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I need a job that entails watching TV all day.

Oct. 19th, 2016 | 11:27 pm

Can I be a one-man Nielsen family?

I just watched the 3rd POTUS debate, which was not a great use of the last 90 minutes. Oh well. 20 days until the election! Initially B asked me how many more days of torture we were in for and my pre-dinner mental math came up with 27 days, so I was glad to be wrong there. It's not only the presidential election that's become insufferable, and it is just about sewn up anyway. Worse is that we are bombarded with dumb ads for northern Virginia House candidates that we don't care about. Because 1) we don't even have a voting rep in the House, they're just in the DC media market, and 2) the number of likely voters in an individual House district is low enough that a continuing onslaught of ads could actually make a difference.

Our DVR is bursting with stuff we need to watch, which I should have tended to instead. Last night Mario came over and after dinner we did make a fair dent in Luke Cage. There are four eps remaining on season 1 of that, and we may knock that out in one evening given how entertained we three are. But that's Netflix, so I probably should have been burning through Designated Survivor or American Horror Story or Madam Secretary (and I'd forgotten that one even got another season, oops).

In other news, the much earlier sunsets of fall have led me to get to the gym more frequently, because what else am I going to do in the dark? A large swath of the ceiling on the lower level sprang a slow leak a couple of weeks ago and is still going, unless you count a maze of buckets and towels catching water as a fix. So we are all basically trying not to stumble over those while working out. LA Fitness, it's a good thing you only charge me $36.96 a month.

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This is like trying on glass slippers.

Oct. 10th, 2016 | 10:58 pm

Did Disney princes earn sales commissions?

The iPhone 7s were pretty but really not all that different from the 6 I currently have. The dual camera is the major hardware upgrade, and I'm not feeling that I need it. And no headphone jack! I truly do need headphones that physically connect to the phone instead of floating like loose orphans in my ear (especially at the gym). And it looks like a eunuch with no headphone jack on the bottom! So at present I'm thinking the 7 is not my next phone. What it actually will be I couldn't tell you.

Andrew and I did have a fun time in the Apple Store. Our Uber driver magically helped us avoid the mess that is Wisconsin Ave. (though he wasn't a super great navigator otherwise), and the Genius whisked his iMac away for 3-5 days following a quick diagnosis. Then he tried on watches and we both tried the fancy iPhone 7 camera before leaving to pick through sale items at Zara and TJ Maxx.

In other news, I will officially be paying off a student loan when I get paid at the end of the week! Prior entries have amply described how awful Navient/Sallie Mae is, so I'll save the keystrokes and just be happy I am about to be done with them forever. Two student loan servicers to go after that!

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Stop ruining minor parts of my life, Florida.

Oct. 5th, 2016 | 11:19 pm

I'll buy more orange juice in return?

B's parents cancelled their planned trip here for this weekend. Thanks a lot, Hurricane Matthew. :/ I suppose it is better that they not get stuck in an airport for interminable hours, or have to worry whether their houses are flooding back in Miami Lakes. As for us in DC, there will be a decent chance the storm misses us, so we don't have to worry about Sandy-like scenarios. During that storm lots of people lost power and/or windows here, fortunately not us.

At the least this frees up my time this weekend. I felt very good about going to the gym Wednesday through Sunday of last week, so I'll try to get that pattern going again. And on Saturday, Andrew and I are going to the Apple Store so I can gawk at new phones. My current one is two years and one week old and is having trouble staying charged, plus some screen resolution issues. I'm not saying planned obsolescence is at play here, but I'm also not not saying that. #conspiracy

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Pretending to like the NFL is hard.

Oct. 2nd, 2016 | 10:16 pm

At least Lady Gaga will get a sack full of money for her efforts.

B currently has the Steelers-Chiefs game on, mostly to check how his fantasy players do (not looking great right now). It's also pouring in Pittsburgh, and everyone looks pretty miserable.

Hilariously, every time he saw a Hillary Clinton ad recently the slogan #StrongerTogether sounded familiar. It finally clicked over the weekend that this very hashtag was previously used by the Miami Dolphins, and he is a long-suffering fan/Miami native.

There also came across my email this week a random article comparing the housing costs in St. Louis vs. Los Angeles, to mark the occasion of the Rams moving (back) to LA. I will save you a click by noting that yes, rent is hella higher in their new market. Aren't we all shocked? I imagine the author was being hunted down by his editor for a new column and he had tabs of Rams content open in his browser.

And that's all my pro football blogging until February! Thank you for reading closely skimming.

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The Dutch oven is my kitchen slave.

Sep. 29th, 2016 | 11:56 pm

I've always wanted one of those.

Just made a giant batch of chili mac. We can thank the gloomy, rainy weather for the inspiration. It has barely been sunny at all this week, which this desert rat does not enjoy. At least I have a good umbrella this fall instead of random freebies or bar throwaways.

But back to the food! B's birthday Cuisinart is still a dream. We have made so many things in it by now and it still is just as lovely as on Day One. And it looks like I will spend the next three days immobilized on the couch by pasta in chili. Bless whomever invented this magical recipe.

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"Ok Nappien, do your stuff."

Sep. 22nd, 2016 | 11:12 pm

As long as I don't end up sleeping under my desk.

I've had just about enough of the madness that is Big Project plus trying to get the remainder of my work done, but the end of the tunnel is visible. Next week I'm there two days, then off to California for the Frances-Matt wedding! And I'm back from that next Saturday night, but I'm also taking the following Monday and Tuesday off for general recuperation and to do stuff around the house.

