C'est un blague.

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  • Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    Vindicated... but too late.

    THIS is why I never applied for the Attorney Honors Program at the US DOJ.
    Justice Department investigators have again widened their probe of the firing of nine U.S. attorneys to include an examination of hiring practices in additional parts of the sprawling agency, including the troubled Civil Rights division and programs for beginning lawyers, officials said today....

    The joint probe also includes a look at the Attorney General's Honors Program and the department's Summer Law Intern Program, both of which recently have been returned to the supervision of career lawyers after five years of control by Justice political officials.
    Uh-huh. When I was graduating and looking for a federal job, I checked out the various Attorney Honors Program (most of them had been dismantled by this administration). I even made it to the final round at Transportation (but, obviously, wasn't offered a slot). But I never even applied to DOJ, much as I would have loved to have launched my career there, as reasonably competitive as my credentials were.

    Why? I had been warned by friends who had fled the Civil Rights Division not to bother, that my resume was pretty much stamped all over with "liberal" so it wouldn't be worth the effort to submit it for the program, that it wouldn't even get a cursory look, etc. So I didn't. My friends knew that the politicos were only considering applicants with the "right" credentials -- the more extreme right, the better.

    Absent the political bias, I don't know if I would have been accepted into the program because it is extremely competitive, but I do know that I missed my only opportunity to get into the Justice Department. They only hire newbie lawyers through their Honors Program. And that was too bad. I was disappointed not to have that opportunity.

    Shameful that there is such discrimination at the highest levels in the halls of the Department of Justice. I really hope this investigation brings the justice (not to mention integrity and respect for the law) back to the DOJ.

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    A day of firsts...

    First morning with hot water. Need I elaborate?

    First full commute to work. An easy 15-minute walk to a 20-odd-minute metro ride, which is only slightly longer than before. I enjoyed the walk because the first half is through our neighborhood, and the second half has lots of interesting little mom-n-pop-type shops. I saw a Filipino bakery, an Italian sweets and meats shop, various kinds of Latin food, a tattoo parlor, Asian restaurants, an adult video store, and much, much more. Talk about diversity!

    First day to leave Gidget alone in the house. We have the family room set up for her -- her bed and crate are in there. Plus, the room is carpeted (the only one in the whole house), well air-conditioned and has a comfy sofa that she's allowed to climb on. She can also look out the sliding glass doors to the yard and out the French doors into the kitchen. We plan to install a doggy door so that she can get out into the yard during the day, and hopefully it won't take her too, too long to learn how to use it. When we tried to teach her the other day, she just didn't get it.

    First day of vacation for SM. He took off for Puerto Rico this morning. The chief of staff in his office is getting married on Saturday, so he took a few extra days for rest and relaxation (at my encouragement). He'll be gone through the weekend. It's a well-earned break for him; he's been running overtime to the point of physical and mental exhaustion with these moves for over a month now. He's been such a trooper. Much better than I was by a long shot. I hope he gets the chance to unwind, do some reading and just veg out on the beach.

    So that means, first day/night for me in the house with only Gidget. Eh, not worried about it.

    And, hopefully, this is the first day that I'll be able to get down into my basement. The guys who are working on it are almost done with everything -- but they've thought that they were almost done for the past four days. We'll see. But I think, truly, they will be out tonight. Yay!

    I'm really starting to enjoy the house, even though it's still a maze of boxes. The family room is our haven from the chaos. There aren't any towers of boxes in there, and we have the TV and internet connected for proper loafing on the sofa. Our bedroom is also box-free. The rest of the house... awaits unpacking. I hope to make significant and visible progress this week so that SM can come back to a relatively accessible home. I'm not holding my breath that I'll accomplish a whole lot, but a little lot would be fine.


    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    All out, all in

    The extended weekend of moving is over. We're all out of the various apartments (but not the storage unit! still a ton there! eeek!) and all in the house. All in and all over. All over everything. We have paths to get through the livingroom and dining room. The second bedroom is still impenetrable. Boxes, boxes everywhere. We have a lot of locating and unpacking to do. Bleh.

    And not to sound like a broken record, but I am tired. Haven't had a good night's sleep since we got here. Since before that. I'll explain about it later... when I have the energy.

