Tuesday, December 30, 2008

viral sinusitis vs Sandy

We spent about an hour and a half at Arlington Urgent Care today. Sandy has viral sinusitis but
he thought his head was going to explode.

We enjoyed the waiting room for about an hour with other sufferers of seasonal colds, flus, etc.

After that we were escorted to the room in which the doctor would see Sandy. We waited there for about 1/2 an hour. I got a good bit of reading done.

As you may have guessed, for viral sinusitis there is nothing that can be prescribed. He is supposed to take antihistamines, Mucinex-D, and do nasal irrigation. This last bit I do everyday to maintain healthy sinuses due to allergies (I don't use a pot, as shown in the picture, though). Sandy, however, is having quite a bit of trouble with this and seems to throw up during the process. I guess practice will help...


Monday morning we set out for northern Virginia. In Virginia (and many places in the US) life is a journey by car and journey we did. In a minivan no less! We are such a hip couple. Though not the coolest ride, Sandy's sister trusted us with her new minivan, so we've been cruising the state in an Odyssey. After walking, biking and taking transit most places, traveling in a minivan is like being in a space ship.

This is a quiet stretch of Route 1 heading north but still just outside of Fredericksburg:

We stopped at the Swedish furniture mecca known as Ikea where Sandy was overjoyed to encounter an authentic Swedish meatball plate at bargain prices!

After getting our fill of Swedish delights we got back on the road - this time onto the always pleasant I-95. Of course it was stop and go for much of the journey:

I'm not sure this photo adequately captures it but there is some pretty awesome on- and off-ramp action at key interchanges on I-95:

We made our annual stop at Ravi Kabob - the most amazing Pakistani food in the US! The place is definitely not for vegetarians but the boneless chicken kabobs, the chickpea sauce over rice, the amazing bread - it's all heavenly.

After Ravi's it was back in the car for the final leg of our Monday journey - to Jackie's, er, I mean Will and Miriam's home in D.C. After a few wrong turns (that took us through some cool old DC neighborhoods as well as past the Washington Monument), we finally arrived!

We are still in Northern Virginia. Sandy woke up this morning with massive sinus congestion and a wee fever that hasn't let him really get out of bed yet...I made the arduous three block journey to whole foods for chicken noodle soup and ginger ale as well as to CVS for sudafed, mucinex and so on. We're hoping it passes soon.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Jackie's house

It's late but I wanted to let you know that we visited Jackie's house tonight. She can be a bit rough with her guests but she really is quite charming. Here she is on the rug:

She lets Will and Miriam stay with her in this great house in DC where we had dinner, drinks, chocolate, a warm fire, good conversation, and much more this evening. Here are Will and Miriam:

Although I'm not a big xmas decoration fan, I have to say that I think they have a few fantastic ones. Here is Sandy with this bouncy xmas penguin:


Making conversation with in-laws and friends of in-laws is wearing me down. This Natalie Dee drawing pretty much sums it up:

In Fredericksburg

After xmas day we made our way down to Fredericksburg. Of course there was traffic on I-95 and the trip that should take around 45 min took about 2 hours. The smooth ride of the Nielsen's minivan put me out.

In an effort to get out and get some exercise (to fight of the calories of home made brownies), yesterday we walked from The Crains' house (our good friends that are putting us up) to downtown Fredericksburg for some cafe at Hyperion coffee.
We crossed the Falmouth bridge to get to "cute", historic, olde town Fredericksburg. The bridge indicates there is a bike route somewhere - we're assuming you're supposed to ride right off the bridge.

The cute town is in the background behind the Denverite with the espresso:

On the walk back we took a shortcut through this historic property - civil war era mansion, not quite a plantation. Sandy made himself into a human statue:

Oh, the shining star of Fredericksburg (not really) - they have a Hardees! I didn't think they still existed and, honestly, we weren't excited but we were surprised.

Stay tuned for more amazing adventures.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

letting loose

While we're in Fredericksburg we tend to do whatever we have to do to entertain ourselves. This usually involves wine, good beer, board games, hamming it up (which Sandy usually takes care of), and taking photos.

This is us playing "Have You Herd?" It's actually a lot of fun.

This is my late night snack of white wine and gingersnap cookie.

This me entertaining myself at the end of the night by taking macros of walrus nick-nacks and Sandy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Two days after Xmas

Alright, the xmas days in review...we surprised Sandy's parents by showing up on xmas eve at Jen and Jeff's house (my sister and brother in law) for xmas eve dinner. We experienced xmas morning with our niece and nephew, Jake and Morgan. Jake is 4 and Morgan is about 1 1/2 years old. Jake definitely grasps Xmas and the correlation with gifts. Morgan gets caught in the excitement but still just wanders around with bits of wrapping and bows.
Sandy seemed a little infected by the excitement as you can tell:
I spent my time trying to wake up and observing the fray:
While it was enjoyable spending time with the kids and our family, I definitely didn't leave thinking, "I want that life!" We're happy with small glimpses.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

At the airport...again

Well, we're at Denver International Airport waiting for our flight to board of course. Sandy is entertaining himself with his new ipod nano, which is why me and my dinosaur ipod have commandeered the laptop!

I hate to admit it but blah life is back again. My work life has decreased in satisfaction and it's not just me. I've been receiving guests to my cube with some regularity that discuss their dissatisfactions. But I'm away from the office until next year, so I'm putting that behind me for now.

I've recently read Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior. I recommend it if you're the kind of person that wonders not only why some people make the decisions they do but also if you've wondered why in the heck you've made certain decisions that don't make sense in hindsight. I'm not going to outline the key points because the link pretty much takes care of that.

The reading of this book is part of larger effort to learn more about human behavior, behavior change, and motivation (and how to get some). I'm starting with a literature review of sorts to see what's out there on these topics. I'll keep you posted. So far I've learned that a positive attitude, particularly about oneself, can make a big difference...damn.

Anyway, be on the lookout for cheery posts like this over the holiday season.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Transit related

Working in the transit industry is great because you're surrounded by other transit geeks and you always have that in common in a big way. You know, when someone goes to Chicago or Columbia or where ever, a topic is always "did you ride transit?"

Another perk is that you are exposed to all kinds of transit-related journals, blogs, reports, research and so on. Most of the time these can be rather dull but every now and then you get a gem. One of our Service Planners sent along an online periodical that included a link to the Tokyo Metro site and their new marketing campaign to get people to behave themselves on the train. Check this out:

It seems odd to me that they chose black, white, and yellow as the colors for all the posters...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter wonderland

Since I've walked around on the snowy sidewalks for several miles today (to and from places) and it has been no warmer than 5 degrees during that time, I found it useful to remind myself of the products of warm weather. I am going to share those with you.

I stumbled upon some photos I took at the Denver Botanic Gardens in July:

All lovely products of warm weather and sun, both of which I missed dearly today. It did make me glad that I don't live in Detroit or some place that has freezing winters that don't let up.

BTW, Miriam's blog had something mysterious posted on it recently...could it be what I'm thinking?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Night encounter

(at least one of you has probably heard this story already)
So last night I woke up at around 3:00am and my left arm and shoulder were wet! I put my hand down on the bed to prop myself up and the sheet was wet. There was this smell...like cat bile!!! My cat threw up on me. Of course, when I informed Sandy of this event he insisted I was probably just sweating. He believed me once I pulled the sheet back and found the gooey evidence. I know this is gross but imagine you slept through your cat throwing up basically next to your left ear but later awoke to find the product on you.

This is the most recent photo of the furry culprit: