Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"You make him wish he'd never shown that ludicrous head of hair and that nice face of his."

We're leaving for Vegas two weeks from tomorrow, and I am bursting with excitement. I want to start packing already, but that would just freak our pets out. And we still need to find a sitter for them. James and Lucy have offered, but Lucy is so horribly allergic to both cats and dogs that I'd rather not have to make them do that if I can find someone else.
Today I was looking up stuff to do when we go to Vegas. It sounds like there are plenty of great things to do, and a lot of them are even free. Shane wants to go to the Bodies exhibit, and I really want to go to the Titanic museum. But beyond that, we haven't actually planned anything out. As much as anything else, I'm looking forward to sleeping in and being lazy. I totally need a vacation. 4th of July was really fun, but relaxing it was not. Two weeks Outside sounds amazing.
Shane and I have been getting progressively more and more lazy about household chores, and I think it's because of the looming vacation. The idea of not doing dishes is tantalizing. We haven't even wanted to cook! Two nights in a row we grilled bacon moose burgers (which are amazing!!) and last night we made sandwiches and homemade fries. Super good. And easy. The hardest part was my bike ride to the grocery store. (I'm trying to drive as little as possible. With as lazy as I've been feeling, that's kind of tough.)
Our Wednesday dinners are over, since several of the people involved are now a little cash-strapped. So instead, there's talk of having Wednesday bad action movie nights. That sounds great, too. I hope it happens.
Our one summer student has now left. Andrew moved to Washington, so work has picked up a little bit. I'm happy about that. It means I get to move around a bit more, taking care of the shelving and such. Our other student is graduating at the end of fall semester, and we're thinking of not hiring any more students. I'm hoping that if we do that, Katherine and I can negotiate for raises. After all, it's only fair if we're expected to take over all of the student tasks as well as our own. Shane said, "Would you whine about your job less if you were paid a little more?" I said that the extra work would help out with that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Mom's awesome."

At the moment, I'm watching a Youtube video about how to knit socks. I just finished my first few hats the other day, and I'm kinda feeling badass about my knitting abilities. I mean, I have a long way to go (if I get too sure of myself, all I have to do is hang out with Spencer, who knits the most amazing, complicated things, to bring me back to earth) but since hats weren't as daunting as I was afraid they would be, I know I can conquer anything else. Before I actually start on socks, though, I was going to make a bunch more hats. I want to work on designs, like different stitching patterns (cables and seed stitch) and different designs. I'm pretty excited for it!
I ended up leaving work early the other day because I got a migraine. How awful is that? I don't get them very often, but I can tell one's coming on because my vision gets all blurry and I start to feel nauseous. Eww. When my vision got blurry the other day, I went for a walk thinking that I'd been staring at my computer for too long. When that didn't help (actually, it got worse) I downed three ibuprofen, a bunch of water, and then went home. I was barely able to bike home, but I made it right before my head really started pounding. I then laid down and slept through the worst of it. When I got up three hours later, I was able to eat some dinner and watch a movie with Shane. Pepper napped with me the whole time. She's pretty good about knowing when I'm not feeling well.
We finally dealt with the last of that salmon we'd gotten from Shane's parents after the camping. Most of it went into the freezer, some went into salmon chowder, and a bunch of the crappy parts (and some from our freezer that went bad) got boiled for the dog. Since the stuff for the dog wouldn't stay good enough for long, most of what she's eaten for the last couple of days has been salmon. She's been following me around in hopes that I'll give her more. It's pretty funny. She'll sit where she can catch my eye, sitting up straight as if to prove that she's good, she's worthy. Shane keeps saying, "She's going to go on a hunger strike when we run out of salmon for her." It's true, so it's a good thing she could stand to lose a few pounds. : )
I feel kind of boring lately. Really, the knitting has been about it for the last few days. I'm also reading a biography of Andrew Jackson that's fantastic. I didn't realize that he and his wife were accused of (and probably guilty of) bigamy. (She was married to someone else--who was probably abusive--when they married. They later claimed that there was a mix-up about when her ex-husband began divorce proceedings, but letters from the time suggest that there was no mix-up. Andrew Jackson firmly held the belief that the stress of the accusations that were hurled at them about this during the election contributed to her death just before he took office.)
