Tag: entertainment


Late this morning, Kelly opened her birthday present.  I got her a Wii.  We played Wii once before at Todd and Jenn’s house and she really enjoyed it.  I also got her the Wii Fit so that she (or "we") can do workouts and yoga and stuff.  I got it all set up this morning and we tested it out.  It’s actually pretty cool, especially the Wii fit.  Kelly has to work, of course, so we didn’t get to do much, but we’re looking forward to playing with it later on.  And it looks and sounds great on the high-definition, wide-screen TV.

TV day

Up at about 6:30 AM in order to take Kelly into work.  I stopped in at the office in order to fill out some HR paperwork to update my marital status and add Kelly to my various insurances.  When that was done, I spent much of the day catching up on various TV shows that I missed while on vacation.  I watched episodes of The Shield, True Blood, and Entourage.   I ran back into the office to take care of some remaining paperwork, and then came home and did a bunch of cleaning up and chores.

I put together a final "Thank You Notes" list and plan and getting started on Thank You notes tomorrow.  Picked Kelly up from work and we went grocery shopping.  I made pasta for dinner, and then went through strausmouse ‘s cookbook and starting making a list of things to getin order to prepare dinners in the upcoming week.

Got the latest issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN in the mail today.  Looks like a good one.  Had messages from vickyandnorm  and my friend Rich, who is back from Iraq!  I will return calls tomorrow.

Watched more TV late this evening.

I had trouble in getting to Solla Sollew

I went to deposit some checks at the local branch of our bank and it turned out the branch was closed because it had been robbed. This is a mall branch. Go figure.

After work, Casey took me over to Saturn to pick up my car. When I called earlier in the afternoon, I was told it would be ready at 5 PM. I arrived at Saturn at 4:45 and the car wasn’t ready. I was told 30 minutes. I waited patiently. To make a long story short, the car was finally ready at 6 PM. This is remarkable for several reasons. In the 12+ years that I’ve regularly gone to Saturn dealers for service on my car, this was the first negative experience. But, to make up for it, the service manager, without my prompting, cut the price I paid. I was quoted $704 and I paid $589. When I mentioned this, the cashier, said, “Shhh! What are you doing?” as though I wasn’t supposed to be honest and fess up that it seemed they’d undercharged me. I was told, however that it was all good.

I got lost on the way home, which to someone with my almost unfailing sense of direction, was a bitter embarrassment. I ended up at Reagan/National airport to avoid crossing the bridge into D.C., and then swung around to Route 1 to get oriented again. Don’t ask how it happened. It just did.

Watched Entourage and True Blood last night. We practiced dancing for the wedding. Then I vacuumed the house. It took an hour because I did the stairs, too, and there are a lot of stairs in the house.

Out-of-towner’s begin to arrive tomorrow…

My favorite news anchor

Charles Osgood.  Hands down.  Kelly and I have been spending a relaxing 90 minutes each Sunday morning watching Charles Osgood’s Sunday Morning program on CBS.  I think it’s probably the best news program out there, and for my money, the only one worth watching.

When I lived in L.A., I used to listen to The Osgood File on the radio driving into work.  It was Charles Osgood’s recitation of Walt Whitman’s "When I Heard the Learned Astronomer" that ultimately lead me to write my first professional science fiction story, "When I Kissed the Learned Astronomer".

Watching Charles Osgood makes Sunday mornings that much more pleasant.  He’s a good news anchor; he seems genuine.  He has wit and humor and charm.  He is a model for other news anchors to imitate.

House elf

We started the day with various errands and tasks.  We ran over to Home Depot to look at grills, but decided to wait until we got back from our vacation before buying anything.  We also wrapped up several wedding-related tasks.  (Only two weeks to go!)  Kelly made us grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.  Yum!

Then it became a lazy day.  I went to go read and instead, fell asleep on the living room couch for something like 1-1/2 hours.  Kelly, meanwhile, fell asleep in the family room.  When we had finally woken up, it was close to 5 PM.  We decided to walk over to Shirlington and make use of more of our "date night" goodies.  We had dinner at Capital City Brewery.  After that, we went to the 7:10 showing of Burn After Reading.  Very well written, funny, and well acted.  But it’s what you’d expect from the Coen Brother’s in terms of how it all ends.  We walked back home slowly after the movie and it was a very pleasant walk.

This evening I discovered that we do not, in fact, have a house elf.  It turns out that Kelly is the one who has been emptying the dishwasher, cleaning out the litter boxes, doing the laundry.  I had assumed it was the house elf.  I thought Avalon included that with all of their "luxury" rental town-homes.  Kelly said that I was mistaken.  I checked the lease, and sureenough, she’s right.  Section 7.2 specifically says that "even-numbered town-homes are equipped with fireplaces and ceiling fans, but do not include house elves."  You can imagine how bitterly disappointed I was.

