Spring Break Miscellany

Greetings, friends! Spring break is officially here! Time to strap on your beer-funnel hats, slather on the sunscreen, and prepare to party. Well, or not.

While we had a quite lovely weekend with plenty of lounging, movie-watching, and mimosas at brunch, the official start of Spring Break (today) started off with a nasty pet situation. The cat, who is a known spite-pisser, decided to take a dump on the bathroom rug (again) and also to pee all over her bed. She has one of these cave-style beds, and she must have climbed on top of it and flattened it down and then peed on the top part. The pee went everywhere, though, including soaking all the way through the rug to the bathroom floor. So in addition to my usual pet-waste-related morning chores of squeezing the dog and emptying the litter box, I also had to do a load of laundry and clean the floor and scrub the cat bed. (CW helped, lest you think he is one of those lazy men you see on sitcoms & commercials who never does any chores at home.) I just. I mean. WHAT THE HELL, KITTY?!

[68/365] Sulky Cat
“I admit nothing.”

In completely unrelated news, we rented Gravity last night. Who has seen that? Was anyone else just a little, I don’t know, underwhelmed? It was much shorter than I expected it to be and (relatedly) the plot was much narrower than I expected. I had not realized it was almost entirely just…Sandy in Space. Because I hate to get even the smallest soupçon of a spoiler, I try to avoid most information about movies before I see them. I am usually satisfied to know the writer, director, star(s), and genre — then I can just watch the plot unfold as intended. I don’t like to see long trailers or to read reviews. In the case of Gravity, I managed to avoid all this. In fact, the main thing I knew about this movie going into it was that most of my Twitter friends were very adamant that they were too freaked out or terrified to see the movie, the trailers, or the awards-show clips. So, basically, I go in thinking it’s a terrifying space movie starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and then I get…well…I get… Gravity. Disappointed.

[56/365] Running Feet

Hey, here’s another unrelated update: Physical therapy has been going very well lately! I have been able to do three 3-mile runs in the past week. I’m feeling great about that! If I can maintain three short runs per week for a couple of weeks with no pain during or after, I will be well on the road to recovery (and able to start increasing my distance again). I have been working my ass off, I’ve got to say. My therapist has me doing all sorts of balance work, squats, and lots of bosu ball stuff (single-leg dead lifts standing on the bosu ball, you guys. Ridiculous!). Last week, he had me jumping off of a box over and over while trying to land silently. So that was interesting. I do not land silently, let’s just say. At any rate, I am really glad I went back to PT as soon as the hip problems cropped up again. I think as a result I’m going to be spending less total time in PT and less total time away from running or other workouts. Last time I was on my butt for several months; this time I’m up and running again after about one month.

And now I had better sign off, because I’ve got a ton of laundry to deal with (thanks, kitty) and some single-leg balances to do. Ooof.

Boyfriend, Spectacles, Egon Update

It seems that lately I don’t have really developed, coherent topics for posts. I also haven’t been participating in the Project 365 daily photo challenge this year, so I don’t have a lot of photography to share at the moment either. Nonetheless, I’m feeling a desire to write over here and just witter on about my day, my week, my life. I hope you all don’t mind that it’s a bit of a hodge podge at the moment.

So annoying when the big themes in your life aren’t really bloggable, isn’t it? Personal relationships, work stuff. You know the drill. Any idiot knows you don’t blog about work. My boyfriend, fantastic as he is, is a private person. He hates having his photo posted anywhere online. The first words out of his mouth when he sees someone pull out a camera: “Don’t put that on Facebook, please” (at least he is nice about it). He’d surely be uncomfortable if I made his stories a part of my blog. After all, he didn’t sign up to have his life documented on the internets by his girlfriend. He’s part of my life, and my life is the subject of this blog, of course, but I like to stay away from writing anything too personal about him — anything that really would be his story to tell, if he chose.

Speaking of my boyfriend, here’s a little story I feel like I can tell you, because it is mostly about me: he’s going to be out of town over Valentine’s Day, so I was asking him if he wanted to do our Valentine’s Day thing the weekend before or after his trip, and he was all, “Hmmm?” It turns out I’d given the impression (mostly unintentionally) that I don’t like and/or don’t “do” Valentine’s Day. Not the case! What I’d meant to convey at the time — and I don’t know exactly what I said, but what I meant — was that I don’t want to exchange expensive gifts or go out anywhere fancy or make a big production of it. I do enjoy things like cards, or small nice things, like, say, I might bake him a batch of cookies or give him a small, fun/funny item. Or we could cook dinner together and get a nicer-than-usual bottle of wine. You know. A little fun, nice acknowledgement of the day, but not a big huge deal.

