• It got cold enough this weekend for our first evening in front of the fireplace for the season. That fireplace is one of my favorite features of our house. It's like we go in to a special cocoon down in the basement, snuggled under blankets, watching the flames dance and listening to the fire pop, with the whole universe condensed down to John, me and Seamus.
• On Tuesday, while we were whiling away some time on the treadmills at the gym, I asked my friend Becky if she'd ever used one of those exercise balance balls. She had, and even went so far as to say she thought they were good for abs work, and it would be useful for me to get one. On Friday I got a coupon in the mail from Target for $5 off a balance ball/DVD kit. Coincidence? I can't say for sure...but I'd kind of like to believe Becky has that kind of power.
• I spent a bunch of time cleaning my car on Saturday, in preparation for looking at new cars and perhaps trading it in. Unfortunately, while working getting some duct tape residue off my dashboard, I seem to have actually scrubbed some of the color off the dashboard. With a sponge. Suddenly my car seems far less sturdy than I thought it was. Also annoying me: Car dealers in Frederick aren't open on Sundays. Why the hell not? I would think the weekend would be the best sales time.
• In other car news, John finally experienced the wobbly tire thing I've been saying was happening from time to time when I drove the car. We still don't know what the problem is, but at least now I know I'm not insane. It does make a wobbly noise, and it is unnerving.
• Apparently Seamus has picked up my anti-fundamentalist tendencies. Yesterday, he was perched on the couch in his favorite spot, head propped up on the arm rest, watching the world go by out our front window. A young man and woman went up our next door neighbor's walk, and Seamus started barking and growling. Seamus is not a barker, but he just would not stop. I kept telling him the people weren't even coming to our house, but then I saw them heading down our neighbor's walk, straight for us. Well, it turns out they were from this big fundamentalist church in Frederick - a church that I think is pretty darn pushy, because they send people in to our neighborhood just about every weekend to go door to door. They are really big on the whole "wife must submit to her husband" thing, along with being anti-gay, pro-life, and pretty much the complete opposite of everything I believe, and everything I think Christianity should be. Not that I can claim to be a Christian, but still, I think they've got it wrong. Anyway, by the time they got to our door, Seamus was beside himself over their presence. I explained as politely as possible while also restraining my raging beagle boy that we weren't interested, and they went away. Seamus, on the other hand, kept woofing to himself discontentedly a while longer. Later that day we left to go for our weekend hike, and as we came down the front steps, Seamus stopped and stared at the head of the street in his best suspicious, narrow-eyed, tail up, I-sense-a-threat manner. Sure enough, our visitors were there waiting for the church van to pick them up. I don't know what he hated about them so much, but I think it is hysterical.
Of course, if this was a novel, they'd secretly not be church members at all, but aliens or pod people or robots, and yet only dogs could tell. Real life is much more boring. Now, if I could just convince these people to stop coming by my house every weekend. Perhaps a tasteful sign with a little dancing devil on it - "Liberal. Socialist. Feminist. Most definitely going to hell. Don't even bother. P.S. Cute appearing beagle is hellhound."
• My laptop seems to be feeling sorry for all the trouble it has given me lately, which is nice, because for a while there I thought it was going to be reduced to being a very expensive DVD player. Of course, I have no idea what I did that might have solved the problem, which means that either I haven't solved the problem and it will recur, or I did solve the problem, but if it ever recurs, I won't know what to do to fix it again. Either way, I'm pretty much screwed, so let's just all hope my lovely laptop decides to keep behaving like a good computer.
Got any tips for dealing with discolored dashboards, wobbly tires, or persistent church recruiters?