Then I'm also off October 14th, because I can, and I have reserved three days around B's birthday as days off if we decide to do something.

Bless this four weeks of annual vacation.

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Meting out justice is hard.

Sep. 17th, 2016 | 09:23 pm

At least the courthouse smells nice.

My tour of jury duty ended up being a bit rough. The jury service machine is well-oiled and the Superior Court staff were sufficiently able to keep the jury lounge of ~300 or so people summoned from becoming a melee, but it certainly was not just one day. I should have listed more reasons why I was biased/unfit to be a responsible citizen/a hologram. After checking in and receiving my nine-digit number on Monday morning, I sat around in the lounge with my laptop soaking up the wifi, until I was called into a courtroom after about two hours. And there (plus the adjacent jury deliberation room) I remained through the rest of Monday as I was chosen for a trial, as well as all day Tuesday and half of Wednesday. The rough part was that there was little indication how long it would go on, so I had to keep telling my Boss day by day of my status. I did miss a lot of meetings where I never wanted to be a participant in the first place, at least?

The courthouse building itself has been renovated and is spacious and lovely, which is a nice change of pace. I spent some of high school in a Teen Court* club, and my home courthouse was cramped and old and smelled like moldy paper. DC's was blasting the air conditioning way too high, though, so I specifically donned warm clothing and thick socks after the first day.

The only exception to the loveliness is the Firehook Bakery in the courthouse basement. It's the only eatery in this enormous building that must have 1,000+ people inside every weekday, and is the most depressing place I've seen in a while. Why go out and enjoy the many lunch options of downtown DC when you can stay in a windowless room and eat your pre-wrapped sandwich next to multiple people crying? Needless to say, I only went there once and didn't stick around after my purchase.

Anyhow, major kudos to the people that work in this building because I don't think I could handle keeping the wheels of justice turning every day.

In other news, I re-upped my paid account once again after skating by with the free account for a few months. All of my nutty icons are back!

*I don't know if this exists outside the States, but basically Teen Court allows young offenders to get minor offenses scrubbed from permanent records if they agree to be tried by their peers and successfully complete the community service or whatever other "sentence" results.

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If I ever do a Friday Five on time, will it lead to more comments?

Sep. 17th, 2016 | 02:16 pm

The LJ Zen Question of the Day.

1. What are five good health habits for one to have?
Exercise vigorously at least three times a week. Move more in general, especially by walking. Eat more vegetables. Drink more water (I'm at 72 ounces a day on weekdays; my Brita pitcher is very tired). Let go of stress whenever possible.

2. Name any four things that you want to do before you die?
Marry B. Live in a post-fossil fuel economy. My coastlines of Europe trip; see Item #3 in that entry. Buy my Dreamy House; Item #2 in the same entry.

3. Name three songs to which you know all the lyrics?
Maps by YYY. Mud by Peaches. If by Janet Jackson, which is really hard! I could name 3,000 more, probably.

4. What were you doing two hours ago?
Deleting multiple texts about traffic alerts. I know the damn H Street Festival is today and there's no streetcar service, DC! Give it a rest.

5. If you could smash and break one thing and one thing only, what would it be?
The Navient server where my student loan information is stored. I am ok with my other servicers, but these folks are evil hacks. The smashing is unlikely to happen. But that is ok, because I am two payments away from being done with them anyway!

With that out of the way, I am off to the gym!

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Committing to more frequent short entries.

Sep. 10th, 2016 | 10:52 pm

Because y'all LJers are providing inspiration on that front.

Blake's birthday dinner last night (at Duplex; where else do we ever go?) was fun. Tyler, Joe, Darryl, Mattie, Kenny, and me. We had a new server but Kelly also delivered us drinks to the table, so we ended up with two for many single orders. And my dinner was the steak salad; if they ever take that off the menu I will be the saddest. We finished out the night at DIK where I saw Scott as I often do there.

Today has been complete with self-indulgent laziness. Though we did spot clean the living room carpet and take care of the laundry! So I feel pretty good about that. More entries tomorrow?

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Go ask Alice how to cure back pain.

Sep. 5th, 2016 | 10:46 pm

She's got the good pills.

In the last two weeks, I'd been experiencing some intermittent lower back pain, but wasn't sure about the source. I admittedly have terrible posture while seated. An ergonomist would be horrified. But I couldn't pinpoint whether that was the cause, or sitting too much, or while working out, or a combination of these. Finally, on Saturday morning I was sick of not going out and running, especially with such excellent weather. So I ran six miles, and haven't felt any pain since. I suppose the winner is sloth? I'll try to keep up the habit this week while Boss Man is on vacation.

Not a super eventful long weekend otherwise. I met Tyler and Blake for brunch at Stoney's this afternoon, which was bananas busy. The bartender had a full house plus people calling in takeout orders for grilled cheese; I guess everyone in the city had a hangover? Anyhow, from there we walked over to Georgetown for some idle browsing. Tyler bought some shirts at Banana Republic but no one else got anything. Then, based on Snapchat clues, I found that Andrew was also shopping so we met up at L'Occitane en Provence. After yoinking some free samples we moved on to other stores, ending at CB2 and TJ Maxx where Andrew got various household decor. Then we walked it all the way back to Logan, so I definitely exceeded my step goal for the day.

Ready for the short work week!

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