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Archive for March, 2009

Today was a pretty good day at work.  I could go into all of it, but instead I’ll give you the high and low.  Which happened to be the same event.

After a long day of actually making some strides on projects I’ve been assigned to, I went to a meeting with a celebrity.  I’m pretty sure this was done just to make me feel better about my pittance of a salary.  And, boy oh boy, did it ever!

See, I’m not moved by most of the crap that goes on on Capitol Hill.  Members of Congress, members of the Cabinet, foreign leaders.  Yada.  Yada.  Yada.  Been there, done that.

But a musician.  Wow – I’m so there.

And it got better.

So we had this awkward little meeting with the celebrity, his entourage, my boss, and me.  Which was actually kind of a sweet lovefest – as opposed to the annoying lovefests (and trust, there are a lot of those).  When the musician got up to leave, I made my move.  See, I failed to say hello to him on his way into the room; he was caught up in the lovefest with my boss.  But on his way out, I extended my hand with the intention to 1) shake his hand, 2) say thank you for coming to visit with us, and 3) tell him that I love his music.

Good plan, right?  I thought so.  But I’m not always so suave when I’m nervous.

Okay, so I extended my hand, preset script at the ready.  He takes my hand, pulls it toward him, and moves very close to me.  I was flustered to say the least.

That’s when it happened.  He kissed me.  On the cheek, of course.  This isn’t a porno!  But I was sufficiently flustered and could find no words.  My entire preset script just vanished.

So I just stood there, staring at him.  Luckily, he had the wherewithal to let go of my hand, which was in a super grip at that point, and walk out the door.

I have very little recollection of anything that happened after that.  But I know I liked it.

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This past Saturday night, I went to a dinner party at AM and MB’s place.  AM was hosting a few friends from NJ and asked me to join.  A free meal – with plenty of alcohol – plus a little Hoopla?  I’m there.  And it was well worth it.

With the exception of having a bizarre convo with MC’s boyfriend – which included me, very passionately and very drunkenly, describing, badly, my very strong feelings about the state of America’s newspapers (trust me, I was as surprised as anyone about this drunken and disconnected convo) – the night was a success.

And, as you might have guessed from the above description, I drank too much.  Way too much.

Feeling as though it was not a good idea to tempt fate and try to drive myself home, I slept at AM’s.  Good decision all around.

The next morning, after yet another fantastic meal provided by Team AM/MB, I headed home.  I was a little worse for wear and was anxiously anticipating putting on my pjs and laying on the couch for most or all of the day.

I got home, parked illegally, as I am apt to do (on weekends especially… and when I’m feeling lazy), and walked toward my front door.

That’s when it happened.

So I think I’ve explained that I am not really a nature girl.  I’ve gotten much better about it over time.  But generally speaking, I don’t care for wildlife.  This includes incests, animals, wide-open spaces, and otherwise dangerous locales.  You would think that, in Dupont Circle, I would have little, if any, trouble avoiding nature.

But you’d be wrong.

So I approach the front door and notice that there is a squirrel hanging out in front.  Okay, so it’s a squirrel.  I’m bigger, stronger, and faster than a squirrel.  Even in my current unhealthy state, I know these things to be true.  But this squirrel worried me.

And here’s why.

This guy just wouldn’t get off the front step of my apartment building.  No, as I approached the door, this guy turned around and got into a very aggressive stance in front of me while staring dead into my face.

It wasn’t quite this:

Or this, really:

But this guy looked committed to protecting the front porch.  Seriously, this guy was looking for a fight.  And, truth be told, I was fearing this:

On a different day, I would have been ready for this showdown, and I would have been all in.  But in my broken state, I just wanted to lay down.

Still, I have a hard time walking away from a bully.  So I decided to take a step toward the squirrel and use my extreme size to scare him away.

What did this guy do, you ask?  Oh, this guy took a step toward me.  WHAT THE…  Yeah.

Now we locked eyes.  Still committed to my largess being key, I stepped to the right.  He STEPPED TO THE RIGHT.  I stepped to the left.  He STEPPED TO THE LEFT.

Seriously, what the fuck is going on here?!?!