    But because I feel like a slacker for not 'splaining the good, bad, ugly and the creepy of the move... here are some pictures until I have the time and energy to tell the tales.
    Above, the view from the floor of the livingroom into the dining room area and kitchen. The movers have come and gone, but there was still plenty of crap to clean and toss.

    Gidget and my left knee. We kept Gidget with us during the aftermath cleaning -- to keep her out of the house during the craziness of the move. Also to keep an eye on her and keep her relatively calm. She was very good during the anxiety of the move, but we could also tell that she was stressed. After everything was out of the apartment, there was no place comfy left to sack out. No carpets on the floor, no couch. So what did she do? You guessed it. She walked right up to me, climbed in my lap and curled up to go to sleep. I have a cushy lap I guess. Not-such-a-dumb dog after all.

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    Sunday, May 27, 2007

    Scenes from a moving

    It was good, bad, ugly and creepy-bizarre. An epic journey of about 5 miles over three days...

    Stay tuned for details.


    Friday, May 25, 2007

    Moving day!

    We are, like, ya' know, like, so not even close to, like, ya' know, ready to move. Our stuff is like, ya' know, all over the place.

    A freakin' disaster zone. FEMA should be alerted. It's that bad. We still have so much to pack -- and that's the stuff we know what to do with. The other, little things -- the things we don't know what to do with -- well, they're strewn everywhere. I guess they'll just get thrown into boxes to be sorted at the house when we're unpacking. The movers arrive anytime after 8:30, so the clock is ticking down. I've got to hop in the shower.

    And so it begins! And we'll get it all done one way or another. Thank goodness we have gorgeous weather. My allergies are acting up, but at least we don't have to worry about any rain on this parade.

    Also, I don't know when I'll be able to post next. I'm certain we don't have cable or internet at the house yet. Oh my!

    Wish us luck!


    Thursday, May 24, 2007

    Congrats to Zuska!

    Wow, I was so impressed to hear that Zuska has lost 20 lbs. since March. Biggest congrats to her on the weight loss AND providing her daughters with a positive role model for how to approach weight management in a healthy way. That's great!

    Not so great -- I think know I found those 20 lbs.


    Reader poll

    Why? Because a random thought popped into my head and out onto this blog.

    I know there probably aren't more than two or three people who read this blog on regular basis, but I invite everyone -- even random visitors -- to respond.

    Here's the question. It may fall under TMI, but you can leave your response anonymously if you so desire. Or not answer at all. Or take me off of your bloglines. Or whatever. But here's the question. Toilet paper etiquette and usage: are you a wadder or a folder?

    Betcha' never had this discussion before! And if you have, I'd love to know the context.

    Me, I'm a wadder. My mom actually taught me as a child to be a folder -- I think to conserve paper -- but I went maverick and developed my own style after being potty trained.

    Why do I want to know this? No reason, actually. Perhaps to reduce the inventory of questions that had been, until now, unasked? Truly, I have no good reason. And no good reason is reason enough because that's what blogs are for, right?

    UPDATE: I guess it wasn't an unasked question. See here. Some even add a third category: crumpler. But I guess I folded crumpling into wadding. Then there are also the "wrappers" who try to ensure zero lack of coverage. Some have also suggested that there is a gender difference with women tending to wad and men folding. Who knew?

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    Go away...!

    I have this getting-to-be massive zit (the kind that looks horrible but doesn't hurt) under my mouth on the left side and another burgeoning growth in the same spot under my mouth on the right side (the kind that isn't yet visible to others but hurts and is gonna be a doozy).

    So. very. attractive. And, of course, I can't help but touch them every once in a while, aggravating the situation more.

    All right already! When does this stuff go away? I'm thirty-freakin'-nine! The people who said acne was puberty thing LIED.

    Someone told me that menopause does it, but sheesh, that seems so unfair! Don't I get at least a few years of my "womanhood" to enjoy fresh, young, elastic, blemish-free skin?

    I guess not.


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    Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    Didn't John "the Bisquit" Cage invent this?

    Ya' know, from Ally McBeal? Because he was so much shorter than his girlfriend?

    I found it sexist then: he would use a remote control to drop the height of the heel whenever he wanted so his girlfriend didn't tower over him. That's right -- HE controlled her height because he was insecure about being short. (What's next? A remote control to shorten a woman's skirt or lower her neckline to expose cleavage? Pffft.)