I have six more days of Insanity left. Only six! I'm so proud of myself. Until last night my motivation was almost zero, but after all the time I took off (accidentally on Saturday I ran out of time, and then on Monday of course I didn't do it because of the migraine) I felt amazing yesterday during the workout. So I'm actually pretty motivated to do it tonight. Yay! Plus, I had three pieces of pizza during lunch. Our student is moving to WA, so we had a pizza party in his honor today.
After working two Sundays in a row, I get to go home early this Friday (can't have overtime) and that means a 3 1/2 day weekend. Woot! I'm very excited. Right now I'm getting to the point where I really need the vacation that's coming up. I know, I just had a mini vacation with the camping, but I came back from that more tired than when I left so it didn't even feel like a vacation. Going to Vegas and then L.A. will be so much fun, and it will be so relaxing to have two weeks when I won't have to worry about how late I stay up or how late I sleep. So nice! Three more weeks....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"In Africa, babies are passed around more freely than joints at Matthew McConaughey's house."

I am so sore today! And it's all my own fault. Since getting back from the camping trip last weekend, Shane and I have jumped right back into doing our workout. (After finishing out this week, we only have next week left.) But on Tuesday I kept pushing it off and putting it off, without realizing that there were actually two workouts to do. Every two weeks with this program, you're supposed to do the fit test, which is about half an hour long. You do one move for a minute, counting how many you can do in that minute. Well, when i started the fit test (at 10:00) I was already sore and tired from the day before. And then I pushed myself. I was really determined to get as many reps as I possibly could. And it worked! I improved on everything, by a significant margin in some cases. (The jumping-jack pushups, where you jump your legs apart as you press down, went from 14 up to 18. Huge improvement, especially since that's the second to last move and I was already dead by that point.) Anyway, I was flat out exhausted after that. I tried to start the next video, but my legs were so shaky that I was worried I'd actually hurt myself. And I was moving at a snails' pace. So I told Shane that I'd do both workouts Wednesday (last night).
I know that someday I will be proud of myself for having done both of those hour long workouts in one day, and for pushing myself in each of them. But it was so tough. I did one right after work, then had dinner and read for a bit to rest up for the next one. After the second one, my legs were shaking from the effort to hold myself upright as I took a shower. When I crawled into bed to read for a bit before going to sleep I told Shane, "It hurts to be me." It still hurts. There is not a part of my body that isn't sore. Which is good for me, I know, but ow!
And I had to ride my bike up the hill this morning. I had to be here by 8:00, and there's only one shuttle bus that early in the morning. And not only does it not have a bike rack, it doesn't go up the hill. (It's the stupidest thing--it goes from a parking lot on lower campus to a building that takes about five minutes to walk to. And yet, the bus driver on that route--a fat man--felt the need to insult me because I didn't want to bike up the hill one morning when my allergies were really bad. "You have two legs and a bike." I HATE UAF shuttle service! They're dead to me.) Anyway, getting up that hill was rough. But I have to put it into perspective for myself. My brother has biked most of the way between England and Tanzania in the last year, and I'm whining about one lousy hill? That makes me feel like a jerk, but it does help me get over it a little bit.
So does the milk I've been drinking today. Mmmm...milk.
Tonight: Shane's softball games and two more workouts to do. *Sigh* I will be so, so happy when this program is over, although I'll probably just take a short break and then continue to do some of the videos.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Kiss my ass, Josh Groban!"

We went camping over the weekend! It was so much fun. Instead of going to Seward this year, as we have for the last three years, Shane's parents wanted to go to Kenai Lake. They sold their motor home and bought a small boat earlier this year, so they wanted an excuse to use it. It turned out to be fantastic! I was worried that we'd go to Seward and it would be the same-old thing. So the camping trip was perfect.