Right? Right. So of course I had to try to explain all of that when I became aware of the miscommunication and lord only knows what I actually conveyed during the whole conversation because I was so flustered. Like, NO, please don’t spend oodles of money on seasonally overpriced flowers and please don’t stress out, but, you know, don’t ignore the day, either. Ai yi yi. Stupid holiday. And what is the deal with cards? Are you a card person? I LOVE cards. Finding neat ones (I love Etsy for this purpose), choosing ones that remind me of the person, making my own, sending them in the mail, everything. Are cards a Girl Thing only, though? Do men not like cards? Hmpf.

So what else is going on? Well, I finally replaced the pair of brown glasses that broke last fall. I like to keep a brown pair and a black pair in the rotation for outfits with different color palettes, but my last brown tortoise pair, a cheapie set from Zenni Optical, had broken — and it was the second pair of Zennis to break in that exact spot. So, cheap and fun as Zenni is, I didn’t want to order from there again.

This time I tried Warby Parker. If you don’t know them, they operate on the same principle as Toms shoes: for every pair you buy, they donate a pair to a needy person. I like that philosophy. I also really like their styles, their prices ($95 for the frames and lenses; add on an extra $30 if you, like me, are blind enough to need high-index lenses — still a good deal compared to my optometrist’s shop) and their at-home try-on program where they’ll send you five pairs to try on, free of charge, and you just send them back in five days (free shipping). Totally not being paid to advertise here — but I do wholeheartedly recommend them if you’re in the market for new specs. I did the home try-on twice, trying a total of 8 different frames, before I decided on these:

New Specs

These are the Colton in hazelwood. I love them!

In other news, Egon the Dachshund just turned seven years old. (His birthday is on Groundhog Day — weirdly appropriate for a dog bred to hunt small burrowing rodents, right?)

Dapper Dude.Oh, well hey there.
Sunny January Afternoon Walk

He enjoyed a quiet celebration at home with his person and step-person, went for a roll with his wheels, spent some time wrestling around with his blankie in the most dignified manner, and received several luxurious ear scratches and shoulder rubs. Happy birthday, short guy!

If you’re wondering how he is doing lately, I am delighted to say that there just isn’t much news, which is why I haven’t really updated. He has settled into post-paralysis life really well. He’s as happy as ever — the main things that’ve changed for him are that he’s no longer allowed on any furniture at any time (he used to love to snuggle on the couch and sleep in my bed, but now he has a nice comfy dog bed he likes to lounge on) and I help him take care of business in the bathroom (yes, the actual toilet). When he’s scooting around the house, he really doesn’t seem to be limited at all, and when we go out for a roll around the neighborhood with his wheels, he can really fly!

Well, it seems I have found a lot of words to say. I’ll have to wait until next time to tell you about my new fitness regime. Please don’t wait with bated breath, though. Keep breathing.

Giving Thanks

I’m full of gratitude this year, in ways I haven’t had the chance to be before. It’s been an interesting year, for sure. Twenty-twelve started out with a slew of no-good, stupid, vexing shit, but hot damn has it turned around! The last six months have been downright wonderful.

[200/366] Exploring

Sweet Guy.Posing

[164/366] One Happy Dog

One thing I am thankful for on a daily basis is that in May, when Egon had his second disc rupture and needed a $5,000 surgery, friends, family, and strangers from the internet gave me and Eegs the support we needed to get it done. I am still amazed by all that warmth and generosity — it changed both our lives. While the operation did not give Egon the use of his back legs again, it did likely save his life. The ruptured disc had already caused softening and deterioration of his spinal cord by the time he went into surgery, and he was lucky to recover without it spreading and becoming fatal. I am so thankful that he got the help he needed, that he made it through surgery and recovery, and that he and I have now adjusted to his new care and routine. We’re both as happy as ever.

[288/366] Baby Jades.[286/366] Habanero from last night's tacos.