At this point, some woman with way too large sunglasses and an i-Pod approached.  I was right in the middle of the sidewalk, trying to keep a safe distance from this deranged squirrel.  Clearly annoyed that I was in the middle of the sidewalk, this woman looked at me and saw that I had a situation on my hands.  She jumped a little when she saw that squirrel in that aggressive stance of his, just staring at me, and said, “Oh, no!  He looks so scared.”

Okay, so this is the thing I don’t understand about “animal” people.  He’s scared?  This is what you’re telling me?  This guy in the aggressive stance, eye-balling me and refusing to abide by the unspoken rules of the urban wild – which is, essentially, I won’t kill you if you move out of the way – he’s the scared one?  This is what you’re saying?  Fuck that!  I was the scared one here.  I was the one who was merely trying to drag my hungover ass home after responsibly avoiding driving the night before.  Scared?  No, this is not how I would describe this guy.  Rabid?  Antagonistic?  Completely irritating?  All yes.  Scared?  Fuck that.

Realizing that my strategy wasn’t working, I decided to just walk away.  Turns out, all this little bastard wanted to do was prove a point.  Because as soon as I walked back across the street, he went on with his day of smelling flowers, searching for acorns, and crapping on himself.

But I believe I got the last laugh.  Because I got inside.  And I sat on the couch all day.

Okay, so maybe he did win this one.  Well done, Mr. Squirrel.  Well done.  Till we meet again.

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I have survived my first week of work and can tell you one thing definitively – I don’t hate this job.

This is more than noteworthy for me.  Shocking in fact.  Typically, by some point on Day 1 or 2 I’ve decided that I am not long for this place, and/or I can’t stand at least one – if not more – of my coworkers.

Well, hell hath frozen over, folks.  After a full week of working in close quarters with these people, not only do I not hate the actual work associated with this job, I still haven’t found anything to dislike about anyone I work with.  Heck, I might actually want to be friends with these people.

Pause here for a second.

ALJ has already inquired as to whether I’ve found my BFF.  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Those of you keeping up know that my friends have a theory – and I don’t think they’re wrong – that I need a work BFF in order to find any joy from my work experience.  Now, it’s not like I just pick anyone to be my work-BFF.  I take my time and make sure it’s not just my need to walk with someone to get lunch, but instead there is real compatibility.  I mean, I am ultimately looking for an actual friend and not a “work” friend.

So, ALJ, to answer your question – no, I haven’t found my BFF yet.  But I’m in no rush to find one.  I like everyone enough that – wait for it – I might not need a BFF at this job.  Stranger things have happened.

Anyway, back to the original point of this post.  I don’t hate this job.  But there have been a number of annoying issues that have surfaced.

  1. I still haven’t remembered how to work.  Luckily tho, things are so busy that I can’t think too hard about this.
  2. I still haven’t remembered how to be busy and do the things I want and need to do.  Here too, luckily it’s so busy that I don’t have much time to think about this.  The days just fly by.  But to realize that I haven’t actually done anything, haven’t really accomplished anything, that I mostly just played defense all day, is frustrating to say the least.
  3. Building on point 2, I haven’t figured out how to find time for friends.  I have to decline g-chats or cut them short.  I go hours without responding to BB messengering.  I barely have been able to email.  Forget about the phone.  Just ask HC who has been rushed off the phone every time he’s tried to call me.  And it’s not just the folks who don’t live in DC who I’m struggling to stay in touch with.  I’m struggling to talk to and see the folks who live here.  Hell, I’m struggling to find time to see the folks who work in the building next to mine!  That is fucking ridiculous.  And don’t think folks aren’t noticing.  I’ve already heard things like, “I already don’t like this new job of yours” and “I don’t like how busy you are.”  Hopefully this will work itself out as I remember how to work and how to be busy.  I mean, it’s got too.  Right?
  4. I still haven’t worked out the sleep issue.  I’m exhausted when I get home – you know, because it’s been months since I’ve had this aggressive a schedule (yes, 10 to 7 is aggressive, I don’t care what anyone says) – and want to go to bed by 10pm.  Problem is that I will wake up at 5am or earlier.  But I don’t want to get up at 5am because it just seems so damn early.  So after laying awake in bed for say an hour and a half, I fall asleep.  Then I struggle to get out of bed at 8am and am rushing out the door, you know, to BE THERE BY 10AM!  What the…  I’ve got to figure this out.  Or I have to just get up at 5am.  Because…
  5. I still haven’t figured out how to incorporate the gym into my daily routine.  This is disastrous.  Not only for my ever-growing waste line, but also for my mental health.  Yeah, other things are going well for me.  But without the gym, things will only deteriorate.  Maybe I will just have to go to the gym at 5am.  It’s not like I’m asleep or anything.