    And now I think it's just plain impractical.

    When that high heel flips down and you walk on the shorter heel, won't you wear the heel down? Ya' know, ordinary wear and tear. Then when you flip the heel back to high, won't it be an uneven surface (because the base -- the shorter heel -- has been worn down), making it unstable and unsafe? If you're like me, not only will you wear the heel down quickly but it will also be uneven. My shoes are always more worn out on the outside of the heel than on the inside because I rotate my foot out a bit when I walk. Why would I want to attach a higher heel on an uneven surface? Did they consider that in the design?

    A better idea would be to have an extension heel that uses the same base as the walking surface. Literally, elevator shoes. The high heel retracts into the lower heel and extends for height -- but the same surface would be in contact with the ground. That way, you avoid the issue of uneven wear resulting in an unstable heel.

    Maybe I'm thinking about this too much. But the retractable heel could have traction!

    There ya' go, ladies and gents. You read it here first!

    (P.S. thanks to Feministing for the link)


    Tuesday, May 22, 2007

    Putting the "ice" in iceberg lettuce

    Let us just say that if you love Cosi's signature salad (and who doesn't?), then make sure you get it freshly made every time.

    Today for lunch, the line was so long (isn't it always?) that I grabbed a pre-made bowl of salad from the refrigerated section.

    Bad move.

    Little did I know, but the bottom half of the salad was literally frozen. I mean, eeeuw. Icicles of lettuce. And frozen lettuce is gross.

    So I ate the whole thing really quickly. Before it melted. Because, as gross as frozen lettuce is, thawed lettuce is even nastier.

    UPDATE (5/23/07): I mentioned the iced lettuce to the Cosi folks this morning, and lo and behold, they told me they'd give me a free one. And they apologized. Fair enough. So I'm having salad for lunch today.

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    Reality check

    Read this article and this one too , both in the WaPo, about the Food Stamp Challenge -- how four Members of Congress "pledged to live for one week on $21 worth of food, the amount the average food stamp recipient receives in federal assistance. That's $3 a day or $1 a meal."

    Seriously. Only $3/day. In DC. For an adult. Wow.

    I think they all lost some weight but gained tremendous insight into the plight of the working poor in the U.S. -- as well as a good deal of respect for those who struggle daily to feed their families.

    Several of the participants, including the wife of one of the Congressmen, blogged about the experience here. It's really eye-opening. Makes you think about your excesses. How food is taken for granted by most of us. We eat luxury items like scones and coffee from the local Starbucks. We eat healthy like fresh fruit or organic vegetables. We eat out. We eat mostly what we want when we want, instead of rationing our food and planning our meals because our budgets have no room for error.

    It also made me think, as I munched on my Cosi bread and salad (here's a blog in me about that too), whether I could eat just $3 of food a day. And I don't think I could. But I may try the experiment.

    Stay tuned.

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    A daisy by any other name...

    might mean something different?

    The other day, a random thought accosted me. Yes, it happens a lot. Like stray animals, weird men and clouds of bad perfume, random thoughts and irrelevant conversational tangents tend to follow me wherever I go (kinda like now?).

    Anyway, I started thinking about some common phrases that we all use and understand but don't necessarily know where they came from -- or their original meanings.

    I think we all have heard that the childhood song/game "Ring around the Rosies" is a reference to the plague (whether or not that's true is a matter of dispute, it seems). And then there's the "Eeny, meeny, miney, mo" song. Some original lyrics had instead of "catch a tiger by the toe", "catch a [insert N-word here] by the toe"... Who knew? Until recently, I sure didn't. I just thought it was perfectly acceptable as a child to try and catch a tiger by the toe. Of course, when he hollered, I'd let him go.

    Well, the random thought that seized upon me -- and spurred this rambling post -- was "what's the difference between 'upsy-daisy' and 'oopsy-daisy' or 'oops a daisy' (I've seen it written both ways) and where did the expression come from?" (and who cares? I know what you're thinking!)

    Good ol' google solves the mystery. According to Random House (THE place to explore random thoughts!), the Mavens' word-a-day says:
    Upsy-daisy, also ups-a-daisy, was first recorded in 1862 as "a common ejaculation when a child, in play, is assisted in a spring-leap from the ground". The phrase appears to have been based on an older expression up-a-daisy or up-a-day in some dialects.