[155/366] BW Velos

I’m also incredibly thankful for the series of events and small moments that led me and my boyfriend together. I started the year in a relationship that was basically an illusion, precariously held together by a bunch of lies. Getting out of it (or finally deciding to, I suppose) was an ugly experience. It was hard to take action and for a while I felt paralyzed. I suppose the painful process of removing things from your life that aren’t working is, if viewed differently, also the process of creating fertile space in your life for new things to grow. Either way, it isn’t easy, but it is of course worth the trouble. Thank goodness I did! Now I just find myself full of happiness and excitement; I feel grateful and lucky and confident. The sense of wonder I felt when I wrote this hasn’t left me. Having a person in my life whom I trust without question is something I appreciate every single day.

Campus.Eegs was just chillin' with me before school. Wish I could've stayed home and hung out with him, but SOMEBODY has got to pay the bills around here!.[252/366] To the Moon.Where the Magic Happens, Part I..Hotel system down and we can't check in yet. Not a problem when the bar has Basil Hayden.. [306/366] Sunbeam Dog.Breakfast. Poem I'm currently obsessed with (from Poetry, January 1939).[235/366] Representing.Lounging.[209/366] Permission to Run.[204/366] My cute new mug.[176/366] Sunday Bike Ride.More amazing cherry tomatoes from my plant!.[192/366] Encore.Loving life right now..Reading material.[77/366] Ready for the Party.[181/366] More Edna.Flowers (the green ones are my favorites).Hey, short guy.

I am also, as always, thankful for good friends, family, challenging work, coffee, health, running, good food, bourbon, books, biking, champagne, flowers, television, and poems.

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday is lovely, friends!


My feeling of being insanely busy with work continues, as I fully expect at this time of the year, but I’ve found myself with a few spare minutes to sit here with my laptop, old episodes of Parks and Rec in the background, and a cute hound dog at my feet. I’m feeling chatty. So let’s see, what’s been going on lately?

I need a list for my lists. Oof.

I finally got the new paper planner I ordered (from here) and it is very nice indeed. I had been working from a highly complex system of multiple notebooks, post-its, and lists, which I’m sure will continue to some degree — but isn’t it so much nicer to be able to view the week like this in my snazzy new, personalized calendar? There’s also a month view and spaces for to-do lists and goals. It’s pretty fancy. Will this be the magical key to keeping my life together, working smarter and faster, schooling my students, finding more time in the day, and finally achieving a chip-free manicure? Will it make me coffee in the morning and iron my blouses? I firmly believe all of this to be true.

Finally getting to see the halftime show!.Night Games = More Shade

In a football update, I did attend last week’s game after all on the promise of cooler evening weather and a marching band halftime show. It was much more fun! It was late enough in the evening for me to have time for a couple of beers beforehand, which allowed me to mitigate my anxious and vertiginous feelings. That, friends, was the hoppy, malty icing on the barley cake.

I checked in with my PT guru this morning due to some pain I had in my hip after Friday’s five-mile run (longest distance yet!), and he gave me some more strengthening exercises to focus on. I was worried that I might be hurting myself again, but he checked me out and said it wasn’t a real setback, just a warning to focus more on repairing the weaknesses on that side. I’ve got some new core, glute, and hamstring things to do. Soon enough I expect to have one damned fine ass, I tell you what.

Happy Dog Face

Egon has been doing great lately. He’s a happy, cuddly little guy and he gets so excited for our regular neighborhood walks in his wheelie cart. It’s adorable. I recently made him a Facebook page so I could put all the dog updates over there instead of on my own timeline. (If you’re on Facebook and want to follow him there, you can.) It’s funny, because every now and then, people who only know me through work will find out about Eegs through something on Facebook, like today. One of my colleagues came by my office and told me she’d found his page and she just loved him and thought he was so awesome. People just love the little guy. Is it just me, or is Eegs just especially great? I think so. But I’m biased.

This is a thing, right?

