After my dreary posts on Saturday, Jeremy and I decided to go on a date. But we're an old, boring married couple, and broke, so our idea of a date might not fit your traditional mold.
I had two gift certificates burning a hole in my wallet, so we headed to Barnes and Noble to see if we could spend them. One of them had been given to me specifically to buy a photography book that I had asked for, and I have been wanting to buy Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler ever since I became interested in the fertility awareness method several months ago. I got the Weschler book, and although it would have been cheaper to order it online, it's nice to get a little instant gratification once in a while. Besides, I wasn't 100% sure which photography book I wanted to buy, and the in-store experience allows you to browse through potential candidates for purchase, and after looking through about six different photography books, I ended up choosing The Everything Photography Book over the one I had originally thought about buying, because it had more detailed written explanations about a smaller number of topics. If I ever want to develop my own film, I'm sure I will want to know more about it than a six-page summary, so in the end, I opted for the book that covered the topics that I cared about, like lighting and composition, in more depth.
As an added bonus, there was about $10 left on my gift cards, so Jeremy was able to buy an SQL book that he had his eye on. So everybody left happy.
There is a Starbucks in Barnes and Noble, but it's a "fake Starbucks", meaning it's a café that sells Starbucks coffee rather than being an actual Starbucks store. But actually, the main reason I care is not snobbery, it's that my partner discount doesn't work at fake Starbuckses. So, we took our new books to my Starbucks store, and sat like a boring, old couple and read works of non-fiction while sipping non-caffeinated Starbucks beverages at my place of work. It might not have been much of a date, but it was fun to get out of the house and it was practically free.
It took me a long time to fall asleep on Friday night. I know it's my own fault for sleeping in on Friday, but it meant that my 4:45 alarm on Saturday morning was even more unwelcome than it usually would be. Oh yeah, and on top of not falling asleep right away, I also woke up at 2 am from a not-unpleasant dream about an amusement park ride that felt exactly like being shot into space. Not that I would know what being shot into space feels like, but, according to the dream, it feels something like going up in an elevator, times several gees. I'm not sure why I woke up, but usually, if I wake up in the night, I'm back asleep before I can even think once about it, let alone twice, but I found myself completely wide awake on this occasion and it took me several minutes to fall back asleep.
All that to say: I was tired when I got to work on Saturday morning. Fortunately, one of the perks of my job is the free-flowing coffee, so a couple of iced double tall vanilla lattes set me back on my feet.
Saturday night, we went over to Jon's house for chili and movies with Jon and Phil and Rachel. We made fantastic stone-soup chili (comprised of the various ingredients that each of us had lying around), with corn bread that I had made and strawberry shortcake that Rachel had made. Jon, as the token bachelor, provided the movies. We watched The Squid and the Whale, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I felt like I was watching a Canadian movie, though, because it was definitely more about people being awkward than a story. It's not for everybody, but I love a good character study. We watched Walk the Line afterwards, which I had seen before, but actually enjoyed even more the second time. Yes, it's a formulaic rock star "success, drugs, relationships" movie, but it's well-done, and I think Reese Witherspoon totally deserved the Oscar for it. If it hadn't been a true story, though, I would have had a hard time believing parts of it.
Around 11 pm, I realized that we should be getting home. Jon's house is an hour away, and I knew I had to get up at 8 this morning, so I would have to be in bed by midnight if I wanted to get a full night's sleep. I said I was ready to go, and as I started to gather my stuff, Jon made some joke about it being too early. Disheartened, I put my stuff back down. I told everyone I didn't want to be a party-pooper, that they could stay as late as they wanted, but I had to lie down, and went in to go to sleep on Jon's bed.
I can't fully explain what was going through my head at this point. I had been up since 4:45 am, so I probably was too tired to be thinking rationally. I might be in my late twenties, but apparently, I am still susceptible to peer pressure. Learning your own limits and needs is the first step, but not letting other people's ideas of what is fun influence you is a much bigger step. I probably would still eat ten packets of ketchup if someone dared me to and called me chicken.
I know Jon was joking, and he wasn't trying to make me feel bad. But I did feel bad. I want to be a cool grown-up, who listens to good music and still likes good movies and goes out and has fun. But I also want to be a responsible grown-up, who feeds her kids healthy meals and makes sure everybody gets a good night's sleep so no one's cranky in church the next morning.
As I was about to fall asleep, I realized how stupid I was being. I dragged myself back to the living room, gathered my stuff again, and asked Jeremy if we could please go home. He assured me that he was just about to come get me, and we said our goodbyes and headed home.
I am officially boring. But I'm gradually coming to terms with that, so it's okay.
I got to bed a little later than I had intended, but I still came close to getting a full night's sleep. We had to be at church early today, because I was singing with a special choir for Palm Sunday, and we were supposed to be practicing before church. My alarm went off at 4:45 because I had forgotten to reset it from the night before, but I was thankfully able to fall right back asleep this time. The choir's song actually came off pretty well, especially considering that I was singing alto, which I don't really know how to do, and neither of the other altos really knew the part either. Jeremy said it sounded good, though, so I'll just assume that we altos stayed quiet enough for everyone else to drown us out.
Our church does this really neat thing called "faith in action". Basically, it means that we do some kind of outreach or service project together after the morning service every Sunday. It's a really neat idea, and I'm glad that we do it. It's good to move beyond the basic worship service and try to touch a little part of the world together. Today, we were cleaning up a local park. Some of the more dedicated cleaners donned waders and actually climbed right into the creek to fish out trash. Jeremy and I were more conservative, sticking to the grassy areas and the walking path, because we had a birthday party to go to at 1 pm, and we didn't want to show up slimy.
I took a whole bunch of pictures of our park cleaning excursion, but unfortunately, my digital camera keeps giving me card errors, so I can't upload them, look at them, or access them in any way. Same goes for all the birthday party pictures I took later. Grrr.
I wear pigtails to work. Usually, they are in braids. I think I do this because I wore braids on my first day of work, so now I feel like it's my identifier. Or something like that anyhow. They go well under my hat. Anyhow, I wore braids on Saturday, so my hair was kinky this morning. I didn't bother with it before church, because I couldn't be bothered, but I had a few minutes to spare after we got back from the park, so I did something I haven't done since the last time I had to go to a wedding: I plugged in my curling iron and curled my hair. I just wanted the ends that had been sticking out of the braids to curl under, because they looked silly sticking out straight at the end of the kinks. It worked surprisingly well, and I liked the way my hair looked with a little bit of shape. But I don't think I got any pictures, and I doubt if I will be doing it again anytime soon, so I thought I would document the occasion in my blog. April 9, 2006: Jule Ann curls her hair for no particular reason.
Oh yeah, the birthday party was fun, too. Jeremy's cousin was turning 10. And his aunt makes the best brownies with peanut butter icing. Yum.
Okay, I'm rambling. It must be past my bedtime or something.