I’m sure there’s more, but this is all I can think of right now.  I’m hopeful that I can work them all out in the next few weeks.  Especially since there’s a recess coming up and my office is closing for several days.  Ya gotta love religious holidays!

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Okay, so I’ve been delinquent on the blog.  I know that.  But you have to understand – I started my new job this week.  And already things are a hot mess.

Without an artful attempt to tell a full and interwoven story, I will opt for bullets.  I apologize.  I don’t like it either.  But this is where my life is right now.

  • Final Week

In my final week, I entered into a stage 2 depression.  It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t do anything, but I didn’t mange to do much.  The highlights are that I made amends with a friend (not sure “amends” is the right word, but I don’t have the kind of time I used to for rewrites), learned that men are stupid enough to put their most senstive organ in precarious positions, cut myself severely (seriously, I contemplated the emergency room, which any one who knows me can explain – I fucking hate the medical profession), spent a fun-filled day with the LJ clan (we even had a near-miss on a bear siting – long story), ate lots of Chinese food in honor of MG’s 30th b-day (yes, I’m being generous on the age… and btw, anyone who wants to go to Peking Duck House in VA, I’m in), and made a gallant tho foolhardy attempt at cooking Indian food with AM (at least we had fun).

  • First Day

After being told not to get to the office before 10 am because, you know, folks might not be in yet, I had a pretty darn good first day.  Now, this might surprise those of you who know me well and/or have been through other first-days-at-work with me.

Ready?

I liked everyone.

I know.  Shocking.  It shocked me too.  And on Day 3, it continues.  I like my direct supervisor.  I like her supervisor.  I like the main boss-man.  I like the district staff.

I know.  Crazy.  But true.  These people are nice and helpful and thoughtful and funny.

Yes, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop too.

  • ID

So as part of this job, I needed to get an offical ID.  For most people, this is not an issue.  For me, this is always an issue.

For example, at the firm, I had to get an ID.  The picture on the ID continues to be a soar point for me, but a source of seemingly neverending joy for those around me.  Upon seeing my firm ID, I had co-workers and friends a like tell me the following:

“You look so… proud.”

“You look like you’re in a new suit.”

“You look like you just put on your Sunday best.”

“You look so… I don’t know… excited.”

The ellipses here should be read an uncontrollable laughter.

My other picture ID’s have had similar issues.  G-d, just take a look at my current drivers’ license; it’s terrible.  Frankly, I don’t photograph well.  I think this is something that those of us who know that we look weird say to explain the fact that, well, we look weird.  Whatever.  It is what it is.  (I hate this phrase, btw.)

Anyway, I’m getting distracted.

So I went to the ID place.  Filled out the paperwork, stood in line, and got to the camera.  Here’s what happened.

ID Lady:  Stand in front of the white poster.

Me:  (Fumbling to figure out where I should stand.)

ID Lady:  Ready?  Look at the camera.  Smile.

Me:  (Not ready, but giving my ID smile.)

ID Lady:  Look at the camera.  (Snap!  Looks at photo.  Looks at me.)  Your eyes weren’t even open.  Let’s do another one.

Me:  (Relieved that this lady is even willing to do a Take Two, I smile.)

ID Lady:  Ready?  (Snap!  Looks at photo.  Displeased, to say the least.)  Yeah, we’re doing another one.

Me:  (Cracking up laughing, smiling uncontrollably.)

ID Lady:  (With no warning, Snap!)  That’s the one.  Lord, I thought we weren’t going to get one!

The ID, which I try never to look at, is fine.  But I’m sure there will be comments from the peanut gallery.

