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.