clothes), cleaning out the fridge (because mold is the worst), and emptying out the trash (because: duh). Honestly, while it sucks to do all this crap now, there’s nothing better than coming back to a clean apartment after vacation.
Are you the same way right before a vacation, or are you more spontaneous? I’d like to be more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, but it’s just really not my style.
… bonus points to you if you immediately finished that title “… with my mind on my money and my money on my mind.”
I’m not sure if this is true with everyone’s situation, but as I’ve grown up, left school, and joined the workforce, I find that there’s a certain lax attitude towards the summertime. People take more time off, you kind of enjoy the weather. Even workplaces tend to have more out-of-office days for picnics or other functions that take you outside and force you to socialize (whether you like it or not). Last week ushered in the summer season (if if not officially so) with the Memorial Day holiday. Baseball games abound and kids are starting to get, if not already are, out of school. The first picnic of the summer, for my work directorate, is this Friday. So, for all intents and purposes, it’s another four-day workweek here. Next week (NEXT WEEK! Where has the time gone?) I start my vacation time on Thursday and continue through the following week. I’m really excited to get back out to the east coast for a week and see the family.
I think the biggest impact this summer has both pros and cons: furlough. Yes, I’m a federal employee, and I “get to” start taking furlough days the week after Independence Day. That mean I’m forced to not work one day a week from then until September 30th (and I don’t get paid for that day either, so it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows). Long story short on how we worked it out in my office, I’ll have Mondays off. So yeah, my paycheck will suffer some. But on the bright side, that’s one extra day a week I get to spend poolside or about town. I’ll have three-day weekends most of the summer, so I can travel about (possibly, depending on how tough my checking account is hurting). So I’ll just try my best not to be a hermit and make the best of a crappy situation.
Is your work schedule more relaxed for the next few months? Do you have any exciting vacation plans for the summer?
Seriously, what is with the storms lately?
We’ve been getting evening weather all week, it seems. Thursday’s was particularly interesting with nickel- to quarter-sized hail. (Proof.) Fortunately, no tornadoes or anything like that have accompanied the thunderstorms, but they’ve been pretty darn loud. There was a notable barrage of thunder and lightning last night that woke me out of a dead sleep – it was like fireworks on steroids! The rain’s been so predictable, though, I decided to forego going to the Cards game last night because I knew it would be stormy, despite the fact that it was totally fine outside in the early evening. But! I discovered this morning in my inbox that the game had totally been postponed due to weather, and my ticket is still good for a noon 0′clock matchup between the Cards and Giants – so I may have Saturday plans after all!
Or … I may just end up spending the day with my Kindle and a frosty beverage.
What? That’s totally a legitimate plan.
What do your weekend plans look like? Hope the weather cooperates in your favor!
This month, I finally got a pain in the butt book off my back and binge-read four others in the following week in celebration of no longer being held hostage by bad writing. To recap:
A Dance with Dragons — Jesus, this book. Poor writing throughout. Martin has problems with expanding a ridiculous amount of detail on inane details and then being “…and then he/she died” leaving the reader confused like “did that just happen?” Also, now that I’m finally finished with this, I may be cured of any desire to watch HBO’s Game of Thrones. Will have to wait ’til season 3 comes out on DVD to see if I’m interested, but right now, not even.
Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction and My Own — I’m a fan of Morning Joe‘s Mika Brzezinski and after catching an interview of her on Today, decided to pick this up for a read. I thought there were some great concepts in here as well as some interesting anecdotes, but ultimately I found this to be unfocused and full of unfinished ideas.
Someday, Someday, Maybe — When I heard Lauren Graham was writing a book, I knew I would have to read it. Her voice is so distinctive that it absolutely comes through in the writing. The first few pages start a little slowly, but after awhile I looked up and realized not only had a few hours passed, but I was about 80% through the novel (you don’t really realize progress on Kindles that easily). This is a fun read for a day at the beach, a plane ride, or even a rainy weekend.
