C'est un blague.

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  • Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Pictures of snow and ice

    It snowed the day we arrived (::groan:: don't ask), so there was snow on the ground the entire time we were there. It was gorgeous. Made for very picturesque sight-seeing... and limited our outdoor explorations to short trips. We went from 70-degree (20 for you celcians) weather in DC, which was weirdly warm, to below freezing in Quebec. It was a rough transition for us, although we did have the proper clothes, shoes, etc. But because it was so cold, we didn't do as much exploring as we might have otherwise. Glad we were staying is a nice hotel...

    Now, I have to say that none -- NONE -- of these pictures do their subjects justice. Everything is so much more brilliant and gorgeous and wonderful than can be captured on camera.

    But with that disclaimer, here's the snow and ice scenes from Quebec City!

    The snow! Just an average doorway in the Old City... but I thought it was lovely.

    The Chateau Frontenac and the wall, as seen from the lower city.

    The funicular (cable car) that goes up the hill between the lower city and the Old City.

    Rue du Petit-Champlain, the main street in the lower city and purportedly the oldest shopping district in North America. Doesn't it look like something out of a Christmas card?

    And, yeah, the ice. I am cheating here. I did get this hunk of ice in Quebec, but this picture was taken in our family room at home earlier tonight.
    (Sorry, we couldn't do better with the focus. It's definitely much more sparkly and shiny in person... and I'm still not used to it!)

    More details about the actual trip another time. Off to eat dinner!

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    The Pudge Report


    I gained a pound last week, but considering how VERY well and often we ate in Quebec, I am thrilled that I'm only up one pound. SM didn't gain anything. I guess we walked a lot, but we also ate and ate and ate. In fact, I wasn't hungry from Friday until we left on Sunday.

    So, in total, I'm only down 18 lbs. now. But I'm also back on track with hopes of taking off a few this week... until the holiday party season kicks in and kicks our butts.

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    Monday, November 26, 2007


    SM bought-a-ring. And I said, "Yes." Last Friday.

    Yup, that's right. As in sparkly rock on my left hand. As in, one of these days, we'll make our relationship legal. One of these days.

    It feels weird.


    Monday morning haiku

    Today is Monday?
    My brain is on vacation.
    Never coming back.


    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    So sad

    We dropped Gidget off with my sister for the long weekend. Now, I know that Gidget is in great hands. I know that my sister thinks Gidget is a great dog (and she's right, of course!) and will take good care of her. Gidget has been to the house before, so it's more adventure than stress being there.

    I know all of these things. But it's also the first time for us to drop her off for care elsewhere. The other two weekends we were away, my sister stayed at our house and dog-watched. So this is new for Gidget, and, of course, when we left -- and left her behind -- she gave us the sad eyes.

    So. very. sad.

    And now I miss her. Because evenings are when we cuddle up on the sofa to watch TV or snooze or whatever. She's our little hot water bottle. She keeps us warm. Her favorite spot is wedged between me lying down and the cushions at the back. She'll often rest her head on my leg or my side, curled up next to me.

    Our little girl.

    She's only a dog, but still...

    I can't imagine what a mush-head I'd be if I were to have a baby.

    Oh my.


    Happy Thanksgiving all!

    I am thankful for health, good fortune, happiness and my warm puppy. Yeah, things are going well, and I am happy.

    AND, we're off to Quebec City tomorrow. Yes, my Thanksgiving tradition is blowing off my family and heading out of town for some quiet time with SM.

    And good eating.

    My goal is simply to eat less this trip than I would have before. I don't want to miss out on all of the gastronomic yummies in Quebec, but I don't want to over-indulge to the point of regret or heartburn.

    And also tour around a fantastic, historical city and maybe shop a bit. It's gonna be fun!

    Best wishes to everyone for a great Thanksgiving!

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    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Scene seen

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a photograph of this, so you’ll have to use your imagination…

    Picture this…

    Metro station. College-aged girl in sweats, casual jacket, hair in ponytail, carrying a backpack. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a regular college student. But what was interesting was her sweatpants. You know those sweat pants which are emblazoned with the school’s/team’s name across the backside? You know, across the rear rather than on the front or down the side of the leg?

    Well, that’s what this girl was wearing. Sweats with the team’s name across her butt.

    And she was an ample girl. A rather large girl. Without being obnoxious, suffice to say that she had room to demonstrate significant support for her favorite team.

    And she did.

    But here’s the kicker. The name of the team, of which she is a fan?

    The titans.