My friend Amanda came into town from Utah on Friday night, so I spent the evening with her and her boyfriend. We had dinner at Silver Gulch, and then we went back to my apartment to hang out. After dinner, Shane went out to play one-handed kickball with friends. (One-handed because the other hand had to have a drink in it.) Amanda, Scott and I were going to go out, but that idea got scrapped. Amanda is five months pregnant, so bars were out. Plus, she was tired. They'd been camping in Denali, and I was looking at an eight hour drive the next day, so staying in and chatting seemed really great. James came over, too, and Shane was only at kickball for about two hours. So it was a fun evening.
The next morning, I woke up to the phone ringing at 8:00. My mom was calling to let me know that my grandfather had died. This wasn't a terrible shock, because my aunt had let me know that he was sick the day before, and he hasn't been in the best of health for years anyway, but it was still sad. So I got up and took a shower, then made pancakes and bacon for everyone for breakfast. Amanda and Scott were staying at our apartment while we were gone, and taking care of the cat for us until they left on Sunday. So that worked out well. James and Lucy were supposed to take over the cat duties after that, but we're not sure if they did. When we got home, the bag of cat food was on the floor (he's never before pulled it out of the cabinet) and his bowl was empty. His tummy pooch seems a little smaller. But he's fine. He had water and he obviously could get food. He was just really happy to see us.
Anyway, after breakfast, a few last things to pack up, and stopping for gas we were good to go. At first we were really cheerful and chatty. The dog settled down pretty quickly, so I think she's getting used to these long car rides. I don't think she likes them, but she's getting used to them. And as scared as she is that she'll be thrown out the window, she does like having the window open to smell everything. When I put it back up, her nose goes up with it. So cute!
Anyway, we switched at one point because Shane needed me to drive so that he could take a nap. And in the car, with Shane napping, was when I finally cried over my Poppa.
I drove the leg into Anchorage, and Shane woke up when we were getting into town. As we were pulling up to one stoplight I said, "Hey look, a moose." Shane thought I was saying something about the Moose's Tooth, where we were stopping for lunch, but then the moose walked less than five feet in front of the truck and he said, "Oh, a moose!" He tried to get the camera, but grabbed it too late. All we would have gotten was a picture of the moose's butt, and we already have plenty of those pictures.
The Moose's Tooth pizza was, of course, fantastic. BBQ chicken. After eating a few slices, we pushed on. Shane took over the driving to the lake. We saw a young black bear along the train tracks around Turnagain Arm. That was cool. Otherwise, the drive was uneventful. We got to Kenai Lake just before 8:00, parked, and waited for Shane's parents to come pick us up in the boat. Pepper was quite happy to be running around the parking lot, and we were amazed at how calm she was in the boat. I think after hours in the car she just didn't care any more, because on the other boat trips we took around the lake and then back to the truck she was a bit nervous.
There were about fifteen people at the campsite on Saturday night. Most of them were people I had met before, like Shane's Aunt Liz, her husband Chris, and their (teenage) kids. They each had a couple of friends, and then there were some friends of the whole Tachick family that were there. So it was a big, happy crowd. And it was so much fun! Spencer (whom we haven't seen for six months) was already quite drunk when we got there, and was very boisterous. It was pretty funny. He'd been playing horseshoes with Ryan for a partner all evening, and apparently they'd won every game, so he was challenging Shane and a partner to play and said he'd jump in the lake if he lost. Now, Kenai Lake is glacier water and it was past nine o'clock. So Shane played against him, and won. So Spencer jumped in the lake.
The whole time we were camping, Pepper stayed near me or Shane. She's a little busybody, so she was totally overstimulated and trying to keep track of everyone. Poor baby. But she was so well behaved! It was great. It was like having a toddler around, only one who only threw one tantrum. And that one was because Shane and I went canoeing on Sunday and didn't take her with us. She sat on the beach the whole time we were gone, staring in the direction we'd gone. While she could still see us, she freaked out and wouldn't stop barking. We went around a deceptively large island. Anyway, when she could see us again, Pepper once again started barking. She didn't let me out of her sight after that, even to go to the outhouse.