In fashion news, today I wore boots and a dress with knee socks under the boots and the top two inches of the socks were visible. On purpose. They were cute, Scandinavian patterned socks. This is a thing, right? Anyway, I tried it. I also went to Old Navy on the advice of my friend Brunbec, who advised me that the bright colored skinny jeans there were plentiful and cheap. I came home with a mustard yellow pair. I normally do not think I can pull off mustard yellow, but if it’s not next to my (pale, yellow-haired) face, I think I can. I’m thinking they’d look good with some combination of navy, grey, and white. Maybe they’ll show up in this week’s casual Friday pic? The whole point of this paragraph is to say that I think maybe the women’s fashion stuff on Pinterest is going to my head. Send help.

Summer Plans

The kids who live in the apartment upstairs are out of school for the summer, which means I am awakened in the morning by their stomps above my bedroom, awakened from my afternoon naps by their stomps above my couch, and annoyed at all other times by Egon’s warnings whenever they are outside in the yard or on the balcony. Itis amazing to me how two skinny little kids under the age of ten, who could not possibly weigh more than 50 lbs each, can make that much noise on the ceiling. You gotta love summer.

In other summertime news, I have one more full week of summer classes followed by a half week and a final exam. That’s all that stands between me and my little summer vacation! I will have all of the month of July to do Whatever I Damned Well Please before the prep for fall semester begins in August. It’s been such a long time since I’ve had any significant time off work that I’m afraid I don’t know what to do with myself.


So far, I have exactly one plan: I am going to see Furthur (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s band) in Atlanta in the middle of the month. CW, who loves the Grateful Dead, invited me to go and I am pretty effing excited. It’s been ages since I’ve been to a show like that — in college, there was a lot of Widespread Panic and the Allman Brothers (among others), but I have never actually seen these guys. I missed my chance to see The Dead when Jerry Garcia died my senior year of high school. This won’t be quite the same, of course, but it should be a really great time.

[159/366] Eegs Takes a Rest

As far as other plans, I’ve been thinking a bit about how I’ll spend my time. Although Egon’s vet care is now taken care of (because you people are seriously incredible) (also please see here for videos of him using his amazing new wheels!), I still need to be very frugal due to summer work being less than plentiful this year. That doesn’t mean I can’t make the most of life, though! I think I should follow the lead of Holly and a few other blogging friends and make myself a list of things to do this summer. I’m sure I’d be almost as happy to to while away the hours watching movies on my couch, reading books, sitting on the patio, and swimming in Becky’s pool, but if the summer goes by and that’s all I’ve done, well, I may feel I’ve missed out. Here is a bigger list of things I’d like to do:


  • eat tons of my favorite summer foods (tomatoes, basil, cherries — in particular the tomatoes and basil currently surviving in my container garden)
  • make more amazing drinks with the fresh mint that is currently thriving in my patio garden (dependent on my not killing it)
  • resume a daily walking habit, bringing Eegs along when he’s ready to put more miles on his wheels
  • make lemonade and iced tea
  • read as much fun and literary fiction as I can (Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Safran Foer, David Foster Wallace, more?)
  • read some of the poetry I’ve been piling up for later (Edna St. Vincent Millay, Frank O’Hara, E.E. Cummings)
  • hang out at the pool
  • ride my bike a lot
  • peruse Veganomicon and Clean Food for some summery recpies to get me out of my cooking rut
  • re-watch some favorite old shows (including at least some of: Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, Angel, Freaks and Geeks, Friday Night Lights, Lost, Alias, Dollhouse)
  • do some trail running (or hiking, depending on my hip) at the forest ecology preserve
  • carry my DSLR around more often for unexpected photo opportunities
  • spend more time hanging out at people’s homes when we want to share a meal or drink or watch a movie
  • relatedly: trick a friend with a grill into hosting a small cookout
  • take Eegs to the park when he’s ready

Anything I need to add to the list? I feel like I’m forgetting something.




Dog Updates! Get Yer Dog Updates!

On the off chance that there is anyone who reads this blog but doesn’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook: I’ve made Egon his own blog for sharing updates about his surgery. I would just post it all here, but I wanted a separate site that I could share far and wide with family, co-workers, and others who (as I prefer) don’t read this blog. So check out the little guy’s daily updates there if you’d like! (Short story: he’s doing well and so far avoiding dangerous complications.)

Thanks so much for all of your support. You guys are helping carry us through this scary situation and I’m so thankful.

