Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Catherine, the Great

This post is in tribute to my grandmother, who died on Christmas morning. She was 90 years old. Needless to say, this was not the happiest of holidays. I am so sad that I didn't get a chance to call and wish her a Merry Christmas and I hadn't talked to her in a while. I hate regrets. There are always regrets. Apparently her health had really been declining for about a month, and everyone in NY knew she wouldn't last much longer. Of course, no one told the family down here in VA. They didn't want to upset us. So apparently it's less upsetting when someone dies more suddenly than you expect them to . . . but I digress. My grandmother was a warm, funny, neurotic, wonderful lady who was always upbeat and loving. I have some really great memories of her, and I will really miss her. I'm heading out of town Thursday for the services on Long Island. May she rest in peace, and may my 91-year-old grandfather find a way to get through this.

As an aside, I heard a song that I used to sing in church on the radio yesterday, before I learned that my grandmother had died, and wondered why they were playing it, since it wasn't a holiday song. It was called "Let There Be Peace on Earth," sung by Vince Gill. Of course, the message is a very holiday message, but I had never heard this on the radio before. I like to think it was some sort of mystical acknowledgement of her passing.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Here's the latest scoop on what I've been doing:

--Went out Weds night with my best friend to Las Tapas on King Street in Old Town, Alexandria. Highly recommended, great food and flamenco dancing.

--Friday was the last day in the office with the boss. She's on vacation and won't be back until after my last day at work, Jan. 2. I hope next week is quiet as I wrap things up. I have a lot of files to clean up.

--The new job sent me a nice little Christmas gift, very classy move!

--I'm finally done Christmas shopping, although I have to actually pick up the last gift tomorrow.

--My sis is in town from FL, so I'll enjoy hanging out with her.

--Jeffro's mom is coming into town tomorrow for holiday festivities. Needless to say I spent all day cleaning and I'm exhausted!

So basically all I'll be doing for the next two days is eating, drinking,and being merry. Hope you'll be doing the same! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Great Christmas CD

Looking for some cool new Christmas music this year? I stumbled on this new CD by accident in my recent holiday shopping excursions. Bath & Body Works Make-A-Wish Holiday CD is on sale for just $10 for a 2-disc set, plus $1 of each sale goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It features hot artists like Rascal Flatts, Rob Thomas, and Mary J. Blige. Pick up a couple stocking stuffers and make a nice holiday charity donation at the same time.

I spent most of this weekend Christmas shopping, but I timed it so the stores and roads weren't too crowded. However, I'm still not done. Three gifts left and counting. I also went to see the tree downtown, went to an Asian-themed Christmas party, and put up a little fake tree this weekend. I am exhausted! As far as work goes, 10 days left and counting before I start the new job.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Today made me realize why I really want to leave my job. It was quite a hellish day, with many tech-support-like phone calls that just drive me crazy. I also had a call from a customer who couldn't figure out how to use the website. I just deleted that message, I just couldn't deal. There's nothing I hate more at work than to be continually interrupted by phone calls. That is, unless it's to be continually interrupted by my psychotic boss.

I try to shove these tech calls over to the tech guy (go figure), and he tries to pawn them off on me. It's a constant battle and I'm just sick of it. Never in my life did I imagine the title "marketing director" would entail taking this ridiculous calls and being the friggin webmaster. If I never see another website in my life, I will be ever so happy. On top of that, a project I've been trying to finish has been hit with delays and now more delays or more costs. I just about lost it today. I need to figure out exactly how many more working days I have left until I can get out of there so I can post a big countdown.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

New Year, New Job

Well, the counter worked. I got the salary I wanted, and accepted the position. I gave notice at my current job, and I start the new one January 2! Yeah! I can stop searching for a job now. I think it's going to be a great environment for me and I'm gonna start counting down the days!

This was a busy week, I had to give a speech in Toastmasters, which went ok. Jeffro and I are going to see some music tonight. I haven't done any Christmas shopping, so I'm on my way out today to join the crowds and hopefully get some stuff done. I'm about 1/2 way done with my Christmas cards.

And PS - Happy Birthday to MJ!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Offer Extended

Well, even though I have an interview with another company tomorrow by phone, I got my first offer today. It was not quite as good as I'd hoped, and I actually countered. They are going to get back to me tomorrow. So we'll have to see what happens. I was so excited to get the offer, until it was less than I wanted. But my fingers are crossed that they'll come through. If I accept, this means starting January 2, I will be starting the new year with a new job!

Wish me luck tomorrow, as I have this offer to deal with, a phone interview, and a speech to give at Toastmasters. Talk about a full day. Guess I'll go draft my resignation letter just in case.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Where U At?

How has an entire week passed since I blogged? Guess I've been busy. Let's see. Since we last chatted, I still haven't heard about the job I was excited about. Things are progressing, as they have called references, sent me benefits, etc. So we'll see.

To thicken the plot, however, I got a call today from what would be a very cool organization to work for. So now I'm kind of hoping the other job delays a little more so I can interview with this one! I'm so fickle.

This weekend was ok, the best part was eating out on Friday night, December 1 in Shirlington. Jeffro and I went to Guapo's and it was so warm we sat outside! Ironically, the next day I went to an oyster roast at the Old Dominion Boat Club and the Boat Parade of Lights in Old Town. A pretty nice time, but cooooold.

This week is going to be tough to get through, but then my office empties out for a convention next week, so hardly any of us will be there. The intern from hell is still from hell. I thought I would just about throttle her today with her incessant stupid questions. She just doesn't friggin get it. How is she ever going to get a real job? I feel sorry for her. Maybe I'll just kill her first, and she won't have to worry about it. I can't tell you how pissed I was at her today, and I got to the point where I nearly rolled my eyes every time she set foot in my office to jokingly remark, "You're never going to get any work done." Duh, bitch.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Day in the Life

Well, it's been a crazy week so far. Here are the highlights:

The good:
  • Today I had a second interview with a company I liked a lot. So my fingers are crossed that they make a decision soon--me!
  • I launched our revamped website at work.
  • The intern from hell is improving slightly.
  • The boss is out the rest of the week.
  • I submitted a quick little story to the Washington Post. Let's see if it gets picked.
The bad:
  • The dog has diarrhea. Again.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Turkey Talk

My Thanksgiving was pretty nice and un-drama-filled, unlike a friend of Jeffro's that we had coffee with the day after Thanksgiving. We drove to New Jersey late Wednesday night, but apparently not late enough since we hit a ton of traffic. Turkey day was celebrated at a family friend's house. We visited some other relatives, and wanted to visit a friend in the hospital, but Jeffro came down with a cold so we couldn't do that and we wound up leaving earlier today instead. The highlight of the trip was going to our favorite used CD store, Tunes. I traded in some CDs, got a $5 credit and spent only $12 of my own money on this stack of great CDs that I'm working my way through:

Chicago: Greatest Hits 1982-1989

Peter Cetera: World Falling Down

Best of Corey Hart

Phil Vassar: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

Diamond Rio: Greatest Hits, Vol 2

Since we hit tons of traffic again today, we took a nice detour through Southern MD on Route 301 instead of staying on 95. Hope everyone had a safe and happy turkey day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Work Week from Hell--Happy Thanksgiving!