    (now visualize it)

    Oh my.


    The Pudge Report


    I can't remember how many weeks SM and I have been doing our diet. He's down 18 pounds as of last weigh-in and has well achieved his goal. I am nowhere near my goal, but this week I'm down 19 lbs., which is a 2.5 pound loss from last week. So things are slowing down a bit. But I can't complain. I have yet to institute an exercise regime.

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    Monday, November 19, 2007

    I'm grumpy.

    If I were a 3-year old, I'd throw a tantrum right now. If I were my old self, I'd inhale a bag of Hershey's kisses. If I were a drinker, I'd be throwing back a few or more.

    Since I'm none of the above, I'm left to either wallow in my grump or try to get the grumpy out in a constructive manner.

    Well, I don't feel like taking any kind of responsibility for my feelings right now. I just don't wanna. So I'm not gonna. Wah.


    So I'll just have a silent tantrum. And watch TV. And try not to resort to my drug of choice, food.


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    Clarence Darrow quotes

    One of these popped up on my gmail account on the sidebar. I was intrigued enough to read on... and share.

    All of these quotes are attributed to Clarence Darrow.
    As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.

    Calvin Coolidge was the greatest man who ever came out of Plymouth Corner, Vermont.

    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails.

    Depressions may bring people closer to the church but so do funerals.

    Even if you do learn to speak correct English, whom are you going to speak it to?

    History repeats itself. That's one of the things wrong with history.

    I do not believe in God because I do not believe in Mother Goose.

    I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure - that is all that agnosticism means.

    I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood.

    If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.

    Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.

    Justice has nothing to do with what goes on in a courtroom; Justice is what comes out of a courtroom.

    Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.

    No other offense has ever been visited with such severe penalties as seeking to help the oppressed.

    Someday I hope to write a book where the royalties will pay for the copies I give away.

    The best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful toward our friends and fellow passengers who are clinging to the same speck of dirt while we are drifting side by side to our common doom.

    The pursuit of truth will set you free; even if you never catch up with it.

    The trouble with law is lawyers.

    The world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.

    To think is to differ.

    True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.

    When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.

    You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom.
    I went to law school with Clarence Darrow's great nephew (no, not too intimidating!), and he is brilliant. Practically a photographic memory -- can quote footnotes and obscure citations -- which is damned scary when you're riding the same grading curve is him. Clearly a family with great talent.

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    Monday morning haiku

    Ahh, soon, Thanksgiving.
    As always, I give thanks for
    A very short week.

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    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    I'm alive.

    Just very boring.


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    Wednesday, November 14, 2007


    Every morning, it’s the same argument. And every morning, my body bests my brain.

    It goes like this: alarm goes off, and my body cajoles my brain that ten more minutes of sleep – just ten more – would do wonders to help me feel more rested. And every morning, my brain falls for the con and allows the body to hit the snooze button once, twice more. Every morning. But, ya’ know, it never works. My body tells my brain a good tale – it’s very convincing that way -- but it actually knows the truth. Ten, twenty minutes makes no difference in my feeling rested. The only effect it has is to make me that much more rushed to get out on time.

    Stupid, gullible brain. Falls for it every morning.

    I remember when I was back in college, oh too many years ago, when I would get up in the morning, my roommate would say, “I can’t wait to go to sleep tonight.” I would nod in agreement, my body feeling the gravity of morning. I would drag myself up and out of bed, gingerly navigating to the bathroom. I could feel the sluggishness of just having woken up, the fog of my brain not quite firing on all cylinders. Almost like a drunken daze. But it felt like morning. Like being wrapped in a big, cozy, down comforter. Lazy and warm and snug. Sleep-inducing. A cocoon protecting me from the bracing chill of reality. Mornings used to feel exactly like that comforter, and I would float along, wrapped in the warmth of still-half-asleep, as I either slowly stirred and came to life or until was doused awake with reality -- usually in the form of the cold air outside.

    Mornings used to feel like that for me. The before noon hours of the day had that “it feels like morning” feel. Not-so-much anymore. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I still find it excruciatingly painful to get out of bed in the morning, but once I’m up, I no longer feel morning the way I used to. My body doesn’t have a sense of it being morning. As I walk from the metro to work, as far my body is concerned, it could be any time of day. I don’t feel like I’m slowly warming up to the day anymore; it’s more like a switch has flipped rather than a process. Now it’s: I’m up. I’m alert. It’s the day. Let’s go.