    So what's all this about a daisy? Well, there is always the outside chance that we are talking about the flower name that comes from the Old English daegesege. It's more likely, though, that the daisy in upsy-daisy comes from (lack)aday with the adjectival suffix –sy tacked on. The documentation is weak, but variants in several dialects point to this possibility and it makes good semantic sense.

    For many people upsy-daisy and oopsy-daisy are two pronunciations of the same word. For other people, oopsy-daisy and whoopsy-daisy are just variants of oops and whoops. This meaning has existed since 1925 when a New Yorker caption read "Whoopsie Daisy!" Oops and whoops have been exclamations of dismay since the early 1920s.

    So, upsy-daisy means 'up' to almost everyone, and whoopsy-daisy means 'down' (falling or dropping), but there is a gray area surrounding oopsy-daisy. For some people (perhaps for you?), it is another way to say upsy-daisy, something to say to children when you pick them up. For others (including me) it is a diminutive of oops, something to say to your friends after your third margarita when you accidentally spill tequila on yourself. Both interpretations are common.
    This random thought/public service announcement brought to you courtesy of She says.


    Monday, May 21, 2007


    My high school is #97 in the Challenge Index list of America's best high schools published by the WaPo.

    Now, that sounds pretty darn good -- top 100 -- considering they ranked some 1200 schools nation-wide. Top 10% of those ranked, let alone in the nation -- kewl, right?

    Well, I and other alum will certainly note our ranking (as I just did). But we'll also note that three rivals schools, which WE would consider inferior to our school, were ranked higher (#s 44, 61 and 70).

    'Cuz that's the way things are in Potomac, MD.

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    Worth a quick read

    This article in the WaPo about blogging while at or about work.

    I would add that many employers have already developed HR policies which cover blogging -- from two angles: using employer-owned equipment (computer, internet connection, company time) and generating negative publicity which affects the workplace. These policies may not specifically mention the word "blogging", but they are being applied just the same. Of course, the latter is covered by the first amendment, but if you work for a private employer, your protections are fewer.

    As my employment discrimination prof repeatedly told us: you can be fired for a good reason, a bad reason or no reason at all -- just not for an illegal reason. Being fired for blogging probably doesn't fall into the "illegal reason" category (you could possibly make that argument, depending on content of the blog that got you in hot water -- but good luck).

    Hmmm, and what am I doing now? In my office? Oh, but I'm on a coffee break!

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    Monday morning haiku

    Too little sleep makes
    me one grumpy grumpy girl.
    Where IS my coffee?


    Saturday, May 19, 2007

    Hours of entertainment

    Thanks to E. McPan for introducing me to the Marie Claire site which allows you to do a virtual make-over. Just upload your photo and play away!

    And omigawd, did I have fun!

    Just see below...Definitely an improvement, don't you think? If only he had the heart, soul and smarts of a woman...



    Okay, okay... I cut the brassy out. Here's the re-do.So much fun playing pretend!

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    Friday, May 18, 2007

    Why I don't like going to the doctor's office

    So on Tuesday, I went to the doctor's office to ask about my ailing stomach. I hadn't been for a check-up in, oh say, years. Years. Bad, I know. That also meant that I needed to find a new doctor that was copacetic with my insurance plan.

    But I digress.

    I arrived for my appointment early, and of course, the office was behind schedule. So, I did the insurance paperwork and medical history questionnaire and waited for a bit before I was taken back to an exam room. Before seeing the physician, I had the usual round of questions and pre-exam checks with the nurse (or whatever she was). She asked me why I was there, about allergies to medicines, etc., took my blood pressure and weighed me.

    When she directed me to get on the scale, I groaned and said, "I hate this part." She nodded in sympathy and said that everyone hated it (she herself was obese, probably more than 300 lbs.). I responded, "Yeah, I don't want to see this number because I know I'm at my heaviest ever."

    And with that, I got on the scale. It's not an electronic scale, but the kind where you push the larger cube weight across the bottom bar in intervals of 50 lbs. and the smaller cube on the top bar gives you the pounds in between. Pretty much your standard doctor's office scale.

    And what does the nurse do? She pushes the bottom weight across to 200 lbs.!!!