Wrapping up

Today marks the end of the fiscal year and I more or less finished my part of a multi-year project in which we developed a sophisticated, web-based project portfolio management system for our research units.  6 of our 8 units are in production as of today, and that’s what we needed to meet our goal.  Beginning next week, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be working full-time for our Facilities department, getting their applications (which have been sidelined due to other projects) moving forward.  Anyway, I feel really good about the work I did on this project.

I did about 500 words of the workshop story at lunch today.  It stands at 7,000 words now.  I’m really going to try and tackle the remainder of the first draft this weekend.  I’d like to send it out to the group Monday or Tuesday.  At this point, it’s looking to be somewhere between 10,000-12,000 words.

Kelly has her flex-day today.  She got to sleep in this morning.  We still have a few last minute wedding items to take care of.  Yesterday I reserved us a limo to the airport.  I also confirmed with the place we are having our rehearsal dinner, and found out when they needed the final count.  We have our seating arrangement essentially done.  And I have some text I need to send to he11o_sunshine  that will be included with our program.  (I requires just a little clean-up, Jen, I swear, and then I’ll have it out to you.)  We are trying to get as much wedding stuff done as possible this weekend so that we have it all wrapped up.  Next weekend we need to cleanup the place and pack for the honeymoon.  I can’t believe that we’re only 15 days away from the Big Day.

Had a lazy TV night last night.  Kelly made mushroom-stuffed ravioli and we sat down and watched essentially 4 hours of TV, including Smallville and the season premier of The Office.  Season premier of Dexter is on Sunday.  Tonight, I’m planning on watching the first presidential debate.

Washington Mutual collapsed today–or was taken over by JP Morgan, whatever that means.  This whole financial crisis is fascinating in the same way watching a train wreck is fascinating.  I wonder if it will come up in tonight’s debate on national security?

Financial “crisis”, part 1

Yesterday was the last real crunch day at work.  Today and Friday will still be busy, but I think I got through my tough part yesterday.  I’ve been working steadily all morning, but the pressure feels somewhat off.  Two more days left in the fiscal year, and we may actually meet our project goal.

Kelly and I worked on the seating chart for the wedding yesterday.  We think we’ve got it more or less nailed down.

When I got home, I watched the most recent episode of The Shield, which was waiting for me on the DVR.  After Kelly went to the gym, we walked over to Shirlington for dinner.  We used part of our "date night" gift that he11o_sunshine  and stubiebrother  got for us.  We ate dinner at Guapo’s, and I had an amazing, bacon-wrapped shrimp fajita dish.  The shrimp was stuffed with cheese and jalepenos, wrapped in bacon, and there was an excellent garlic butter sauce to go along with it.  It was the best meal I’ve had in a long time.

Issues with my old Credit Union account.  I no longer use the account; we have our accounts at a local bank now.  I thought I’d had all my automatic payments moved to the new account, but I apparently missed on.  The account was overdrawn yesterday.  Fortunately, as a member in good standing, the credit union covered it, but it was an annoyance that had unintended side-effects.  And to add to the misery, I found out that I owe about $35 on the water bill for the old house.  The final bill was never sent to me.  It was sent to the new tenants who were justifiably confused by the whole thing.  I had a similar problem early in the week.  When I switched the gas service from the old house to the new house, I was told that I would not beassigned a new account number.  My BillPay kept paying the bills, but I received a statement saying that I owed two months worth of gas service.  Guess what?  They changed the account number.  The payments on the old bills were going into the ether.  I guess that’s the danger of automatic payments.  Nevertheless, I prefer these little snafus to having to remember to actually make the payments each month.

We’re supposed to get some rain today.

Late night, early morning

Long day yesterday.  I took an hour at lunch when I worked on my workshop story.  Then I went back to work.  I worked until 6 PM.   I met Kelly at the mall and we headed home.  She had her second and final fitting of the wedding dress last night, so she and Sarah left around 6:30.  I watched an episode of Entourage and an episode of True Blood.  Then I logged in to do some more work.

Kelly and Sarah were back just after 8 PM–and Sarah was stuck at our place for about 2 hours.  There was a police officer shot on I-395 at Glebe Road, which is essentially where our house is.  They freeway, along with the 14th Street bridge was shutdown for a few hours, so Sarah stayed here and waited it out.  She and Kelly watched a movie while I worked.  I wrapped up around 10 PM.

Up at 6 this morning and heading into work early.