  • Other Issues

It appears that I’ve forgotten how to work.  On top of that, I have seemed to forgotten how to be busy.  Because that’s what I am.  Like all the time.  Busy.  Every time I turn around, someone is calling or emailing or requesting a meeting or something.  When I talk to them, they have annoying things to say like, “I’d like your boss to co-sponsor a bill” when my boss has already signed onto the bill.

Or they are asking for a meeting when my boss has already done everything he can possibly do for these people and they just want to drop off materials and thank us.  Um, what happened to the Postal Service?  Mail that shit.

Or they want us to play referee on something that we have no business playing referee in.

Or they are Republicans who want to play nice with us because, you know, Dems are in power now.  But they show up and say things like, “Well, my evil industry isn’t as evil as people say.  I mean, we like help people and stuff.  You know, we need to make a profit, so you have to pay for it.  And pay a lot.  But I mean, you should love us the way the Republicans do.  Oh, and we need some appropriations help.”

Delusional, all of them.

Anyway, the reality for me is that I’m not too busy to respond to G-chats, email, calls, texts, etc.  And that is unforgivable.  Truly.

  • Mid-Week Review

So far, so good.  I like these people.  I like this job.  So far, anyway.

I don’t like that this job continues to threaten to bring me face-to-face with my old boss.  Who I can’t stand.  Because she is a horrendous human being.  (Trust me, this isn’t just me talking.  She’s horrendous.)

But all-in-all, I’m not repulsed by the idea of having to go back there tomorrow.  I think this is what a job should be.  But having never had this feeling, I’m not sure.

  • Future Outlook

Well, I have to give comments at a briefing tomorrow on an issue that I don’t know anything about.  Beyond that, Friday is rapidly approaching.  And much to my delight, ALJ and JLJ will be meeting me for our regularly scheduled Friday lunch.  Which is fantastic.

So things are good… for now.

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So last summer, MC, AM’s friend, informed AM and me that Real Housewives, that Bravo show that I have very little patience for, was taping a season in Jersey.  With Jersey ladies.

WHAT THE…

Oh, I am so there.  The show starts on May 17.  AM had the brilliant idea of saving them up and watching marathon style.  Which is my favorite way to watch any program.  (I can’t seem to muster the energy or attention span to watch a  movie.  But a TV show marathon?  I’m in.)

But I’m not sure we’ll be able to wait that long to tune in.  I mean, just check out the teaser and I think you’ll understand.

So this show can go one of two ways for me.  It could be like The Sopranos, which, while riveting television, was one of the toughest shows for me to watch and which quickly got to the point that I had to stop watching because I felt I was at a family dinner each Sunday night.  Which is WAY too much.  (Seriously, I know those people.  Minus the killing part.  But the big hair, flashy houses and cars, loud mouths with accents, loving but crazy, crazy but living by a code, passionate to the point of perversion, passionate to the point that you can’t help but feel loved.  You get the picture.)

Or it could be a nice reminder of the folks I grew up with and who I continue to interact with.  The people whose “hobbies” include shopping and spa treatments and tanning and getting their nails done.

Anyway, suffice it to say that I am WAY excited for the show.  And hoping that this does something to mitigate the hatred I’m feeling from Bravo, Harvey Weinstein, and Lifetime over this little lawsuit that is keeping Project Runway from me.  FIGURE IT THE FUCK OUT, PEOPLE!!  I want my Tim Gunn!  And I even miss Heidi and her German accent.

Tim & Heidi

Tim & Heidi

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This could be one of the most shocking things I’ve ever heard.  And I don’t shock easily.

Okay, so let me start by saying that I am not a prude.  Well, I generally don’t kiss and tell.  (Other than the other night when I responded to MJ’s compliment about the red turtleneck I was wearing by saying, “I hate turtlenecks.  No matter how cold it is, I always get overheated.  But I have a hickey on my neck and was forced to interact with the public today.  So, turtleneck it is.  …I know, it’s like 1990 up in here again.”)  But I am not a prude.  I even polled a few friends just to double check on this and they agree.

And I believe that, so long as the parties agree and everyone is of consenting age and no one gets hurt (unless they want to), adults should be allowed to do pretty much whatever they choose behind closed doors.  Just because it might not be my cup of tea, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t float another’s boat, so to speak.