I've had the craziest week. I had a new intern start Monday and I kid you not, she is terrible. She's like 40-something years old, going back to school. She's worked on a Mac, so she barely knows how to use an IBM. I had to teach her HOW TO CUT AND PASTE BY RIGHT CLICKING! Oh my God, with that kind of help, I'm sure I'll get a lot done. Then she put some info into a template, mispelling the title of it, and lost the entire thing. Lord. She was supposed to help me with this big web update project, but I don't want her anywhere near it.

That's why I spent most of today and yesterday updating our entire website, which everyone was supposed to help with. Because sometimes help just isn't help. So I'm just wiped out. Then they decided not to let everyone go early today because they were giving us Friday off. What stupid, frigging cheap grinches! Finally at 4:00 when I thought I'd go cross eyed, they finally relented and let us have a free hour. How generous!

Anyway, thanks for listening to my vent. I gotta go pack cause we're joining the legions of people traveling today. But hopefully by the late hour we get on the road, it will all be cleared out.

I have an interview next week, and I pray I get the job, cause I'm not going to be able to handle working with this intern.

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and a great long weekend.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Elvis Has Left the Building

I had the day off work on Friday for a Stephen Covey class on time management and planning. The only thing was, I wasn't expecting this workshop to be 8 hours of how to use the Covey planner. We literally all sat there for like 45 minutes putting the planner together. Except we'd gotten our planner in another class and had no planner, so I just sat there and watched everyone else. My boss thought it was a waste of time and left during the first break. She was going back to the office and gave us the option of staying in the workshop or going with her. Even though it was 8 hours of wasted time, I opted to stay. After all, a day out of the office is a day out of the office. I have to say, I did learn some stuff about time management that might be helpful, but I think an 8-hour workshop is excessive.

This weekend has been fairly productive. I got some much-needed things done around the house. Last night was fun, we went to the Old Dominon Boat Club to see Elvis impersonator
Michael Hoover. He puts on a good show, if you like Elvis music. The whole thing is a little silly, but it was a fun time and I even got one of the scarves that he gives to the ladies.

Today is mostly errands and drudgery, but I have a bookclub meeting tonight to discuss The Painted Drum, which was pretty interesting. I can't believe I have to go back to work tomorrow. I have an intern starting and we're kicking off a huge project, so I'm really NOT looking forward to it, even though this is going to be a short week.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I Love Short Weeks

Well, I had an interview yesterday, I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and an out-of-office training on Friday. Gotta love these short weeks. Next week our office decided to close on Friday, which means I don't have to continue digging into the vacation hole that I'm in. Despite all this, however, I have been incredibly busy at work and have gotten almost as much work done this week as a normal week.

My interview yesterday went ok, but I'm not sure I like the organization/position. We'll have to see. I continue to send out resumes, but things are definitely slowing down as the holidays approach. The job interview I loved last week is trying to find a time for me to come back, but it might not be until after Thanksgiving.

Not much else new and exciting to report this week.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's a No

Well, I heard back from one of my job possibilities--the one I had two interviews with. The answer was no thank you. I was upset in a way because the job was 5 minutes from my house, I really liked the person who would have been my supervisor, and well, quite frankly I would rather have been the one to say no to them. So that really sucked and made me doubt myself now. Maybe yesterday's interview didn't go as well as I thought? But they did ask for my reference list, and today I did get a positive email back from one of the women I met with, so who knows. She "looked forward to talking with me more in the coming weeks." I have to say I am getting really sick of all this interviewing crap and just want a resolution in the way of gainful new employment.

Busy weekend ahead, looking forward to having tomorrow off even though I have to be at the allergist by 9. I think I have a phone interview, I might go visit my friend MJ who is working, and I have tons of errands to run, like buying birthday gifts for my niece and my mom. This weekend we're visiting friends on Saturday night for dinner and I have my first drum lesson in weeks on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Country Gone Wild and Life in General

Well, I'm sure you've all heard the controversy over Monday night's CMA Awards, where Faith Hill was caught on tape getting mad that she didn't win--and rightly so. She should have won instead of first time out, undeserving, American Idol Barbie doll. But trying to play off that she was just joking instead of owning up to being human and being upset that she didn't win isn't flying with anyone . . . overall, the CMA awards were very disappointing. Brooks & Dunn won every friggin thing and I got so sick of seeing them at the end of the night. If you're up for 20 million awards, you shouldn't be the host. Isn't that a conflict of interest or something?

This week I have had two interviews, one that was just so-so and one today that was just phenomenal. If only I could get lucky enough to work for this company--provided the pay and benefits are right. They have a very laid back attitude, come in whenever you want, work through lunch if you want to leave earlier, work from home if you need to, whatever. I just love it. Most of the people have been there 5+ years, which can be a good or bad thing, but they seem open to new ideas and creativity. So keep your fingers crossed, as I had a very good vibe about them. Plus they are like 20-30 min commute.

Tonight I'm waiting for the next Lost episode to begin and will finally do a little much-needed housework. Just need to live through tomorrow then the long weekend begins!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Gone Country

This is a huge week for country music fans. I'm sure there are tons of y'all out there. Tomorrow night, Monday, November 6 at 8 p.m., ABC presents the 40th Annual Country Music Awards. It is THE award to win if you're a country singer. Not so coincidentally, two of my favorite acts and CMA nominees are releasing new albums on Tuesday. Sugarland releases their second album, Enjoy the Ride and Keith Urban (who will miss the awards cause he's in rehab) releases his fourth album, Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing. So you won't catch me blogging tomorrow cause I'll be glued to the TV. And Tuesday night I'll be at Best Buy spending a giftcard I got a couple months ago for my birthday that I have been saving for just this occasion.
Colonial Weekend

This weekend Jeffro and I visited my alma mater, William & Mary. It was the first time I'd been back in probably five or so years, and a lot has changed. There is a lot of new construction on "new campus." I got to show Jeffro my campus (far superior to his alma mater), where I lived, took classes, all my old haunts. It was a pretty decent time, except for the frigid weather on Saturday.

Sunday the weather was prettier, and we spent part of the day walking around DOG Street, as we students liked to call Duke of Gloucester Street, the main drag there. We had lunch both days at The Cheese Shop, which is absolutely the best sandwich place in the world. Just ask Jeffro, he agreed that it was pretty amazing. It's moved to a new, larger location since my college days, and seems to be just flourishing. We bought some colonial souvenirs and spent way too much time at the bookstore on Sat, but all in all it was a good trip. I just wish we'd had more time to spend there.

Tomorrow it's back to the grind, and I have an interview first thing in the morning. I'm pretty psyched cause it's a great organization. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Victory is Mine!

Tonight was the board meeting to address the parking issue and I won! I can't tell you how ecstatic I am after all the hard work and agony that I have gone through. It passed unanimously, as it did with the parking committee. I found out tonight that this was the first parking petition to ever pass the parking committee unanimously. Wow. I must say, the arguments I presented were pretty impossible to refute, and we had several other homeowners show up to support it. It takes effect December 1 (they wanted to make it Jan 1 initially but then some board members argued and decided to make it earlier!) and I can't wait to tow the first violator. I am so thrilled after all the stress of this week.