The Yankees were eliminated from wild card race last night.  Like Jeter said, they just didn’t play well enough this season.  So their 13 season playoff streak has come to and end.  Coincidentally, Joe Torre was not the manager this year.  Instead, he’s managing the Dodgers and it looks like they might make the playoffs.  I was at least glad to see that Mussina got his 19th win last night–and that he’ll have a chance for his 20th win on Sunday.

I wish it was still the weekend

Back to work today and it was a busy day.  I worked straight through again, without a break (I packed my lunch and ate while I worked), and I even took my laptop home to do work this evening.

To relax this evening, I watched the first two episodes of the new HBO series, True Blood.  I’m normally not into the whole Vampire theme, but this show has an interesting take on the whole thing.

I made us a chef salad for dinner tonight.  Kelly went to the gym and I did some work.

After work today, I stopped at the Mens Wearhouse to pick up my new suit, and also to donate my old suit and shoes to a charity that they had going there.

Spoke with Mom today.  No reading or writing.  Maybe tomorrow.

On all 8 cylinders

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems you are running on all 8-cylinders?  Where everything moves smoothly and seamlessly, almost effortlessly?

Today was not one of those days.

It was, in fact, an incredibly busy, fragmented day at work.  It was one of those days where I was in two meetings at the same time (go ahead, ask me how that works, I dare you).  Lots of coding, lots of meetings, lots of coding while sitting in meetings.  We are crunching on impossible deadlines which is always fun.  Hopefully this doesn’t last more than a few more weeks.

Back at home, there was some good mail today:  the October issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN arrived–and I still haven’t cracked open the September issue.  My voter registration card came, too, which means I am all good to vote on November 4.  We received not one but two packages in the mail today.

I watched the most recent episode of The Shield which Tivo recorded for me.  When Kelly was finished with work, we headed up to Laurel, Maryland, where we met with our DJ.  We were back home around 8:30 PM, and we practiced our dance for a few minutes.  Kelly has some work to do, and I’m going to go read before bed.

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday

It was another productive day at work today.  Rainy, too.  It was also Kelly’s flex day so she had the whole day off and was able to sleep in (until 8:30!!).

I started reading The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi today.

We mostly relaxed in the evening.  I lazily watched an episode of Entourage while Kelly was at the gym.  Later in the evening we watched an episode of the The Office (season 4).  I was pretty tired so I went up to bed pretty early, but I read until around 9:30.  I don’t even remember when Kelly came to bed.

We have a bunch of errands to do this morning and then Kelly and Sarah are going to Annapolis to do a hair/makeup trial run for the wedding (which is a mere 28 days from today!)  I’m going to try and make progress on my workshop story, and maybe do a little reading as well.

It’s all a matter of taste

 Productive day at work, mostly working on data migration scripts.  I listed to three full Metallica albums in the morning, first time I’ve done that in a while.  (And because strausmouse  will ask which ones:  Master of Puppets, And Justice for All, and The Black Album.)  We had our "end of summer" BBQ lunch today and that was nice.  The weather was perfect for it.

I finally finished up Rainbows End today.  More on that later.  After work, I watched a Tivo’d episode of The Shield, which is now in it’s final season.  I somehow missed the season premier, but the episode I watched today was the second one of the season.  After that, I finally started in on part one of Rob Sawyer‘s new novel, Wake, which is being serialized in ANALOG.  Like all of Rob’s stuff, it’s terrific so far, and I plan on finished it up tomorrow.  It was funny reading the first part because I could hear Rob reading it in my head.  He had read a portion of the novel at Readercon and I had his interpretation of it going through my head as I read it.

We had our tasting tonight at the Governor Calvert Inn.  I was expecting it to be a thing where all of the couples getting married over the next few months were gathered together to do the tasting, but it was just the two of us, with the wedding person.  It was outstanding.  There was so much good food.  We already picked our main courses (but we got to try everything anyway), but this gave us the opportunity to taste the sides and the appetizers.  I think we tasted 6 appetizers and had to narrow it down to three.  That was probably the hardest.  We finally settled on crab cakes, quiche and this delicious wasabi tuna on a wonton.  I loved the lamb and the sauce that it was cooked in, but I think I’m in a minority when it comes to lamb.  We even met with the executive chef, who was really nice.  We got all of our questions answered and we’re feeling pretty good.

We also narrowed the first dance song down to two choices.

I had no time today to write up the critiques for the workshop, but I promised to get them done first thing tomorrow morning.

Oh, and I noticed that NBC once again has its shows on the iTunes store, so I downloaded season 4 of The Office.  It’s the completist in me, what can I say.