Monday, November 4 – upon arriving at work to start the abbreviated week, I made some coffee, then sat down to read some, pay some bills and my credit cards, and to do my annual benefits re-enrollment so as to still have health insurance. Good thing, as I quite nearly didn’t have water at our house: DeKalb County neglected to send me any sort of reminder to pay my electronic-only (there was no option to do both, for the record) bill, and by the time I noticed I hadn’t paid it in a while it was already past due. Crisis averted, but still annoying.

With that taken care of, I received my freshly-printed poster from Diana, then I hung it up in the hallway, both to display it for a few days, and to let it dry, as the ink on it was still tacky to the touch. I processed a monthly air cylinder rental invoice after that, then I made some edits to a paper manuscript. I was finally able to sit down to a late lunch after that, then I met with Paul to discuss some of the edits I’d made. I read for a bit more after that, then I briefly left at about 2:30 to drop off my dry cleaning, in anticipation of the trip out to San Diego for the conference. With that done, I returned to the VA to continue reading until it came time to pick up Becky and to go to the gym.

We had some lovely chicken cordon bleu casserole for dinner as we watched a Daily Show and Colbert from the previous week. I set a fire after that, while Becky took stock of some of our Halloween decorations that we’d sort-of left up:

I don’t really think of us as super-spooky oddity-type people, but I guess it’s hard to tell if some of our decor is Halloween-related, sometimes.

With the fire going, we watched @midnight, then Jeopardy!, and then an episode of Caesar Milan’s new show. Eh… same stuff, more neurotic people. We gave up on it and instead just went to bed for the night.

Tuesday, November 5 – the morning started off relatively slowly as I got into work, grabbed my coffee, processed another rental invoice, read some, and made a packing list for my upcoming trip. I read more up until – then a bit after – lunch, then I ordered some magnesium chloride for Shavonne to use in her ACSF solution. I made up the trip planner for my departure day out west after that, then I continued reading until around 10 after 4, at which time I left to meet Becky en route to the gym.

So far, not exactly a very exciting day, but it was brightened somewhat by receiving a lovely card signed by Kath as a thank-you for contributing to her wind symphony’s Kickstarter:

So that brightened our fridge, at least.

I started my pre-departure laundry, then had the remainder of the chicken cordon bleu casserole as Becky and I watched the Daily Show and Colbert, followed by @midnight, then Jeopardy!. By the time that ended, my laundry was finished, and so I folded it and got it put away. We put on a Breaking Bad from Netflix after that, then we relaxed some, read, put on a Futurama in bed, and drifted off to sleep. One more full day to go for me.

Wednesday, November 6 – I arrived at work on time and got myself some coffee as usual, then I sat down to order some cell culture supplies for Vinny, along with some more isoflurane. I spent much of the rest of the morning making up the remainder of the trip planners for my time in LA and San Diego, then I read for a bit, and grabbed my lunch. I spent the entirety of the afternoon plugging through Society for Neuroscience’s 2013’s rather ponderously huge abstract list (numbering in the tens of thousands, I figure) so as to work up an itinerary of poster sessions and talks I wanted to see, then I departed to meet Becky, before going to the gym for a brief workout.

When we got home, I went out to pick up my dry cleaning, just up the hill from where El Toro used to be:

Oh, El Toro. We’re sorry we didn’t go to you more often while you were still open.

I picked up my dry cleaning without incident, which is more than Becky could say about her time giving Giles a walk. He decided to do a Very Bad Dog Thing when he saw a squirrel or squirrel-like object as Becky was pulling onto Lawrenceville Highway from McLendon: something snapped in his dog-brain, and he wriggled his way out of the open window. Onto Lawrenceville Highway. As the car was moving. Of course, Becky was quite upset by this, but she kept her cool, and pulled into the CVS. After several harrowing minutes, she tracked him down, and found he had only minor bruises and scratches from the whole ordeal. Worst Dog Ever.

Becky was, understandably, relieved to be back home safely, and she explained the whole incident to me when I returned with the dry cleaning. I told Giles he was so terrible that I was going to leave the following day so I wouldn’t have to be around him anymore. I don’t think he understood.

When we got settled down, I made myself a Kroger frozen pizza for dinner, then put on the Daily Show, Colbert, and @midnight. I packed for the trip as much as I reasonably could after that, then I sat back down with Becky to watch the final two episodes of the third season of Breaking Bad. We needed to push through the show faster, so I set the DVDs to arrive more frequently in our Netflix queue. For right then, though, we still had two (or three, depending on how you slice it) seasons left, and we’d just have to wait. We retired to bed for the night, for the final time together in about a week. I’d depart for San Diego the following day.