Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pre-Departure Jitters

The dog has been taken to the kennel.

The kitty has been given enough food/water/love to [hopefully] last until Monday. Maybe John will stop by on Sunday to check on her, though.

The bags [one small rolly carry-on and one small "briefcase," which is actually a funky shoulder bag I bought in Thailand] are [mostly] packed.

Now, comes the waiting ... I'll be leaving the house in a couple of hours. The waiting is the worst. I hate it. I'm all jittery. I'm not worried about the flight - it's more of what do I do after I arrive.

Where is the rental car place?
How do I get from the airport to the hotel?
OMFG, I HAVE TO DRIVE!!! IN ATLANTA!!! LAND OF CRAZY DRIVERS!!!
What about checking into the room? What if Catherine isn't there when I arrive?

GAH! I'm a bundle-de-bundle of nerves. I should have a drink. I won't drink at the airport or on the plane, because I'll be driving. GAH!

I so hate driving.

Christal called and asked if I would have time to swing by and bring her her mail. I did, but when I got to her place I realized I had left her key at John's. I don't feel like going back. I can mail her her mail on Tuesday.

Quoth Robert:
CALM BLUE OCEAN!!! CALM BLUE OCEAN!!!

At Least I Can Still Access Cute Overload

Update to my previous entry.

Now all blogspot web addresses are blocked.

I could just die...

GAH! Stupid Firewall!

Apparently "they" have readjusted the settings on my company's firewall. I get to add a whole slew of favorite blogs to my bloglines sitefeed thingy now, including:

Mind, The
La Gargantua del Diablo
Token Asian*
View from the Mantlepiece
Synaptic Discharge [although for some weird reason this one works when I don't use the "www."]
The Krebs Cycle
Hyphenated Non-IDentity

and, best of all,

VUBOQ: Vicious, Unrepentant, Bitter, Old Queen

The reasoning is the same: FORBIDDEN CATEGORY: Hacking/Proxy Avoidance Systems ... whatever the hell that means.

So, because my evil most-hated company blocks my blog and my personal email, I will not be able to read your brilliant comments to this (and other) posts. You'll just have to IM me all day long to keep me entertained (my AIM ID is in my profile).

ANYWAY, I'm taking a halfday today so I can drop Oscar off at the kennel and finish packing for my trip to Atlanta. YAY! I won't be updating until I get back on May 1st, so enjoy the rest of the month (APRIL is the cruelest, so "they" say) and let's chat when I get back...

Sex in 4 Days. WOO HOO!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

VUBOQ Takes 12 Inches

This is a day which will live in infamy.

Usually 6 inches leaves me stuffed and satisfied.
On rare occasions, I can somehow squeeze in 9.
But, today, for the first time EVER, in one sitting, I have managed all 12 inches ...




... of my footlong veggie delite Subway sandwich.


I know what you were thinking, my Pervy Monkeys.

VUBOQ Cheeses Off Someone at the Corporate Office

I received a call through the hotline asking for Person Z(first name only, not familiar). Here is our conversation:

Caller: May I speak to Z, please
Me: There is no one here by that name. I don't think he works here.
Caller: Yes, he does. He's the PM [project manager] of that program.
Me: No, the PM of the program is X.
Caller: No, Z is above X.
Me: No, Y is above X.
Caller: I work at Corporate and I know, Z is above X and below Y.
Me: There is no one here by that name.
Caller: Fine! I'll call Y.
*click*

Turns out that Z works in the suite next door, but that section is undergoing "phase out" or "down-sizing" or something. No one has been in that office for a couple of weeks. And, Z is not above X and below Y. Z and X are in equivalent positions on different contracts.

Who knew?

Apparently not corporate lady.

Plan Revampification

Mice. Men. Gang aft a'gley. *sigh*

Today was going to be my running around during my incredibly long breaks to get ready for my first-ever stint as a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding this weekend. I'm so excited I've been bemoaning "Always a bridesmaid. Never a bride." in the mirror for weeks. Alas, one of my co-workers has called in sick. No incredibly long breaks. Just a few shorter ones.

Maybe I will still have time to run over to Marshalls to pick out a few cute shirts for the wedding events - y'know crazy drunken rehearsal, crazy drunken rehearsal dinner, crazy drunken wedding, crazy drunken wedding reception, crazy drunken post-wedding reception party ... I *heart* my cousin!

In other news ...

I actually have work to do this morning, which is kinda sucky.

But, on the bright side: 5 Days Until I Have Sex! YAY!

*smooches*

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I'm Wearing Cute Underwear Today

Like this, 'cept mine're brown. And, yeah, I look exactly like that model too.

In Other Exciting News ...

I found Oscar's been-missing-for-eons rubber toy, which John refers to as his "peanut butter ball," but should probably be called a *ahem* butt plug.

Oscar loves that thing and chewed on it all night. gah.