    I kinda miss feeling the morning and easing into the day. I don’t know why the start of the day feels different to me now. Perhaps it’s the almost 20 years since those college days. Perhaps it’s the coffee I now drink. Perhaps it’s having a job that requires my brain to be (mostly) on. I dunno.

    Every once in a while, usually on a Sunday, I get back a taste of that familiar feeling of morning. And I think that’s what makes the difference in whether or not it’s a restful weekend for me. Easing from sleep to awake and feeling morning, even if it’s not.


    But it’s not the same. And I miss feeling the morning when I wake up.

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    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    The Pudge Report


    Well, after eating my way across to San Francisco (where I was actually quite good, considering I was in San Francisco), I am up .5 lbs. this week. Not too bad for being off program since Thursday night. So my total weight-loss is 16 lbs.

    Ya' know, the warm bread and Japanese food and oven-fresh chocolate chip cookies were totally worth it. But I'm back on the program...

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    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Back and brown

    I'm home, home, home! Safely ensconced in my bedroom and happily home.

    My flight again connected me through Kansas City. It was largely uneventful but for a few fellow passengers. A marine general (two stars), Senator Brownback and various other folks were on that leg back into DC. There may have been a Congressperson or two, as well. This tends to happen on the last flight back from the hinterlands to DC before a work week for Congress. It's actually pretty common.

    Anyway, SM picked me up at the airport. He told me that he saw at least three other senators come off their flights while he was waiting for me.

    DC celebrities, if you're geeky enough to know what they look like (which SM definitely is).

    I'm glad to be home.

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    Monday morning haiku

    San Francisco, but
    conference rooms all look the same.
    Could be anywhere.

    I did manage to get out a bit yesterday to walk around the city. The weather was gorgeous, so I can't complain about that. Otherwise? Really, nothing special about this visit. It's almost cruel to have board meetings in great locations when you don't have any time to actually spend in the city.

    Oh well. At least it's not my first time to SF. I've been here many times before. Being holed up all day keeps me from spending or eating too much. That's a good thing.

    Now I'm waiting at the hotel for the super shuttle back to SFO... I get into DC at 10:00 tonight. Wa-hoo.

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    Saturday, November 10, 2007


    Board meeting all day. Bored me all day.


    Friday, November 09, 2007

    Hanging in MO

    Kansas City, MO. My connection from DC to San Fran. Was supposed to be about a half an hour between flights. Um, nope. Isn't turning out that way. We have a maintenance delay. Boo. At least the airport, unlike National in DC, has free wireless. Of course, there are all of three outlets in the entire waiting area, so most of us are running off of batteries. But free internet is good.

    Otherwise, otherwise... My stomach was still upset this morning from last night's taco pigout. I enjoyed it at the time, but retribution from my belly was swift. It just can't handle the fatty foods well these days. After a month and a half on the diet, my stomach isn't used to the guacamole, sour cream and cheese that I ingested last night. Oh well.

    Or maybe my body was rebelling at having to get up at 4:30 to get this flight. I've never before ridden the first metro train of the day. I did today. It had a good number of riders -- they seemed to be mostly blue collar workers off to their jobs. Not a single suit or briefcase among them, at 5:00 am.

    Oh, before I forget, one more thing... If you have the opportunity to travel on Midwest airlines, I recommend them. Okay, yeah, we're having a maintenance delay right now. But the seats on the plane were so. much. bigger than the usual coach class seats. Definitely more roomy, more comfy. That was great. I will definitely be looking to book flights on them from now on. I guess that also means I'll be seeing more of Kansas City.

    And yeah, that's about it. That's all I've got at 10:40 am (even though I've already been up for more than six hours... oof!). I don't anticipate this weekend to be particularly interesting either, despite being in San Francisco. I'm here for a board (bored?) meeting. I hope I see the light of day at some point!

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    Thursday, November 08, 2007


    Book club tonight -- good. Check out the sidebar for books we've read and will be reading.

    Food -- yummy.

    Portion control -- none. Now I have a stomach ache from eating too much and having rich food.

    Conversation -- limited because I was the only one who finished the book.

    Off to San Francisco tomorrow; gotta wake up at 4:00; haven't finished packing -- shit.


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    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    Note to self:

    Do not get your lunch at a pay-by-the-pound deli when you are starving.

    It'll cost you an arm and a leg.


    Tuesday, November 06, 2007


    As soon as I got home from work today, I took Gidget out for a walk. (Okay, that's slightly unusual, but not the reason why I titled this post "Weird".) We have our girl on auto-feed for dinner, so I knew she would have already eaten by the time I got home. I also knew that once I got inside, I wouldn't have any interest in going out again.