Now that we got that out of the way…

Oh, wait.  One other thing.  If you are a mom of a friend of mine and you are reading this post (thank you so much for tuning in, by the way), I strongly suggest that you STOP READING right now.  Trust me, it will be best for all of us in the long run.

Okay, now I’m ready…

So I was g-chatting with a friend earlier (thank G-d and Baby Jesus for g-chatting coming into my life) about a convo she had with a friend recently.  The friend is not in a good relationship and stories from her are generally chock full of her boyfriend of two years treating her really, really badly.  While all terrible and each offense, on it’s own, being a justifiable reason to break up, every thing was verbal in nature.

Until now.

So it turns out that Prince Charming, instead of waking his girlfriend up by, I don’t know, saying “Good morning!”, he chooses to…

Wait for it…

It’s worth it…

PUT.  HIS.  BALLS.  IN.  HER.  MOUTH.

I don’t shock easily.  I was shocked by this story.  You wake someone up by…  Wait, what’s that now?  You put your what in her what?  Seriously.  I’m still shocked.

I had to tell someone about this immediately, because, I mean, we are talking balls in the mouth here.  So I called HC at work.  This was our convo:

Me (in a hurried and frantic pace):  Do you have 30 seconds for me to tell you the craziest fucking thing I’ve ever heard?

HC (slightly annoyed):  Yes.  30 seconds.

Me:  So I was talking to (a friend) and she told me that her friend’s boyfriend – BOYFRIEND, okay, like they have been dating for more than two years – wakes her up – like FREQUENTLY – by PUTTING.  HIS.  BALLS.   IN.  HER.  MOUTH.

HC:  (Silence)

Me:  (HC)?  Isn’t that crazy?!

HC:  Well, I wouldn’t want to wake up that way.

Me:  Right?!  That’s fucking crazy, right?

HC:  It’s weird the things you get used to.

Me:  WHAT?!  Yeah, maybe in prison.  But my apartment isn’t in Guantanamo.  So unless I’m under attack, I don’t expect to be woken up with BALLS.  IN.  MY.  MOUTH.

HC:  Maybe it was inadvertent.

Me:  Inadvertent, REPEATED insertion of one’s balls into the mouth of the person peacefully sleeping next to him?!  This is what you’re saying?  Are you insane?!

HC:  (Laughter)

What the fuck?!  If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that my Boy Scout boyfriend was thinking of ways of defending this guy.  For what reason, I don’t know.  But still.

Anyway, so having had some time to cool off and think about this with a more level head, here’s the thing.  I’m not taking issue with the act itself.  It’s the context that gets me.  It just seems so … objectifying and abusive, is I think what I’m looking for.  While I can see paying for that type of objectification (fantasies come in all shapes and sizes), I can’t really wrap my mind around it in the context of a day-to-day relationship.  I mean, it’s not like we’re talking about cuffs or whips or, I don’t know, BEING AWAKE and CAPABLE OF CONSENTING here.  But I especially don’t get it after one of the parties has stated her objection.  Because that’s the key, really.  All’s fair until someone says it isn’t.  And then it’s not.  Sure, we can revisit it.  Especially if it is important to one of the parties.  But I have a hard time believing that it is really important to someone’s fulfillment of a healthy sex life to wake his partner, REPEATEDLY, by putting his balls in her/his mouth.  I just can’t.

Beyond that, I just don’t want to be woken up this way.  I think ALJ put it best:

ALJ:  I wouldn’t want (my husband) to put chocolate cake in my mouth to wake me up.  And I love chocolate cake.

Indeed.

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KP and I were at the Safeway on 17th Street the other day and found this:

San Pellegrino Limonata

San Pellegrino Limonata

Generally speaking, I only drink soda or otherwise carbonated beverages when I am sick or hung over or both.  But San Pellegrino Limonata is by far and away my favorite soda, and I can drink it any time.  Especially in the summer.  With some vodka.

If you haven’t had this delicious soda – with or without vodka – run, don’t walk, to the Safeway on 17th to pick some up.  You won’t be sorry.

And I choose to see this discovery as a sign that, perhaps, DC isn’t as devoid of good food and drink as I thought.  At least I can hope.

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