Egon the Dachshund, IVDD, and Surgery Round II

As you know, my little dachshund Egon has had some back problems in the past, thanks to IVDD. Six months ago he had a ruptured disc that had caused him to lose the ability to walk on his back legs. Surgery helped. It was a long recovery process, but afterward he was able to walk again. He got good results partly because during the episode he never lost deep pain sensation in his legs.

[282/365] Puppy Dog Eyes

For the past 12 days, Mr. Eegs has been experiencing some slight symptoms of disc problems again: some minor pain and stiffness, some reluctance to move around. This was something the vet and I thought could be treated conservatively, with very strict crate rest and steroid anti-inflammatories. He was doing pretty well on this regimen.

Today, however, he had to go back in to the neurologist and will be having a second surgery tomorrow. I’ll skip the blow-by-blow report of the day and just tell you that he woke up with more pain and less function and then he just rapidly deteriorated throughout the day. It was scary. He was obviously distressed and in a lot of pain. By the time his vet had seen him and gotten him a referral to the veterinary school’s hospital (best place to go for neurology), he had begun to lose deep pain sensation in his legs. By the time those neurologists examined him, it was gone.

[181/365] Feets

His prognosis is worse this time for that reason and also because it’s his second episode in about six months. He may or may not regain the ability to walk. He may need a wheeled cart and may need to have his bladder expressed (by me) in order to pee.

Mr. Eegs and His Blankie

This time around, the financial aspect is worse as well. I already took on thousands in debt for the first surgery, and will do so again this time.

Let me make a brief aside: it may seem foolish or ridiculous that I would spend this kind of money — money I don’t really have — just to help my dog. I’m sure to many of you, it’s inconceivable. It’s crazy to me, too, but when it comes down to it I don’t really have a choice. You guys, it’s Egon. The sweetest, dearest little dog in the world. My little guy. I have to.

[269/365] Blankie

I may not have enough credit available this time, though, because the estimate is significantly higher. He will also likely need physical therapy. If he needs a wheeled cart, that costs a large-ish amount, too. The timing of this, during a summer when I get to teach only one class (and thus only earn about one month’s salary) is not ideal.

I am already thinking of ways to slash my budget. I am canceling all of the following: Netflix, Hulu+, Birchbox, cable internet, my gym membership, and unlimited texting. I will not be spending any money on restaurants, booze, soda, coffee, makeup, clothes, or any other luxury item. I am buckling down. It may not be enough, though, especially if the surgery costs more than my available credit and must be covered from the rent money I have saved for July & August (which seems very likely).

[348/365] Egon in Sweater

What this means is that I’m doing something I absolutely hate doing: I am asking for help. Can you help sponsor his surgery?

Believe me I know it’s unbearably tacky to ask, but every little bit would really help. I would be immeasurably grateful. And a few folks have asked how they could help, and this is just one possible way.

If you feel moved to help sponsor his surgery, you can make a donation via PayPal by clicking here.

All money raised will go directly to his veterinary bills (and/or to buying his cart, if the need for one arises). Everyone who donates any amount — every dollar counts! — will not only receive my heartfelt gratitude, but also a tangible note of thanks from me and Eegs.

If you’d like to donate $10 or more, I would also like to send you a small print of one of my many adorable photos of the dog himself, Mr. Egon the Dachshund. This original artwork will not only be a lovely addition to any space, complementing any style of decor and making your friends positively green with envy, but will also show your proud status as a Team Eegs Sponsor — somebody who helped get him, hopefully, walking again.

Egon's Snout

If you don’t want to donate money or can’t, believe me, I completely understand. Times are tough on all of us financially and I know a lot of you are in the education field, too, which means you may not be getting paid in summers either. I really appreciate every kind thought or prayer you can spare. That helps, too. You also have the option to share this post with any dog lovers (or millionaires) who may be in your social network by using the social sharing buttons below.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the kind words you’ve already shared with me, online or otherwise. I really do appreciate every last bit of it.

At the End of This Post is Communist Wine

Things haven’t been very eventful around these parts lately, as you might have guessed due to the quiet here on the blog. Life has been trucking along pretty smoothly: I’m getting right into the thick of things with spring semester and already starting to plan for summer teaching. The dogs are being adorable as usual, in spite of my attempts to kill two of the three of them today.