Spencer had to leave on Sunday evening to go back to his fishing job. But he'd brought some red salmon home (he's allowed three every time he goes home) and it was SO TASTY. We usually have frozen at home, and that's all right (we pull it out when we don't know what else to have for dinner) but fresh is just worlds better. I feel sorry for anyone who never gets to enjoy salmon straight off the boat. (Before we left Soldotna, Sally and Steve gave us the three Spencer brought home that day so we could take them home.) We also ate s'mores with Reese's peanut butter cups and the most giant marshmallows you've ever seen. It was really fun and funny.
By Sunday evening, most of the people had cleared out for one reason and another. Chris and Spencer needed to go back to work, Ryan and Laurie and their kids went back home, Chrystal and her boyfriend needed to go back to Anchorage. So it was just me, Shane, his parents, Liz, and her son Colton and his friend Keith. It was still really fun, though. I played horseshoes for the first three times. The first game, against Shane and Keith, (Steve and I were partners) I scored the winning point. That felt really good. I couldn't do it for any of the other games, though. Oh well.
Monday morning we got up and packed everything up. It had been rainy all weekend, so we were packing up in the rain. We left one of the tarps there because, the day before, when when everyone was out either on the boats or canoeing, it had fallen down right into the fire. Luckily Liz's kids and their friends were just canoeing right near the camp and they noticed it quickly, so we didn't set the whole camp on fire. But the tarp had a hole in it. So we left it for anyone else who came along.
We drove back to Soldotna, and I immediately gave the dog a bath. She was so dirty, all her white parts were gray. When I rinsed her, the water was still coming off black with dirt in some places, but she hates baths so I declared her good enough. I did have to cut some pitch off her butt and tail, though.
Then the three of us wandered down the path to Shane's Grandma Tachick's house. It was fun to visit with her. Mostly she asked what we were up to, and then she and I talked about knitting for a bit.
Since I've been hearing all these stories from Shane about his Great Uncle Melvin, I've been asking him to take me out to his farm. We actually did that this visit. Melvin is the most redneck person I've ever met. Apparently at some point the city told him he couldn't hunt moose on his property, so he built a watchtower so that he could get the ones off his property. There were tractors and cars all over the yard. And rabbits everywhere. When Pepper discovered those, her instincts took right over and she began chasing them all over the yard. But they were way too fast for her and she never did figure out what the holes were, even after stepping in a few of them. So she started chasing chickens, and that made me think of "Lady and the Tramp". We had one happy dog, going home.
Melvin was very nice, and I know his grandson Will from UAF, so I got to meet a couple of his siblings and that was fun too. Shane kept teasing me that he wants Melvin's den, which has moose heads all over the place, and a display of his trophies from a safari he went on in Africa years ago. I told Shane no.
Monday night, a friend of ours came over for dinner, and it was nice to see her. But I was so tired, I was almost falling asleep! Shane took her home at about 10:30, and stayed to chat with her family (he's known them all since he was a kid). I tried to stay up, because Spencer was supposed to be home for a little while that night (apparently a new corridor was opened up, so he came home for about 20 minutes to say goodbye to Shane, then left again) but I ended up falling asleep on the couch. I have only the vaguest memories of Shane dragging me and Pepper up the stairs to go to bed. My poor dog was at least as tired as me, and just fell right asleep anytime she was sitting still for more than a minute. (I even had a hard time waking her up this morning.)
The drive back was mostly uneventful. I drove the first leg so Shane could nap, then he drove after Anchorage and I took a nap. Pepper napped most of the car ride, and I got a couple of cute pictures. We of course stopped at Jersey Subs (best sub shop ever!) and then again at the Moose's Tooth for more pizza. As soon as we got back home (after 11:00) and unpacked the food Shane's mom sent up with us (as always) I did my workout and then went to bed.