What stress, you ask:
1. I feel like I'm coming down with a cold. Woke up this morning feeling miserable, still feel that way. So it's lots of echinacea for me and maybe calling in sick tomorrow or Friday.
2. I had my second interview yesterday. It went pretty well, not earth-shatteringly well, but good enough. They say they'll make a decision by the 17th, which is weeks away, but that is probably good because . . .
3. I had a phone interview today (not a good fit), I have two other interviews scheduled for next week and one other interview pending for a job I was really interested in. What is up with that? I'm totally a hot commodity right now. Hopefully I can use all this to my advantage to negotiate a fabulous salary and benefits.
4. Took my dog to the vet for various problems and was told he might need a root canal (they do root canals on dogs?) and they want to biopsy this weird thing on his nose.

To end on a good note, how amazing is this weather? I wish it could be like this all year long. Well, I guess it could if I moved to CA. I hope the weather lasts through the weekend, when I am supposed to go to Williamsburg for a tiny bit of R&R. That's all I got.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunday Night

It's Sunday and I'm being lazy and staying home instead of going out to see Jeffro's friend playing music in Cleveland Park. I just hate going out on Sunday night then waking up tired on Monday and starting the week at a deficit. Plus I just didn't feel like fixing myself up to look cute to go out. Why is it that guys can just go out with no preparation and that is fine, but I would have had to reapply makeup, fix hair, find something to wear, change purses, etc. before being able to go? I just couldn't muster the needed energy.

Things have been so busy lately and will continue to stay busy this week. I have a tentative phone interview set up for tomorrow, a reschedule of the interview I missed on Tuesday, and the board meeting where my parking issue will get decided on Wednesday. I will, yet again, be happy when the week is over, although we are supposed to head to Williamsburg Saturday and Sunday if Jeffro can get off work. When will the madness end?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Stories

Well, you knew I had to have some. So here's a recap of my trip to Phoenix.

Travels from Hell. This was probably the worst travel I have ever had. Of course, we took NWA again--No Worse Airline. And they did not disappoint. On the trip out, they took off late and we almost missed our connection. Literally running through the airport to get on the plane about 2 mins before they closed the doors.

The way back was even worse. We were due to take off at 12:20, so we're taxi-ing (how do you spell that anyway?) on the runway and hear this awful noise. The girl next to me and I just look at each other and say, that can't be good. And sure enough the plane comes to a halt and we are told that the hydraulic system--minor things like brakes and steering--has failed. So they leave us sitting on the runway for 2 hours before they decide it can't be fixed and have to tow us back to the terminal. Consequently, we missed the next flight to DC that would have gotten us back on Monday as planned. We waited in line for another 2-1/2 hours for some worthless vouchers (looking back, we shouldn't have waited) and an upgrade to first class for part of the flight. Our options were 1) take a red eye putting us in Baltimore by 5:00 a.m. and then having to spend $50+ in cab fare to come back, 2) take a red eye putting us back in DC at 8:00 a.m. or 3) leave on the rescheduled flight at 5:30 a.m. Great options. This all meant that I would miss my interview, which was scheduled for this morning. Luckily they are being very understanding and letting me reschedule but what an ordeal!

Wedding recap. We went to AZ for a wedding, and while it was very nice, Jeffro and I had the same issues we always have when going to weddings, which I won't get into here. However, it did take place outside on the grounds of a gorgeous country club at sunset, I mean who can beat that?

The great parts. The great parts of the trip were getting to see and spend time with my friend, getting to see one of my best friends I haven't seen forever, and enjoying Phoenix's 80+ degree, brilliant sunny weather. I have to say, Phoenix is undergoing a lot of change right now--they are installing a light rail system downtown and it's all torn up. That made it very difficult to get around and show Jeffro where I used to live, etc.

I also got to look at new homes in a development that I really love. The prices have really skyrocketed in the three years since I've been back. It's always hard for me to leave Phoenix, and I always wonder what would have happened if I hadn't moved back to DC all those years ago. Of course, my friend was trying to convince me to move back, but I'm not sure that's in the cards either.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling now. Hope you enjoyed the stories.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Headed to Sunny AZ

Well, I can only hope that it's freezing here this weekend as Jeffro and I are headed to AZ for yet another wedding. I'm really looking forward to this, as I used to live there for a couple of years, and we're staying with a good friend of mine that I haven't seen now in like two years. She has the cutest little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Mystic that I absolutely adore.

I get to show Jeffro all my old haunts, where I used to live, and the house that I would love to own that I actually could afford if I sold this place. I also get to see my very best friend ever whom I haven't seen in about 8 years. We were best friends growing up and I can't wait to see him again.

In other news, I do have that second interview next Tuesday, and I've been playing phone tag for two days with someone about another job. So I guess I'll know more what is going on after Tuesday.

Have a good weekend, ya'll and maybe we'll have some interesting photos when I get back.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Win!

For those of you waiting with baited breath for the decision of the parking committee . . . they voted in favor of my petition! It was unanimous, and I am so excited! However, that is only the first of two hurdles, the next will be getting the board to vote the same, otherwise we're back to square one. That meeting will be Nov 1, so mark your calendar!

In other interesting news, I got called back for a second interview with the company I interviewed with last week and told my boss that I am looking for a job and will not be making the move to Herndon. Good for me! I know this seems like a risky move, but she took it well and I don't seem to be in danger of losing my job. Hopefully.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I'm a Rock Star!

This has been a crazy week, culminating with a show for my drum/band class yesterday. The class has been going on for a couple of months, and I think I've really learned a lot. We did ok, much better than I anticipated cause our "dress rehearsal" was terrible. We even through in an extra song that we had only really played once. After the show, I went to a neighbor's housewarming party and had a nice time and couple of much-needed glasses of wine.

I had an interview this week that went very well and they want me to come back for a second interview. The best part about the job? It's literally 5 minutes from my house.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Your Parking Update

I know you've all been dying to know what's going on with the parking saga in my neighborhood. Well, I was unable to go before our parking committee last month cause I hadn't given them enough time to notify the residents. So this time I apparently gave them too much time cause they lost my damn petition and it took a visit to the office, an email, and a phone call to get this figured out. However, it looks like all's well and I will be on the committee agenda next week. If that passes, it will then go to the board. So I'm one step closer and so excited. I'm trying to rally the troops to come to the meeting with me to argue our case. I'll give you an update next Tuesday.
Another Job Call

As much as I hate job hunting, I have done it so much over the years that I have extremely good luck at getting interviews. It's actually exciting to get that call or email asking for an interview. You get that rush of adrenaline when you find you've snagged another. Matter of fact, I had another call today from a company I have been trying to get into for a couple of years now. So needless to say, I'm majorly psyched and can't wait to call them back tomorrow.

BTW, at work today everyone decided to call in "sick" and make the holiday weekend a really long one. I was the only schlump in my department who was there. Unreal. And I'm the only one who's admitted might not be making the move to Herndon. I must be nuts.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Well, it's another federal holiday, i.e., an excuse to have a day off work. I must say I'm enjoying it very much and using it to search for jobs, get together with a friend, and get some things done around the house.