    Now, many most of you have never met me, but take my word for it, but I do not look like I weigh more than 200 lbs., nor do I weigh more than 200 lbs.

    After I scooped my jaw off of the floor, I said, "I think you can back that off a bit."

    And she did, and the final number was a nightmare. But even worse was being told in not-so-many-words that I look like I top 200 lbs.

    Okay, so maybe her perspective was off because she was well past the 200 mark, but that little encounter put me in a bit of a grumpy mood -- until I got back to the office and told everyone about it. And they all laughed and assured me that the nurse either was nutz or was trying to make me feel better by having to push the weight on the scale lower and lower rather than higher. (I'm not buying that last bit; while I would certainly rather have the scale read a lower number, that logic isn't helpful when she assumes a starting point of 200 lbs.)

    And this is one of the reasons why visiting the doctor's office is no fun (this and when they draw blood -- no fun!).

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    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    My first case

    I got my first case at work yesterday. It's an EEO complaint. Things had been incredibly slow... probably not so much anymore.

    But then again, I don't know if this case will actually go anywhere, which is good and bad. Less work, less stress -- good. Less experience -- bad.

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    Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    So I was wrong

    Jaslene won America's Next Top Model.

    I don't think she's "all that" -- and every time I hear her speak, I want to scream -- but whatevah. I guess ghetto is in.


    Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage month

    Yes, May... I'm a bit slow this year. Happy APA month to one and all!

    CNN is featuring a bunch of articles and features about the Asian American community. Check it out here.


    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Music genome project?


    This is cool. And lots of fun to play around with.


    Monday, May 14, 2007

    Daddy bought me new wheels!

    It's bright and shiny and red and pretty and spiffy -- and I hope I never have to use it.

    Dad bought SM and I this for a housewarming present. Ain't she purty?

    SM has already broken it in, sorta. Well, actually barely. He started to mow the lawn, but there wasn't enough gas in the tank to get through more than 2/3rds of the front. So our lawn has a punk 'do -- buzzed on one side and long and spikey on the other.

    Thanks for a great present Dad! (I was trying to convince him that a really, REALLY great present would have been the lawn mower and actually mowing the lawn for us while we were at work. He didn't buy it. He only bought the lawnmower, but not my snow job...)

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    Monday morning haiku

    I guess I forgot
    my Monday morning haiku.
    Too late now. It's 2.


    I guess I haven't been paying attention

    Today, the price to send a letter first-class went up to 41 cents. I guess now that I pay most of my bills online and use predominantly email/the telephone to communicate with folks, I just didn't notice.

    I knew that the Post Office was issuing a "forever stamp", but I didn't know much more about it than it would be good for first class postage forever. I didn't know how much it would cost or when the price hike would go into effect. I guess I'll get me some for the occasional bill I pay through the mail (nope, don't do that anymore)... er, um, my correspondence with all of my penpals (nope, don't do that anymore)... um, er, placing mail-orders from catalogs (nope, that's gone electronic too)... Honestly, I can't think of anything I need stamps for anymore. Deposits to my checking account? Pre-paid postage on the envelope. Cards and invitations? Only for grandma; the rest get e-greetings. My holiday greetings? Okay. Those I do mail, when I manage to get them out (I have two years' of annual newsletters which I wrote but never sent... d'oh).

    Yeah, no wonder postage is going up. Less volume reduces the economies of scale.


    Saturday, May 12, 2007

    America's Next What?

    Top Model, or so they say.

    I have come clean in this blog and admitted my secret, that I watch America's Next Top Model. No different this year. I'm watching again. In the past, in fact, I have predicted the winner from early on in the season.

    This cycle, however, I wasn't so impressed with the women who made the final 13, but nevertheless, I do tune in every week. What's different this year is that I had no idea who would win and everytime I liked someone, she would get voted off.

    I thought Samantha was adorable and kind of exotic-looking. She was gone early on.

    On the other hand, I though Jaslene was too masculine-looking and skinny (can a model be too skinny? I argue definitely). But she's still around.

    Then I liked Brittany, but she turned out to be a whiner who was full of excuses. Poof. Gone.

    I thought Renee was gorgeous, but hse photographed awfully old for being 20. And it turned out that she was an expert manipulator. Guess what? She's still there.