The Good House — I picked this up for my Kindle ages ago, it seems, and finally got around to reading it. Not disappointed’ it’s a delicious look at small town life and family dynamics. I thought the connection to Salem witch Sarah Good would be more predominant, but the narrative was so interesting, that didn’t matter. This read extremely quick as well.
Reconstructing Amelia — The plot here, where a mother refuses to believe her daughter has committed suicide and investigates her life, is successfully engaging. The narrative often switches between mother and daughter, past and present, but is easy to follow. Fans of Megan Abbott’s Dare Me will also like this look inside the life of the American teenager.
What are some of your current reads? Anything you’d recommend?
Not in the traditional sense, of course.
It’s time for the annual semi-official summer run streak! Runner’s World has egged crazy folks on for a few years now to get their run on from Memorial Day to Independence Day (there’s also a winter run streak from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but you know, it’s not that time of year). I made a half-hearted attempt to do this last year, but it didn’t really take (mostly because I’m not a fan of rainy weather running). This year I have a treadmill, so no excuses … even when I have to get up at 4am to get in a quick pre-work run, like today.
I figure 39 consecutive days of running will somewhat offset the summer picnic/bbq/drinking season.
Eh, who knows.
Are you taking part in this year’s streaking? Have you ever streaked? (Again, not in the traditional sense. What you do in the birthday suit is your own business, yo.)
I’ve been feeling the need lately to scale back on a lot of things. Don’t you ever just get that feeling like you have too much … well, everything? Last month it was purses – I cut back about 90% of my handbag collection and feel completely relieved over it. I mean, I have a great handbag that I take to work everyday, a medium one for days out, and a cross-body micropurse for when I’m just traveling light or on-the-go. I feel like a traitor to my gender for willingly giving up the dozens of purses I have “because they were cute” because I never used them. (Almost typed “like ever” here, but then I thought that sounded like that Taylor Swift song, and now I hate myself for knowing that. Next.)
So the big thing I’ve been tackling lately is electronics. I’m a fiend for the gadgets, y’all. But there comes a time when you need to kind of just figure out what you really use and get rid of the stuff that’s just taking up space in your closets/drawers/desks/whatever already.
A few months ago, I decided to get the Kindle paperwhite – now, I’ve been obsessed with Kindles since they came out in 2007 and have had pretty much every single model. I’m constantly upgrading. I wanted to get the paperwhite because of the backlit screen, which I love and a pretty set with. But I still had my 3rd generation Kindle as well as a Kindle Fire (that I liked for a few weeks before I found the operating system cumbersome) collecting dust. In the past, I’ve offered up my old electronics to friends, but this time I wanted to see what my other options were. So I looked into Amazon’s return/refurbish policy, and found they have a great buyback system. All I had to do was print out a prepaid shipping return label, box up the Kindles along with their cords, and drop it off at my local UPS store. Three days later, I had store credit in my Amazon account. That was super easy, cleared out junk from my apartment, and earned me about $80. Time well spent.
Next up? Well, when I moved here last year, I picked up a great iMac for the apartment because, while I like the ease of having a laptop, I much prefer to work with a desktop if I have the option. And I’m really enamored with the whole setup I have – my apartment has a built-in desk next to the living room that I’m constantly utilizing. And when I don’t feel like sitting at the desk, I’ve got my iPad. But I still had an MacBook Air that I wasn’t really using. So it came to no surprise that Apple also has a buyback system – they actually send you the packing materials and shipping label after you enter in all your information on their website. I ended up going a little more extreme on this one – I sent back both my laptop and my iPad. It took a little longer than Amazon for processing, but I ended up with a nice chunk of Apple store credit. (That’s the only real drawback – the credit is for the Apple store, not iTunes, and I have had some difficulty trying to turn that credit into iTunes credit. But I’m sure I’ll figure it out.) I used a good portion of that credit to pick up an iPad mini to replace the two larger systems I was using, and I like it a lot better. It’s less bulky, and when I need to do something more substantial, I still have the desktop.
Have you ever recycled old electronics? Or are you a gadget hoarder?