Here's a little update about the job situation. I had a phone interview Friday, which was just ok. My current employer announced Friday that it will offer flextime and telecommuting 3 days a week after the move to Herndon. How tempting and ideal is that? I would hardly have to deal with psycho boss, could work at my own pace, get other things done during the day. That is really hard to pass up. On the other hand, I would still be doing the schlock work that I don't want to be doing. So it's really a toss up. I have to really think about what I want to do. Obviously I'm still interviewing to see what else is out there, but at the very least if I don't find anything, my job situation will undoubtedly improve after my office moves.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Improved Mood

It's amazing how knowing that you're really leaving a job you dislike can improve your mood. I felt much better going in to work today knowing my time there truly is limited. Then I found out my boss was going to be out sick today and tomorrow, plus I have doctor's appointments lined up tomorrow and Weds, and we're out of the office Friday for a 1/2 day staff retreat, then going home early. It's a great week!

Start planning your weekend early. This Saturday is Del Ray's Art on the Avenue, an annual arts and crafts event in Alexandria that's tons of fun. If the weather is nice I'll be going.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Spinach is Back!

Fresh spinach--not the bagged kind unfortunately--should again be available in your local grocery stores. I am so excited! I eat spinach nearly every day so it's been a really rough couple of weeks for me. So guess what I'll be buying when I grocery shop tomorrow?
Noted on DC Blogs!

Special shout out to DC Blogs for listing me on Sept 22. I just noticed a huge spike in hits that day and had to investigate. Go check it out for yourself.
Well, It's True

We are officially moving our offices to Herndon, just a few miles from Jeffro's office, matter of fact. However, they understand that many people will not want to go, will help us with our job search, let us take time off to interview, give us references, etc. so this provides a perfect out of my job for me without anyone's feelings getting hurt and without having to sneak around and interview. So I am taking the easy way out.

I hate what I do--the actual tasks themselves are boring and not what I want to be doing--so there's no reason to stay. I had two very interesting conversations yesterday that confirmed that I should leave:

1. My boss has said she's not leaving anytime soon, so that doesn't give me any promotional opportunity to stop doing the work I don't like doing. And doesn't give me any hope of getting out from underneath her micromanaging thumb.
2. The CEO, who it was rumored wanted to promote me, gave me no indication of that in a closed door conversation with him. Rather, he staunchly defended my boss (despite rumors that he and my boss were clashing) and he made it really clear that he didn't mind her micromanaging style because it got results. Who cares if everyone is unhappy because of it? Basically, reading between the lines, if it's a choice between her or me, I'm not wanted there. I was very surprised at his lack of support.

So I thought the writing on the wall seemed really clear, and like I said this is a great opportunity to get out without having to sneak around, plus I can get great references. Who can beat that? So ladies and gentlemen, I'll be gone hopefully before our move in January.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Going to Herndon

Well, it seems the rumor about our company moving to Herndon is true. The CEO called a staff meeting for tomorrow morning, and today all the senior execs from the department that would be taking our space were over in our area with their blueprints, floorplans, and tape measures, practically kicking people out right then and there. I am not happy. And I will not be going.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tired of Work

I am so sick of going to the same place every day dealing with the same psycho annoying boss and all the crap. I have *got* to continue to send out resumes, but this week has just completely gotten away from me and I haven't had any time. I vacuumed and cleaned Monday night (much needed), last night was drum class, and tonight I have to finish a speech for Toastmasters and pay some bills. Maybe watch the Lost recap show, we'll see. I just hate work with a passion. It's so useless and pointless and unsatisfying. I only get 4 hours every night to get everything packed into my "life" before I'm exhausted. Four hours to do whatever hobby you are interested in, try to work out or do something good for yourself, plus make dinner and do all the errands, chores and crap that have to get done in life. I'm sooooooo sick of it. Whose idea was it to work 8 hours a day? Tack on a commute and you've used up 11 of your 16-ish viable hours in a day. What a stupid, ridiculous society we live in where we get four hours at night before we're too exhausted to do anything else and have to go to bed. Then you get up in the morning and start all over again. What kind of life is that?

Why doesn't anyone ever tell you how bad working life really is? Well, maybe they do but you just ignore them anyway and hope and wish and wait to be grown up so you can get a job and start your life. Then you find out that there is no life. That it's ridiculous and stressed and packed with a bunch of crap you absolutely don't want to do--shouldn't have to do. One of these days I'm just gonna go wacko and do something nuts like quit, sell my place, and move to the backwoods. Excuse my rant, I just had to get that off my chest. I'm so over my life right now. It's all just a bunch of crap.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Day At Tarara

For our third anniversary Jeffro and I decided to do something different than the usual "go out to dinner" and we took a little day trip, as I am always wanting to do. We went to Tarara, a Virginia winery out near Leesburg. I highly recommend it for a day away. We went to their Great Grape Wine Festival, which had all sorts of food and craft vendors, live music, winery and cave tours, kayaking and canoeing on their lake, and hayrides sans hay. All summer long they apparently have live concerts on the weekends at sunset, and many people get married there in their pavilion. They also have apple and blackberry orchards, so you could have picked your own apples. (Next year I would love to go with Lady Brett and DH or MJ, this place is right up their alley.) But the best part was--despite being completely out of chardonnay and pinot gris, my two favorites--their wine wasn't half bad (usually VA wines suck)!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

What To Do?

I can't believe this . . . this is a typical example of what not to do by email. I had a phone interview yesterday and wrote a nice thank you note. She replied and all was well. 10 minutes later I got another email from her that was accidentally sent to me when it was supposed to go to some guy, presumably her boss. Here's the email:

I did a phone screen on her. I don’t think she has what we need for DOM but could be a good candidate for Marketing Manager. Unless you see otherwise I am going to TD her this week and let her know the Marketing Manger could be a better fit.

Presumably TD is turn down or something. Question is, do I write her back and let her know this didn't get to the right person, or do I just let it go? If I write her back, I could potentially embarrass her and not get offered the MM job. If I don't, and she discovers her error, she may wonder why I never said anything. So here is your job, and time is OF THE ESSENCE, write a comment and let me know: do I write her back? Vote yes or no.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Your Midweek Update

Well, I emerge finally after my crazy week that actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But I am glad that it's halfway over. I heard back from the interview last week, they hired someone else who had already worked in the industry. I had a phone interview today, not sure how it went, but I think it went ok. So we'll see what happens. I will write my thank you note after this. And I had a call about another potential interview. So I'll just keep sending things out and interviewing until something hits.

I'm actually feeling a little under the weather, so I'm trying not to get sick. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Caution: Busy Week Ahead

I was so zonked this weekend I hardly did anything at all except run some errands and go to a book club meeting today that was extremely boring. The book sucked and I didn't get through 1/2 of it, so this meeting wasn't really all that great. I'll stick it out for a few more meetings and see if the book choices get any better, otherwise, I'm ditching it.

Some cool things this weekend: had a call from a very old friend who I hadn't talk to in probably 2 years. Turns out he moved back to Phoenix, and since Jeffro and I are headed there in October, I made plans to see him during that visit. My neighbor is fostering a cute little boxer puppy, so I got a chance to get to visit with her. So very cute! Wish I had time, space, or energy for a puppy.