    So, now that they are down to the top 3. Two of the girls that I didn't think would make it: Jaslene and Renee. I guess the fact that they grabbed my attention, albeit negatively, early-on suggests that they had something. The third finalist is Natasha, the Russian mom.

    All three of them take gorgeous pictures. I'm sure that all of them could be successful, but I'm making my prediction that Natasha will win. Or Renee.

    Okay, okay. I guess I don't know. Natasha. I think she'll win. But I'd be okay if Renee won too. How cool would it be if a mom won? I just can't see Jaslene as a top model.

    Okay, Natasha. I pick Natasha. Or Renee.

    We'll see next week.



    I think my stomach may have -- knock on wood -- finally recovered from whatever the heck was creating the boulder in my gut. I actually had dinner last night and breakfast this morning, more food in those two meals than I had eaten all week.

    Hopefully I'm back on track with everything, and no more whining. We'll see.

    Meanwhile, things continue to be busy because of the house. We're going to stop by to check on the progress later today. Yay!

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    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    Is it just me...

    ...or am I wrong here? Doesn't this seem to be the kind of degree where it would be particularly important to get hands-on experience, rather than just book-learning?
    Yeah, dunno about that one.


    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Don't be fooled by cheap imitations

    A-#1, gen-you-ine real thing here. If She says so, then it must be.



    My tummy hurts.

    Whine, whine, whine...

    I wish whining about it helped, but sadly, no. My stomach hurts -- and has been painful for a day or so. I'm hoping it "clears itself up", but alas, I don't know if it will.

    Poop. (if only that took care of it!)


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    Tuesday, May 08, 2007

    Anyone who wears high heels

    read this article in the Health section of the Washington Post.

    Does your mom send you articles "of interest" in the mail for you to read? Mine does. Has been for years. Decades? I almost never read them. But I continue to get them on a regular basis. Often it's health stuff or maybe safety-related or some kind of consumer alert. Ya' know, stuff your mom would want you to know.

    Yeah. Did I say that I almost never read them?

    But this one, this one was so important that she called me about it. Asked if I had a subscription to the paper. I told her I'd read it online. She said she'd send it to me. I told her I'd read it online. She asked if SM could save the section from the paper for me. I told her I'd read it online. She worried that all of the graphics weren't online. I asked her to save it for me, and I'd get it next time I was out her way. (She wore me down.) (And do you have conversations like this with your mother?)

    Anyway, this one is worth reading if you have foot problems or wear high heels frequently.

    And yes, there are cool graphics online (don't know if they're the same as in the paper, but I'm prepared to suffer without... until the next time I go to visit her).

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    I think I may be in the wrong line of business

    We're getting estimates for work to be done on our house, and I just had some work done on my apartment to get it in nice condition to rent out.

    For the apartment, I had a handyman do some basic repairs and painting, and I paid him $1400 for the whole job. It took him approximately 2 days to do everything (including running around for materials). Let's assume, very conservatively, that $500 was materials alone (which NO WAY it was) because that's what he asked for in order to get the job started. That means that if he worked two 10-hour days, he earned $45/hour for painting, repairing and cleaning.

    Hell, I don't make $45/hour. And not to downgrade the effort it takes to paint, clean, repair, etc., but it doesn't take tremendous skill. Moderate skill, but not tremendous.

    Law school, schmaw school. Pfff!

    (Okay, I know... the reason why I'm willing to pay that money for him to do the work is because I don't want to do it, so it's not just a "skill factor" determining the price of the labor, there's an "effort factor" too. And that's more of what I'm paying for, the effort it took to get the job done.)

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    Monday, May 07, 2007

    Something else fun to do if you're bored

    And want to know all sorts of trivia about any particular date, like how many seconds have passed since the day you were born? (Yeah, I can't really count that high either.)

    Check out this calculator and font of fun and interesting tidbits.


    Still gets me every time

    I know it's juvenile, but I can't help but crack up watching Gidget skittle, slip and slide across the hardwood floors as she tries to take a corner at a run. She almost looks like a cartoon character, with legs everywhere.

    Too funny.


    Dropped to #2

    in the AIDS walk fundraising marathon.

    Those of you who know me know how freakin' competitive I can be -- and how much this annoys, dismays and rankles me.