    So, I took her around the block.

    It's an average block. A nothing-too-special-about-it block. A typical, post-war development, suburban block.

    On our walk, I saw the usual. Trees, houses, lots of cars, toilets.


    Uh-huh. Gidget and I saw not one, not two, but three toilets sitting outside.

    I'm talking human toilets, not the Gidget-kind (which would be any tree or telephone pole).

    Now, I imagine you're getting quite the image of my neighborhood. But toilets outside, in the yard and at the curb, are just not commonplace. In fact, I would say it was downright weird. Truly bizarre, even. I guess the homeowners were renovating, but there wasn't any evidence of that from the outside. Maybe they were just purging themselves of the extra toilets they had lying around? Or installing a few more? Maybe they were meant as artsy lawn furniture? Planters? Garden sculptures? I dunno.

    But there they were. Toilets. Huh.

    The second odd site -- which isn't exactly odd but more surprising -- was the house with its entire front yard populated with bright, glowing, blinking reindeer and other paraphrenalia. And lights strewn everywhere. I mean, all over.

    But it's not even Thanksgiving! It's still 50 degrees out! Huh???

    I was not ready for this sight, I must admit. I would have mocked the house, except I noticed that the homeowner was still in the front yard installing his electric menagerie.

    I guess some people think that "decorating" their homes this way jump starts the season and makes it last longer. I just think it's kinda sad and somehow diminishes the holiday season. I don't want the decorations to go up or the holiday songs to start playing until at least December. I mean, come on...! I'm just a Scrooge that way, I suppose.

    But, whatever. To each, his or her own.

    At least it wasn't my neighbor with the antsy for the bright lights.


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    The Pudge Report


    After 6 weeks, I'm down 16.5 lbs. Yippee! I'm definitely seeing it in how my clothes fit, my face and my legs. I don't know if anyone else has really noticed. I haven't gotten any comments from folks, other than those who already know about the diet. Still, I can feel the difference, and that's fantastic.

    The best part, though? I'm no longer afraid of my wardrobe. I know that sounds odd, but I used to dread picking what to wear. I was afraid how tight something would be, what else wouldn't fit, etc. I didn't want to try things on because I didn't want to know it was too small. Yes, I was avoiding my pants. I was trying to live in denial. I wasn't succeeding.

    Now that I'm down a comfy amount, I'm willing to to try on the previously verboten items. I am close to the weight size I was during the summer of 2005, which is before unemployment and the bar. I still have a few more pounds to go, but I'm getting there. And I actually am getting there! Hopefully soon, I'll be able to fit into my interview suits from the fall of 2004. That would be a great milestone to hit.

    Anyway, since the weight-loss has slowed, I do need to literally step up the exercise. And stop paying lipservice to it (which is the sum total of the energy I've put into it so far).

    Onward, downward!

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    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Monday morning haiku

    Delays every day.
    My commute has now doubled.
    Damn, stupid metro.

    Seriously. I mean, seriously. What's the point of public transportation if it's completely unreliable? SM and I have hit major delays on our commutes every day -- usually going both ways, in and out of work -- for the past several. We've both been late for meetings and appointments, despite leaving early "just in case". On Thursday, it took me 50 minutes to get from my metro stop to the stop before where I get off for work. That's double the time for not even the full distance. Grrr...

    I am so very frustrated with the stupid metro. And they plan on two fare hikes? I think the various local governments need to pitch in more bucks to make the system actually work before they put it on the backs of the commuters.

    So. very. annoyed.

    But, speaking of something completely different... SM was thrilled last night with the Pats/Colts game. He had picked the Colts and the spread over the Pats. He figured that if the Pats won, he'd be happy; if the Pats lost, then he'd have the consolation prize of getting the pick right. He got both. The Pats won but didn't beat the spread, so he also won the pick in his football lottery. That pretty much made his evening.

    And, oh yea, it was a good football game too.

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    Friday, November 02, 2007

    Lichtenstein or Warhol?

    I'm thinking about using a real picture for my blogger profile.

    Which do you like best?


    or this?

    or this one?

    or this?

    or, last but not least, this one?

    Think artsy and interesting as an image, not whether it's a good photo.

    Thanks for the feedback!

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    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    MD Bar results

    Must be coming out soon. I keep getting hits for that search.

    Sorry, no info here.

    (Evil, aren't I, for posting that title to lure in the anticipatory...)


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