This week is going to be very busy. My Thurs drum class got moved to Monday night, and I have a parking committee meeting on Tuesday, so the beginning of this week is basically shot. I can't wait till Weds evening when I will get my first moment to breathe.

The exciting news of the week is I have an interview on Weds that could potentially pay big bucks, so I've spent a little time this weekend trying to start preparing.

That's it for now. I probably won't have a chance to blog until at least Weds. Have a good week!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

So. Tired.

Jeffro and I are just exhausted. This was a really busy week for some reason and just flew by. My interview on Thursday went pretty well, but it's basically a ton of work for less money than I get right now and a worse commute. So I'm thinking probably "no" even though the place would be a great place to work, probably my ideal job situation. This weekend we're slowing things down and taking it easy, trying to get some much-needed rest. Jeffro took this photo when we walked the dogs last night. A lot of dog owners were out, so there was a lot of socializing going on. This is my dog with neighbor dog Murphy, a shih-tzu who is a princess whose mother dresses her up in little outfits.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Another Interview

I don't want to curse myself, but I have an interview this week. I had a phone interview with this organization yesterday (happy birthday to me!) and I have an interview either Thursday or Friday this week, we are firming up the date. I don't want to get too excited, but this could be really, really cool. I'll write more details if something comes of this whole thing.

Monday, September 11, 2006

They Say It's Your Birthday . . .

Yes, it's true, today is my birthday and I took the day off work. Actually they give you your b-day as a holiday. My question is, who ordered up this crappy weather? Usually the weather is just gorgeous. Even five years ago, when the day was tragic, I remember ironically blue skies. The only good thing about this kind of weather is the dogs let me sleep in. I plan on getting a pedicure and doing a couple other little things to celebrate today.

This weekend was pretty good. I decided to use my grill one last time during the season and had Lady Brett over. Last night Jeffro and I went to see Marah at Iota, and it was pretty decent, except the lead singer was sick and I think they probably cut the show short accordingly.

Tonight to celebrate, Jeffro and I are having dinner at Circle Bistro and I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Got a Bite

Well, I sent my resumes out this past weekend and I have a bite already! I had a call today to schedule a phone interview. It's one of the jobs I really wanted to be considered for. Yeah me! The interview is not until the 20th, but I can be patient. Woo hoo! Great way to start the weekend.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

September is National Piano Month

Check it out and go buy one, take lessons, go crazy!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Met His Fate

It was reported today that Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray when filming a special off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It's always been my theory--and his death confirms this--that people who tempt fate like this, and do really stupid things thinking that they won't get killed, will get killed in the end. I do feel badly for his family (he has a young son) but he just kept pushing everything his entire life. What do you expect? If you don't want to die early you should just be a stupid paper pusher like the rest of us. Of course, that doesn't guarantee anything, and hell, he was probably a lot richer and happier than say, me, but it sure makes it a little less likely that you're gonna be killed by a stingray. And personally, I found him extremely annoying and never watched his shows.
The Heat Is On!

Well, it's official. I've jumped in with both feet to the world of job hunting. After a few extremely frustrating days last week I decided I've had enough. No one's come through on verifying those rumors from a few weeks ago, so I gotta do what's best for me. Plus I'm not making enough money to even cover my bills, so it's time to move on. I've finished updating my resume and turned on and updated all my previous search engines, so I'm back in business!

This was a pretty good and busy weekend. I got a lot done. Jeffro and I actually made inroads on cleaning up the basement to get his stuff moved in, so that felt really good. I just don't know where all the time went this weekend, and I'm very happy for this additional day. Which reminds me, I better get to vacuuming.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sad Dog Week

My dog is sick once again with diarrhea, and I was up virtually all last night taking her out--I swear we went out like 10 times. It was awful. And the night before she got me up 3 times in the middle of the night. I'm exhausted. We went to the vet today for meds and another $125 vet bill to basically tell me she ate some crap on the ground. Duh! The problem is, once she starts going, she doesn't stop without spending $100+ at the vet. Sigh.

The other sad doggie news is my dogsitter's dog Leo, a standard poodle who was only 3 years old, had to be put down last night. He had a very rapidly spreading cancer and he was in pretty bad shape apparently. Poor boy. He was such a good dog.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I'm Back . . .

Well, I'm finally back and blogging again. It was definitely a long week. I think I'm going to head to the pool this afternoon for a little R&R. I spent the morning doing some much-needed cleaning. So I survived my conference. It actually wasn't as bad as I'd thought. I'd been warned many times about how psycho my boss and this other lady would be, and there were some psycho moments, but not nearly as bad as I thought. Here are some highlights of my week:

1. Stayed at the Nashville Airport Marriott. Despite its proximity to the airport and $20 cab ride to downtown Nashville, this was a very nice facility with awesome chocolate cake on the menu and a bed to die for. You can even order the bed for a mere $1,100. I have the brochure somewhere, and I may seriously think about it.

2. Inadvertently challenged the CEO to do a shot of Patron tequila during our staff dinner the first night at the Stock-Yard Restaurant. Let me tell you, that is one awesome tequila.

3. Visited the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry for many years. Unfortunately, neither place had any live music while I was there. I also took a tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame, which was awesome. The woman I went with liked it, and she doesn't like country music. I recommended it to someone else, and he said it was better than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The featured special exhibit was Ray Charles. I thought the coolest things were Elvis's diamond and gold car, the gold and platinum albums on the wall, and of course the hall of fame itself.

4. Ate at B.B. King's Blues Club. My only free night, the company paid for shuttle buses to take everyone downtown. Since we were at the airport, downtown was a $20 cab ride, so I didn't want to go too often. It turns out my coworker and his friend went, so I had some people to hang out with. I had the pulled pork BBQ and it was quite tasty. There was live music, but it wasn't blues as you'd expect. Just some regular rock-n-roll band. The highlight of the restaurant was the restroom attendant who had almost died and was really thankful for her life. I had no dollar bills to tip her, so she said she'd settle for a hug.

5. Spoke in front of 400 people and didn't choke or pass out. I guess my Toastmasters experience paid off, as I was able to survive this very traumatic thing. The chair of the board of directors and many others said I did a good job, so that made me feel great. I feel even better than the whole thing is over.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Off Til Friday, Ya'll

I'm headed to Nashville tomorrow morning for our annual conference. I'll be there until Friday, so no postings this week. Have a great one, I'm sure yours will be better than mine. I've heard this conference is hell. If I didn't already want to quit, I'm sure this trip would make me.
New Sugarland Release

Mark your calendar for November 7, when the new Sugarland CD, Enjoy the Ride, is coming out. I'd include a photo but blogger has decided not to cooperate.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


There's some crazy stuff going on at work . . . rumors of my boss and the big boss not getting along and things coming to a showdown of sorts. Rumors that the rumors about moving out to Herndon are really true. Rumors that when we move to Herndon we're downsizing staff and everyone in my department but me is getting the ax. Rumors that I am getting my boss's job. Rumors that we're all getting raises if we move to compensate for the horrific gas prices, rumors that we will get casual dress and either reduced hours or telecommuting. If all these rumors are true, this could potentially be great. I'm really excited, but if it happens I'll be really scared to be running the show. But after all, that's what I keep saying I want, right?