The morning started off with me ham-handedly dropping two ibuprofen gel caps on the floor, thinking I’d only dropped one and quickly snatching it up, but not being able to stop Egon before he ate the second, unnoticed capsule. Twelve hours later and he seems fine, so I’m not worried. Then, on the way home from the grocery store just an hour ago, I accidentally stepped on (or almost stepped on?) Oliver, who then hit his head on the botom of the heavy bag of food (wine bottles! Pints of ice cream!) while trying to get away from my big, clumsy feet. Sorry, dogs!

[31/366] Lap Nap
My Two Favorites

They seem generally unfazed, however, and have forgiven and forgotten. As dogs do. Which is why we love them.

In other news, I have been on total rest this week, trying to let my strained/inflamed hip flexors heal so I can get back to working out. I’ve had problems with this injury off and on for quite a while now, so I’m also thinking about seeing a physical therapist, but for now I just need it to heal. I severely cut back on running throughout January (fifteen miles total the entire month!), trying to stick to things I thought would be easier on the hip. One RPM/spinning class and one circuit class (surprise, lots of kickboxing intervals!) were attempted, and each one left my hip also feeling worse for the wear. By the end of the month, even yoga and weight lifting were both too taxing on the hip, so I put myself on the DL for seven days.

It has not been fun. For one reason, I put on a few holiday pounds and am feeling a bit tubby. I am, objectively speaking, not tubby. Even at my current weight I am still at a BMI of about 21.x, for whatever that’s worth, but I was also already 5 lbs up from my normal weight before the holidays, so there’s that, too. So being without recourse to exercise is unpleasant and frustrating right now.

For another reason, it has also been my Special Ladies Time for Ladies this week, which makes everything that is already hard even harder, and everyone who is already feeling tubby feel even tubbier. These “emotions” you normal people experience on a regular basis? They are difficult. For reference, imagine me sobbing at a Budweiser commercial about hockey. BUDWEISER. HOCKEY. TEARS. Sweet Christ on a cracker. (Go watch that ad, though. Seriously.)

Most of all, though, exercise — significant exercise — is my best mental health regimen. It helps me fight off anxiety and depression and makes me feel positive and confident like few other things can. To be without access to that, well. I have been a treat this week, let me tell you.

Anyway, things are not all bad! I plan to return to the gym next week for some light workouts (yoga, weights, swimming with a pull buoy) and see how it goes. Mid month I plan to get fitted for new running shoes. It’s that time anyway, and it couldn’t really hurt anything (one hopes). Maybe I can try a few miles then and hopefully make a careful return to the roads.

[35/366] Reds

Currently I am sitting on the couch with a glass of communist wine, three snuggly dogs, and my laptop. Beside me, my gentleman friend is playing Fallout: New Vegas. I have no interest in video games, but this one has a charming soundtrack and fun, creepy creatures and settings, making it almost entertaining to have on in the background. The rain is pouring right now just outside the open patio door and things are generally cozy.

I hope you are all having a pleasant weekend of it!

Festive Weekend Antics

Well, it’s That Time of Year. Finals week has begun as of today, and I have basically finished my holiday decorating. What this means is this: while I still have plenty of work left to do for the semester (what with giving final exams and grading of said exams and grading of essays and averaging of grades and easing of students’ frayed nerves and handling of students’ complaints), I have mentally declared myself finished with the semester and am already in full holiday mode (like you didn’t see this coming).

This is an odd place to be. So much work, on the one hand, and a steady influx of jazzy holiday tunes, festive beverages, flannel pajamas, and peppermint-based candy, on the other hand. At least I am adequately fueled with sugar for the work ahead.

Standing up.[338/365] Photobomb

As you can see, the holidays are making everyone a little goofy. The dogs are vigilant in the kitchen and dancing for treats, and someone feels the need to photobomb my daily Project365 picture. In all seriousness, the dogs had woken us up at 7:00 Sunday morning to go outside, so we decided as long as we were up we would get on the task of making cinnamon rolls and mimosas, which we ate while watching Cannonball Run. At 7:30 AM. And then proceeded to nap on the couch.

The weekend was spent being almost exclusively lazy, as has become the norm. Saturday morning I got up early to go race a 10K with Brunbec and Jenniac (recap to come when official results and, hopefully, photos are available), but after that I indulged in plenty of relaxation. We lounged and relaxed with the dogs and generally were very merry indeed. W and I have been watching season one of Torchwood, which I really love (although not as much as Doctor Who, but that probably goes without saying), and have occasionally been putting on old Christmas episodes of our favorite shows for a bit of something festive.