    I know it's still early on, but I like sitting pretty at the top of the list (yeah -- sigh -- I can be *that* person when it comes to competition). But then again, it's not a dash, but a marathon. I'll outlast my competition, dagnabbit.

    All for a good cause, of course.


    Sunday, May 06, 2007

    Gidget blogging

    We meet a handyman at the house yesterday to describe our closet projects, and we took Gidget to introduce her to the place. She loved, loved the yard, and we had a hard time getting her back in.

    She also loved the family room. So much so that she started peeing on the carpet. Well, to cut her some slack, two dogs had lived in the house, and the place was full of doggy smells and stains... which is probably why she thought it was okay to pee indoors. This doesn't bode well for leaving her in that room during the day and expecting her to use the doggy door. We'll try to deodorize the carpet and then cross our fingers.

    And here's a picture of SM and Gidget at the front door. Unfortunately, all of the tulips which were gorgeously in bloom in front of the house last week have since faded.

    I would upload more pictures of the house, except they were all out of focus. Stupid auto-focus.

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    Saturday, May 05, 2007

    Making progress!

    Hey, hey... I've got the top total donations to date in support of the Whitman-Walker Clinic AIDS walk. But there aren't many people signed up, and there's still a long way to go before the actual walk.

    Which means there's time for everyone to collect more donations, myself included.

    If you are so inclined, please consider supporting my walk. Any amount is very welcome and greatly appreciated! Click here to keep me in the number one spot by making an online or mail donation.



    Friday, May 04, 2007

    Taking the "liberal" out of liberal arts

    Not to mention the "liberty" out of "Liberty University". Just for the jaw-drop factor, you gotta read Zuska's post about the rider she attached to her bar application -- and the reasons behind it. It made me realize how protected I was (in a fairly progressive cacoon) growing up that I had no idea that such lifestyles, places and people existed in this day and age, or the recent past.

    In college, I was fairly straight-laced. In fact, for junior and senior years, I was a "preceptor" (Rutgers' equivalent to an "RA" or "resident assistant") in the on-campus apartments. The worst I had to do was break up parties and respond to noise complaints. But still, I was one of the student "cops", as it were. Which made me both cool (because everyone knew me) but also an annoyance. Most of all, it just gave me the opportunity to get a guaranteed apartment (because housing was and still is short at RU, so every year we had a lottery to see if we could live on-campus) and free room/board (in return for working for the Office of Residence Life). Oh, and a free t-shirt from the orientation. And I also met a boyfriend that way... but I digress.

    Of course, RU is a state school, so many of the rules are more relaxed than at private institutions. But the stuff Zuska mentions as being infractions at her university? Holy crap. I can't even imagine such oppression (and yes, that is how I'd characterize it). I also can't imagine being the one who has to write someone up for not dusting the dresser. Hell, I can't imagine doing that dusting. Not just once in a while, but at all. And caring enough to measure a student's skirt? Yeah, no.

    So, thanks, Z. That was an education. A peek into a world I have never experienced.


    Thursday, May 03, 2007

    Splat... again

    Lunch: pollo al mole poblano (chicken with sauce, chocolate in the recipe)

    Me: pink knit shirt

    The target: my left boob, again

    The outcome: splat! More blobs on my boob. And another visit to the bathroom to dab and blot. This time, the shirt didn't need to come off and the wet spot isn't my entire left side.

    D'oh. This has got to stop.



    When SM fucks up in his office, his boss gives him the "In the future..." lecture. For me, it's "I guess I'm confused why..." which serves as a preamble for the "you fucked up" discussion. SM has a male boss; mine is female -- which may explain the different approaches.

    I just got the "I guess I'm confused why..." conversation. Oh well. I didn't screw up per se, but maybe said something that didn't need to be said. Even though my boss was asking for an explanation in using that approach, she clearly wasn't. In so many words, I just got scolded not to do it again.

    The silly thing is that it was a silly thing. More of a "we don't want to send the wrong message and make anyone look bad or rock the boat unnecessarily" because of internal politics than anything wrong. So I'm annoyed that I got sorta scolded.

    Oh well. I guess I'll just shake it off and shut up.


    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    Coffee klutz

    That's me. I'm a coffee klutz. I've always said it, and this morning just reinforced my "walking coffee disaster" status.