Tonight was drum class and they're trying to get me to do this complicated little solo thing. I couldn't get it very well and was getting really frustrated. They need to keep in mind I'm just a beginner too.

Tomorrow night is part 2 of my sleep study where I get to wear the mask and see if I can tolerate it, and if it will help me. Things are too busy. I need to go to sleep.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Jon on Larry

Jon Bon Jovi was on Larry King Live tonight. Pretty cool interview. Can you believe he's 44? What a great life he's had.
Squirrel Overboard

I witnessed the weirdest thing tonight. I was walking the dogs and there was a loud ruckus overhead in the trees and all of a sudden something fell to the ground with a loud plop. I looked over and it looked like a rat lying on the ground. An adult squirrel raced down the tree to get to it, but stopped and retreated when it saw the dogs. What I thought was a rat turned out to be a baby squirrel, so small that its tail had no fur and that made it look like a rat. It started crying and it was so pitiful. I had to walk away because I wanted to give the mama squirrel a chance to get the baby, but I did go back later that night to see what happened, and by then there was a small crowd gathered and one man put it in a shoe box to take to the shelter/wildlife rescue. Wow, the drama. I hope the squirrel will be ok.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Exhaustion Continues

Well, this weekend was quite a whirlwind of wedding and cleaning. Yes, quite the range of activities. Jeffro and I had a wedding to go to in Charlottesville, and since we didn't have the resources to stay overnight, we made it a day trip. The wedding was quite lovely, at the UVA chapel, and reception following at a beautiful country club. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. How a gorgeous, low-humidy weekend happened in mid-August is beyond me. We had a decent enough time at the wedding, but left around 9 to get back to DC and drop of Jeffro's friend who went with us. Sunday we spent the day cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. I cancelled the one fun thing I was supposed to do at night cause I was on a roll and wanted to get things done. We even made a trip to Goodwill. Now the week starts again and I am just exhausted. I leave for Nashville next week, and it will be a week out of the office, which is good, but a week with the office folks, including my boss, which is not good. I have to give a big speech next Weds, so after that, I'm just golden.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Week. End.

What a long week, even though I only worked 4 days. Why? I called in sick for the first time in 8 months. That's pretty impressive for someone who averaged once a month at their old job. I pulled my back on Monday night trying to move some stuff and it was quite painful. I had to go in Tuesday to supervise the intern, but I decided Weds not to go in. I've been feeling really run down this week too, plus I had to kick Jeffro's butt to get the rest of his stuff out of his old apartment. So he played hooky too and we got the apartment cleared out.

Other exciting news this week, I had my third drum group class. This time the singer didn't show up, so I got to play singer for the night and it was quite fun. I was even able to keep drumming while doing it. I think I'll be the next Karen Carpenter. They said that in class--I had forgotten that she had played the drums. It was really exciting to sing, I think maybe this is something I have to do more often.

So it's finally Friday, I had tea at the Ritz today with my boss to celebrate my 6-month anniversary two months and two cancellations (on her part) ago. It was actually a really nice affair for a mere $34 per person, which included a pot of tea, tiny little sandwiches and pastries, and a scone. It wasn't as stressful as I thought, and I didn't tell her how psycho she really is cause I do need to keep my job after all.

This weekend Jeffro and I head off to Charlottesville for yet another wedding and Sunday night I might go to a book club with some friends.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Weekend in Jersey

Jeffro and I attended a very ritzy wedding this past weekend in Northern Jersey. It actually was a great weekend, aside from having to attend a full mass, too much driving and late nights. It was nice to get out of town and the stress here. We drove up Friday night to stay with his mom, and the wedding was Saturday. The reception was at this great place in Mountain Lakes. We arrived at the reception to champagne with raspberries served as you walked in the foyer. We then proceeded to the appetizer "around the world" room, where there were 5 different food stations, each representing different food--Chinese (complete with cute take-out containers), Italian, seafood, antipasto, and one that had grilled tuna and lamb. You could have eaten enough there for dinner, and I think most people did. For dinner I had the sea bass, and Jeffro had filet mignon. Even the wedding cake was awesome and if that wasn't enough, they passed plates of cookies and had cookies available with little take-home bags in the foyer as you left. It was most impressive and I have to say I ate a ton. The 8-piece band was amazing too, with three strong singers. All in all, I had a great time getting to know Jeffro's friends. One couple we hung out with is getting married in October and we're going to their wedding, so I'm excited to see them again.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Miserable Week

This week has been the absolute pits. Shall I share my whole list why or just the top 10?

1. Extreme heat conditions
2. Extreme heat conditions causing metro delays
3. Extreme heat conditions when walking uncooperative dogs
4. Extreme heat conditions causing my exhaustion
4. Very stressed at work with psycho boss micromanaging my life and too many projects
5. Very stressed at work with meeting coming up where I have to speak in front of 400 people
5. Very stressed at home with Jeffro's stuff everywhere and no hope of ever unpacking cause we're both too busy to deal with it.
6. Trip this weekend to a wedding in NJ. Leaving tonight to drive 3 hours to Jeffro's mom. Drive 3 more hours tomorrow to get to wedding. Drive 3 hours after wedding back to his mom. Drive 3 more hours back home on Sunday. Does this sound fun?
7. Trip this weekend and next both involving weddings. Always the bridesmaid never the bride makes for a crabby wedding attendee.
8. Trip next weekend means also no unpacking.
9. Weekend following next I leave for my meeting in Nashville
10. Very stressed with some neighborhood stuff going on and also my next overnight for the sleep apnea study.

Ok, I'll end on a good note. I did have a good moment today--my boss called in sick so I got to miss what was my rescheduled 6-month review. We'll now have to reschedule again. I didn't want to have it cause I can't tell her I hate it there but it will be hard to bite my tongue!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Diagnosis Confirmed

Well, it's official. I do have a mild case of sleep apnea. The doctor called me today. My options are a dental device that costs $1,500-$3,000 and isn't covered by insurance, surgery which has a cure rate of 12% and improvement rate of only 60%, or a sexy facial mask to wear when you sleep that is covered by insurance. So unfortunately I'm choosing option 3 for now, but will talk to the doctor at some point about surgery. Sigh.

Well, Jeffro and I had our first guests over after he moved in this weekend. Lady Brett joined us, as well as my upstairs neighbor. I was in a cooking and entertaining mood. I made fresh salsa with a recipe I found in the paper for Guapo's salsa and it was amazing if I do say so myself. I made a black bean and corn salad and grilled some London broil . . . it could have cooked a little less, but it wasn't too bad. For dessert I made a blueberry buckle that I'd had at someone else's party and again it could have cooked a little less. But it was fun and I think everyone had a good time.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


This has been a really crazy week, but then again, how many times do I say that? I guess I just have a crazy life. Here's a highlight of the past few days:

Thursday night I had my first group music/drum class. It was all the way out in Chevy Chase, but worth the drive. The idea behind it is to play in a group setting, but to learn as you go along. The group I'm in consists of all beginners. The crazy things is there are multiple people playing one instrument, so for example we had 2 bass players and 3 guitarists. It made for a little craziness and I'm not sure I liked it. Since I was the lone drummer, I felt like I wasn't loud enough! But it was fun, and I'm looking forward to next week.