Tree Reflection.Tree Reflection
Ornaments and Lights

Speaking of festive, I am really happy with how my tree and decorations came out. I have had the idea for years now to make cut-out paper snowflakes to hang from the ceiling, and this year I finally executed it! It looks so great in person, but was annoyingly difficult to photograph. This collage-style Instagram manged to capture the overall effect better than any of my DSLR images:

Today I did this and I love it! Much better in person, too.

So much fun! I feel like leaving them up indefinitely (though I likely won’t). We also took some photos of the dogs in front of the Christmas tree, because, let’s face it, when you have dogs as cute as these three, there is really no other choice.

Piper & Oliver.Egon

W’s dogs Piper (Chihuahua) and Oliver (Jack-Russell/Shih-Tsu mix) are so darn photogenic; it’s easy to get great photos of them. Egon, with his black fur, presents more of a challenge, but I think I managed well enough.

Today it was back to work, of course, and I’ve been crossing things off my to-do list with a vengeance. Well, more accurately, I have been delicately tapping in the check-box on my iPhone “Reminders” app, which is surely less satisfying than really striking through a list item with the decisive stroke of the pen. In a way quite similar to how cell phones robbed us of our ability to really slam the phone receiver back down into the cradle to punctuate the end of a telephone argument, the iPhone task management apps have removed the page-ripping pen strike-out from our productivity notations. Sigh. Technology, man. First there’s being friends with your bosses, exes, and frienemies on Facebook, and now this.

In other news, next week is my birthday and I’m having a few people over for drinks and snacks. What is your favorite simple party snack? I need ideas!

Back to Reality — So Long as They Have Nog There

Thanksgiving break is long over and I am back to work in the real world. In spite of the universe trying to kill me with falling, asbestos-laden ceiling tiles in the employee bathroom and a dead hard drive on my office computer, things are going well!

The bathroom has been cleaned up, my iMac has been replaced with a newer one, and I am spending my days hard at work, staring at the screen just so:

This is my "Hard at Work" face.

It’s hard to tell whether I am absorbed by a brilliant student argument, a writing and research problem, or just something ridiculous somebody said on Twitter, isn’t it? But if I were a betting woman, I would place my money on the latter.

Yesterday was a great day at home: not only did I get a Christmas tree, but Egon finally got to spend his first evening out of the crate! He’s not allowed to jump up and down and on and off of the furniture due to the potential to re-injure his fragile little spine (*tear*), so I have been keeping him on a leash and (as I call it) “air-lifting” him on and off the couch as needed. He is still in the crate at night and when I’m at work, though, when he can’t be supervised.

Two wonderful things.Lights on!

So last night was a very cozy one indeed, with the Christmas lights on, the Hogfather streaming on Netflix, and a couch full of creatures. W was over at my place with his two dogs, so we had a dog-human-dog-human-dog double-decker club-sandwich-style arrangement going on, in which metaphor I suppose the dogs are the bread; W is the turkey, ham, and bacon; and I am the lettuce and tomato — the best part, of course.

Mmm, sandwiches.

Speaking of sandwiches, I am about to go collect a free lunch courtesy of my department at work, and tonight I hope to enjoy a very boozy and rich dinner indeed. I’ve just come from my annual health assessment/screening (for an insurance discount), and I am absolutely the picture of health. Obviously, I mean. Clearly it’s all the bourbon-spiked soy nog I’ve been dutifully consuming for the past week. Actually, I confess I have gained about 5 lbs since this time last year, but this time last year I was both recently dumped and training for a full marathon, whereas this year I am happily dating and running half as many miles. I am okay with this, especially as all of my other numbers are ideal and, more importantly, I’m not too smad* to eat. My “good cholesterol,” in fact, is so good that they “never see a number that good.” Bring on the holiday beverages and desserts, in that case!

*Name that television character and I will high five the hell out of you!

So life is grand today. I’ve got a fun creative project to grade this afternoon and some ornaments to hang up, not to mention the aforementioned free lunch to go collect, so I’d better get moving. How are you, friends?