    I was good and brought a commuter cup to work with me, instead of dropping $3 for the local brew. Had the top closed and made it all the way -- on the bus, over the speed bumps, up the escalator -- to the metro... but still somehow managed to drip some on my pants when I sat down. Very annoying, but the pants are black so I dealt.

    As it turns out, it wasn't just my pants. I discovered upon arriving at the office that I also managed to splat on my shirt. My off-white shirt.

    And not only my shirt, but my boob. My left boob.

    And not only my left boob, but the very... how shall I say this?... most protruding, prominent aspect of my left boob.

    Yes, the freakin' nipple area!

    I dripped coffee on my shirt right at the nipple. Gawldangit.

    So, what to do? Let it be and have brown drips at my nips? Or clean it and give the illusion that I'm lactating?


    For the second time in several months, I went to the handicapped stall of the women's room and stripped. I took off my shirt and put it under the faucet to scrub the coffee out. Then I wrang it out and blotted it with lots of paper towels.

    Good news? The coffee mostly came out.

    Bad news? The shirt became almost transparent. And kinda stuck to me. And yes, while you could no longer see the brown drips, you could see... you get the picture.

    Great way to start the day, eh?

    In some ways, it was a good thing I had a training to observe all morning. I was able to sit in the back of the room, hunched over and with a pad of paper in front of me. Now my shirt, etc. is all dry, and there isn't too much evidence left of my klutziness. Thank goodness.

    I guess I can't handle a full cup of coffee without being properly caffeinated! What is a girl to do?


    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Score one for standard transmissions

    This excerpt came from the crime blotter for our new area.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trivializing crime. This is a scary situation. I am, however, trivializing criminals.
    On Tuesday 3/29 at 2005 hours, in the 2500 block of Kimberly Street, a pizza deliveryman returned to his vehicle after making a delivery. The suspects were waiting for him when he came back. One suspect was sitting in the victim’s vehicle and displayed a handgun; he demanded the victim’s cash. The suspects attempted to drive away in the victim’s vehicle, but didn’t know how to drive a clutch. The suspects fled on-foot toward the mall.
    Thwarted by a clutch!

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    Happy Law Day everyone!

    And thanks to Scooter for the felicitations -- and heads up!

    Here's a little history of Law Day, as per Wikipedia:
    It was first proposed in the 1950s by the American Bar Association, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1 Law Day, U.S.A. in 1958.[1] Its observance was later codified into law by Public Law 87-20 on April 7, 1961.[2]

    In contrast, most countries celebrate May Day on the same date, as it is designated International Workers Day. Law Day, U.S.A., along with Loyalty Day, was created to discourage celebration of May Day, a perceived communist holiday.
    I have to admit that I find it amusing that Law Day (very American-soundimg) is also May Day (very communist-sounding) and Lei Day (very fun-sounding anyway you think about it), as well as a whole host of other observances.

    Well, whatever the celebration, I hope you have a great May 1st!

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    Monday morning haiku

    A day and a half late... but here it is anyway:

    Slow pokes, move it please.
    Why must you walk two by two
    Blocking the sidewalk?

    Oblivious to
    The congestion they create
    As I, we dodge them

    All of those people
    Just waddling, wandering
    And plodding along

    But not me. I stride.
    Moving quickly, with purpose.
    No time to dawdle.

    Brain multi-tasking
    Writing haiku in my head
    Using all my time.

    But why? What the hell?
    Scurrying and hurrying
    Just to get to work?

    What am I thinking?
    Too many things, the same time.
    Slow down and change pace.

    Life is for meandering.


    Page-a-day trivia for Monday, April 30th

    (Yesterday, I know... but I wasn't in the office yesterday.)

    So for all of you trivia buffs, this blog's for you: how many of the United States's 50 states have land north of Canada's southernmost point?

    Any guesses? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

    Well, I guessed. I guessed and was way, WAY off.

    Whatever number you're thinking, go higher. Higher. Nope, higher.

    Okay, want the answer? Are you sure? Really?

    Okay. The answer is 27. More than half of the states in the US are north of Canada, sorta.

    How's that, you say? Well, Canada's southernmost point is the very small Middle Island, Ontario, which is located in Lake Erie at 41' 41" North. The 27 states with points north of that include the obvious and the not-so-obvious: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, MIchigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

    Huh, who knew? I bet even Alex didn't know that one!


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