Friday night I had a sleep study to find out if I have sleep apnea. They were supposed to call today to talk to me, but I haven't heard yet. I went to one of those sleep clinics where they hook you up to crazy electrodes and machines and expect you to be able to sleep in a strange setting. Right . . . It took me 2 hours to fall asleep, when normally it's like 5 minutes and then I was disturbed by talking at 4 a.m. and woken up to leave at 5:30. It was not a fun night. Then today . . .

Jeffro moved in and we spent the morning doing that. He's still napping, I got up a little while ago. I've been semi-productive, working on a friend's resume, but I should be rearranging the disaster that is now my basement. But I guess there's plenty of time for that. Tonight is grocery shopping and then trying to get some things set up at the house.

Tomorrow we're having a small cookout with a couple of people. It should be a good time and I figure, hey, we gotta eat anyway and we're gonna need a break from the moving stuff.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Rest of the Weekend

It was quite the busy weekend. Saturday I got together with my friend Kin to celebrate her upcoming birthday. I forget the name of the restaurant, but we went to a good new Japanese/sushi place in Falls Church. That night Jeffro and I went to the 9:30 Club to see some local bands. I forgot how much I like Honor by August. Sunday I wasn't going to do anything, but thought I'd keep myself distracted by helping my friend who is fostering a dog. We went out to Petco in Chantilly for a Pet Adoption Day sponsored by A Forever Home. It's a good cause, and the dogs were cute, but the adoption prices were very offputting and turned some people away. My friend and I brought home Guapo's for dinner and had some yummy margaritas. Then I went around the neighborhood getting more signatures for my parking petition. I'm halfway there.

On a sadder note, I would be remiss not to say that Sunday was the 20th anniversary of my father's death, and it was a hard day to get through. So I was happy to have a distraction all day.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Drums, Parking and Resumes

Those of you who have been reading my blog know that I've been taking drum lessons for a little bit now. My drum teacher called last night with an opportunity to essentially join a 7-week band. He's having a group class where people who are learning the instruments get together to form a band and get to learn how to play in a "real" situation. So for the next 7 weeks, that's what I'll be doing. I have to drive all the way up to Chevy Chase, but I think it will be a great experience.

I'm also apparently now on the parking committee for my association! I decided to formally do something about all of my griping, so we'll see what comes of this.

And resumes . . . I am currently helping 3 different friends with their job stuff, revising resumes, reference lists, etc. Then I am going to start working on my own and start looking for yet another job. I want to be out by the year's end, so I figure I should start now.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Applause, Applause

Well, the budget meeting was interesting. About 25 or so people showed up. In a condo complex with over 1,700 units, that's not a great turnout, but apparently it's more than most years. People were really up in arms about the projected 7+ percent fee increase that could go up to as much as 15 percent, which I didn't realize. Anyway, I actually knew a few people there which was nice. The meeting got pretty contentious, and I actually made 2 comments, the first of which I got a huge round of applause. That was really awesome and unexpected. But I guess I made a good point and many people felt the way that I did. So it was gratifying and worth it to go just for that. After that comment, I just wanted to walk out the door and bask in my victory, but I sat through the whole 2-hour meeting anyway. It will be interesting to see what the board does with all of this information. They're making a final decision at the August 2 board meeting, so I guess I'll put that on my calendar as well. Maybe I'll have the parking petition signed by then and go and argue that too.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hollywood Shocker

Well, another Hollywood marriage bites the dust, and what a shock this one is: Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra. I guess now Dave is free to pursue his co-host Brooke Burke on Rock Star: Supernova, although there are rumors out there that maybe he plays for the other team on occasion. If you scroll down far enough in the linked article you can read all about it. If you care.
The Heat is On

Boy has it been hot here. But I guess you could say that from juts about anywhere in the country, right now. It's so hot my dogs don't feel like walking right now so we're hanging out in the cool basement for a bit first.

Things have been crazy this week at work. The boss is traveling the rest of the week, which is awesome. And the intern is done with her duties for the week, so I get some peace and quiet to actually get some work done tomorrow. I am feeling overwhelmed and every day my boss thinks of some new task to do.

Tomorrow night I plan to the budget meeting for my condo association and speak out against a proposed 7% increase in condo fees. A year ago I would never have considered doing this, so I guess my membership in Toastmasters is paying off after all. Wish me luck. Gosh I need another vacation.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

My weekend definitely had a little bit of everything. First the good. Friday night Jeffro and I dinner at Matuba, our favorite local sushi restaurant. Saturday we went blueberry picking with Lady Brett at Butler's Orchard and came home with 5 lbs. of blueberries. Then we went to lunch at this cool Amish market in Germantown. Saturday night I went to a party at the Old Dominion Boat Club and had a pretty fun time dancing to the music of DC Motors. A good friend was there that I hadn't seen in a while, so I hung out with her and we got ice cream on our way back home. Today I have a doggy playdate (hopefully it won't be too hot) and then dinner with my neighbor. These are all good things.

However, the weekend has definitely had its share of aggravation. Friday night while trying to park at Matuba, someone who works for a competing restaurant next door was trying to block access to the parking lot, saying that only people eating at his restaurant were allowed to park there. Being a long-time customer, I knew this wasn't true, but others believed this guy and tried to find someplace else to park. Since parking was tight that night, he was essentially turning Matuba customers away. I confirmed with Matuba that this guy shouldn't be claiming the lot was only for his restaurant, and got in a yelling match with the parking Nazi. Yes we did wind up parking there anyway, even though he tried not to let our car in. I called the police, who said unfortunately it's private property and they have no jurisdiction.

Saturday I received a copy of the proposed budget for my condo association for the next year, which includes a proposed 7% increase in condo fees. With this increase, my fees have increased more than $75 over the past 6 years. The reason for the increase is unacceptable: they're saying that it's due to all the "unexpected flooding" recently. I don't know how the flooding could be unexpected when they have known for many years that the same units keep flooding over and over again. There are structural problems to the buildings which they are not fixing. I call it irresponsible management of money and I'm prepared to go to the budget meeting this week and give some remarks to that effect.

This morning started with a call at 8:30 a.m. from my prescription drug company. They called and didn't get an answer, so they called back. Since it was 8:30 on a weekend, I thought it must be some sort of emergency and picked up the phone. Instead it was my drug company processing my prescription and needing to verify my address. This had to be done at 8:30 on a Sunday? Were their computers broken and they couldn't find my address? I yelled at this woman and asked why she was calling so early. She told me she was authorized to call anytime after 8 a.m., and I asked who authorized her. Anyway, it was all ugly and unpleasant and not the way to start a Sunday morning. Needless to say, I called the company back and asked for a manager to put in a complaint about their policy of calling between 8 and 9 a.m. on the weekends. Luckily the woman was nice and understanding, and didn't realize this was going on .

I don't know if any of this fighting back will change anything, but quite frankly I'm sick of just taking everyone's crap and accepting everyone else's policies and decisions without saying anything. I'm also hoping for some peace and quiet the rest of today.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Metro Upgrading Service?

I heard a nice public service announcement today about how metro is striving to upgrade service. Upgrade service? When are they trying to do that? And where? Maybe in some other country? The metro has been worse than ever lately. It took me an hour to get home tonight. Metro insists on running 4-car yellow trains during rush hour. I can't tell you how many times now I have missed a train because it was simply too crowded to get on. Apparently this morning it was "all 4-cars all the time" on both blue and yellow when I got to the Pentagon. It is just unbelievable. I have decided that every time I miss a train, metro will get another complaint email from me. I'm starting to write really mean stuff like "you suck" and "thanks for the continued inefficient service." It makes me feel better. If I have to be miserable, so does the person reading my email. Between the 4-car trains, sometimes waiting 8 minutes for the next train, and the escalators never working, it's amazes me Metro functions every day. Soon they'll be raising rates again to provide this wonderful service upgrade. Can you tell I'm pissed? Don't even get me started on the bus service that has gotten completely packed too because people are finally deciding they've had enough of gas prices and are taking public transportation. Have I mentioned how awful it is to start and end every friggin day dealing with all this crap? Luckily I bought a lottery ticket tonight, so I guess I'll give my notice tomorrow at work and then never leave my house.
Armageddon, Part 3

Well, if the recent floods in my building and lightening strike weren't enough for you, this morning a transformer blew and all the power went out before I could put makeup on and dry my hair. Luckily it's like a sauna out so I won't catch cold having gone to work with wet hair (and of course I took a huge bag of hair implements with me to fix my hair when I got to work). So I called my condo association to let them know, and then I called Dominion Power to report the outage. They have a completely automated system now to report a power loss:

Press 1 to report a power outage
Please enter your phone number or account number
Press 1 to confirm that your name is XXX
Press 1 if you have no electricity at all
Thank you for reporting your power outage. If you want to add anything to your report, press 1
Press 1 if you heard an explosion

I guess transformers blowing must be pretty common these days.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Let's just say my weekend wasn't all it was cracked up to be. My 13-year old dog was sick all weekend, and I mean with diarrhea. Now, given the fact that a dog can't get to a bathroom by itself, let's just say I was preoccupied with this the entire weekend. I had to miss seeing Jeffro play at Austin Grill on Saturday night, plus the dog kept waking me like every 2 hours to go out. I had a vet tech appointment already scheduled for Saturday, but they couldn't see me about the "situation," so I had to go back Sunday as well. The whole weekend cost me over $400 in vet bills. I wish I had a rewind button to do over, but without the dog-doo part of it.

And in the world of work, my boss was out sick for 3 days plus the holiday last week, and she'll be out tomorrow. So that is good news. I found out I have an out-of-office meeting Wednesday morning, and Friday morning I go to the doctor, so I won't have a full week of work. Maybe I'll survive after all.
DC's Iron Chef

I was lucky enough to catch the airing last night of Iron Chef with Washington DC's Morou. Click here to catch it again when it airs in reruns. It was battle "peas" and I must say there was a hilarious moment when one of the judges said something about the "pea-ness" of the dish and the other judge started cracking up. The judge who said it totally didn't intend it as it sounded. It was a good battle all around, and I guess I won't tell you who wins in case you decide to see for yourself. The Washington Post's Reliable Source yesterday had an article about Morou opening a new restaurant in September, taking over the Sutton Place Gourmet's Blue Point Grill in Old Town and renaming it Farrah Olivia by Morou. Since my birthday and anniversary with Jeffro are both in September, I'd be willing to bet a visit there sometime soon after it opens.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sudoku Anyone?

Well, I've finally caught on to the Sudoku craze, even though I'm still on the easy puzzles. For those of you who are bored at work, check out this free online puzzle.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Staying Afloat

More rain again today. Will it ever end? Things have been nutty as usual. I have to be "Toastmaster of the Day" tomorrow in Toastmasters, and I'm kind of nervous about it. It's been a huge pain in the you-know-what to organize. Basically you have to run the entire meeting, including securing speakers and stuff. Remind me to never be a meeting organizer.

The Fourth was pretty fun and low-key. I got up late, did a crossword puzzle and an easy Sudoku with Jeffro (the only ones I can solve are easy!) then headed to the pool for some R&R. I am the biggest wimp about getting in the water, but it was so hot that I literally jumped right in at one point without really even feeling the temperature. It was heavenly. That evening I was supposed to be hosting a little BBQ for Jeffro and my neighbor, but just after I got the grill set up the storm clouds started moving in. So I covered the grill and used the stove to broil instead. Not quite as much fun, but it worked.

Today felt like Monday, but thank God it's not and the week is almost over. I still have been too chicken to plug in my TV again, and I'm having an electrician come out Friday to look over the wiring first. Between that and my six month review with my boss off-site, I'll barely be in the office all day, which is good and bad. I'm totally swamped, but totally stressed and can use a day off. Guess this is the closest thing I'll get for a while.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Weekend Excitement

Well, there was plenty of excitement and drama this weekend, much of it not good. I had a small tiff with my sister, among others. I was consequently in a pretty bad mood for much of the weekend. The highlight of the weekend was Lady Brett's party on Saturday. Check out her blog for a great couscous salad recipe. And look through the archives for her famous black bean and corn recipe. Makes me want to have a party and make some great food. Maybe later this summer. Today's drama came in the form of yet more torrential rains for the DC area. This time it came with a dramatic thunderstorm, and lightening hit the building attached to mine. Apparently it hit the chimney, but it sounded like glass exploding. I screamed cause it was so loud and startling, then looked outside to see if my outside light (or anyone else's) had been hit. I couldn't see anything, so I went about my business and soon smelled a little smoke. I thought I'd call my neighbor to see if she smelled anything and looked outside and saw 2 huge firetrucks and an ambulance. They found where the building had been hit and couldn't find anything on fire, so after a few minutes they went on their way. Nothing like a little drama to liven a Sunday night. I just discovered that my TV upstairs isn't working. I just flipped a circuit to see if that will help, need to go back up and check it out.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Plans Foiled

Well, tonight I was actually going to get up the courage to go to an open mic jam at Bankok Blues in Falls Church, where my drum teacher was hosting, and jam with some strangers. This would be my first real foray into playing with a full band. I was scared and excited, and left the house to go, but the roads are just too awful so I decided to turn around and go home. I'm hoping that my teacher will host again soon, cause I would feel more comfortable going if he is there. Although Jeffro offered to come and jam there too.

And this rain is just unreal. It took me two hours to get to work this morning on the metro, which flooded. Interesting how the underground structure couldn't handle the rain. I wonder if it will be the same tomorrow? I was supposed to go to an off-site meeting tomorrow morning and would have gotten to miss the worst of the commute, but my psycho boss called me at home tonight to tell me to come into the office instead and we'd figure out plan B for the meeting. What a bitch. I think she just couldn't handle the fact that the off-site meeting started at 10:30 so I'd be getting two free hours of nonwork.

My neighbor's basement flooded, so I am praying that I am not next.