It was under the computer desk. I swear I looked under that desk a thousand times when the toy originally went missing. It wasn't there. Honest. Suddenly, it appears out of nowhere. I think there must be some sort of tear in the space-time continuum under the desk. Oscar's completely unstuffed teddy bear was also under the desk. It was like Christmas came early to John's house.

Oscar was happier than a pig in mud.

Meanwhile, let Countdown to Sex begin. I will see John in 6 days. Woo hoo!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Meat-free Monday: Polenta Portabello Edition

The assembled ingredients: portabello mushroom caps, polenta, garlic, mozzarella, tomato, fire-roasted red peppers, cooking twine, bag o' salad, and -the most important ingredient- dirty sapphire martini [Just in case it's bad, you ... meaning me ... will be drunk and it won't matter].

After rinsing the mushroom caps, brush with olive oil. Stuff the caps with polenta. layer with sliced mozzarella and a slice of tomato (which I deseeded and filled with polenta). Tie together with the twine. Place in baking dish.

While baking at (about) 450 for (about) 30 minutes, make the red pepper puree with the red peppers, garlic, olive oil, some pepper, salt, and basil.

[I *heart* my little handmixer/food processor thingy]




Cooking takes a long time ...



I could've assembled a salad like this, but I decided that 1) bag o' salad is much easier and 2) I really don't like cooking in my underwear. [I much prefer to cook nekkid.]

And, the final product:



The verdict: YUMMILICIOUS

*burpy garlic smooches*

Do You Tattoo?

Here's a picture of my tattoo. I was playing with my cell phone camera last night after drinking a pitcher of margaritas and soaking in the hot tub.

I got it on the day before my 30th birthday [March 16th], so, if I ever regretted having a tattoo, I could blame it on a youthful indiscretion. "I was in my 20s," I could say, my voice slightly tinged with shame and remorse.

The character, itself, is pronounced "inochi" in Japanese which means "life." In Chinese, I believe it is "ming" and means "fate" or "destiny." It's located just above my inner right ankle.

In other exciting news, it's VUBOQ's first ever MEAT-FREE MONDAY!!!

Woo-hoo!

Do your part for your health and for the environment: Give up meat for one meal today! If you do, take a picture, post it on your blog, and leave a comment here! I'll visit and give you lots and lots and lots of meat-free smooches.

I will be combining experimental cooking with Meat-Free Monday this evening. The ingredients: portabello mushrooms caps, polenta, cheese, tomato, spinach (maybe), roasted red peppers, and some other stuff. Update this evening on how it all turns out.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Queue Forms Here

Somewhere among the sunshine, the margaritas, and the book I'm reading, I recovered a memory from my college days: the only time I've ever lined up overnight for tickets to an event.

Who was this event for? Who was I so desperate to see that I would wait for hours to get tickets? Madonna? Whitney Houston? The New Kids on the Block?

Ha. Amateurs! All of them.

The person I absolutely had to see:

[wait for it]

Jimmy Carter.

Yep. He came to Elon as a part of Habitat for Humanity event. The college was having a special question and answer session that was by ticket only. My friend, Isa, and I decided we *had* to go. So we headed to the auditorium and spent the night by the ticket booth. Surprisingly, we weren't the only ones who had the idea.

In the end, we received our tickets. Slept for a bit. Then, later that afternoon, were able to speak with Jimmy Carter. And have our picture taken with him. I still have the photo lying about in a box somewhere.

Very cool.

My parents are taking part in an Elder Hostel (aka "the hostile elders") trip to Georgia this week. Part of their experience will be to attend Jimmy Carter's sunday school class. I told them to tell him I said hi. I'm sure he remembers me :-)

Weekend Highlights: Smashmouse Edition

So many wild and wonderful things happened this weekend, I hardly know where to begin. I shall, therefore, begin where most people begin things: [Everyone! Sing along!] When reading we begin with a-b-c [a-b-c!]. In singing we begin with do-re-me [do-re-me!]. In blogging we begin with ... the middle [in media res!].

Yesterday, I met Jake. He's very cool. We went to Halo for drinks (2-for1!). Robert joined us. Then, we ran into Ray and Joey and went to Logan Tavern for dinner. Surprisingly, I found Joey to be quite entertaining this time. Maybe I was more drunk than usual. Or maybe he was...

The only other exciting Saturday events were 1) my haircut [It looks fabulicious] and 2) a cop got shot in the leg about 2 blocks from John's house and about 1 hour before I walked by on my way to the Metro station. Fun!

Friday's bowling happy hour was too much fun! I scored 120 the second game! I would have a picture to prove it, but in my rather intoximacated state, I forgot to save it. *curses stupid cell phone camera save button* Of course, in the third and final game, I outdid myself with a score of 40. Yes, I rock. And, my ass hurts [stupid proper bowling form].

Here's the fun phone conversation I had with John the next day:

Me: Bowling was fun, but my ass hurts from trying to use proper bowling form.
John: You should start going to the gym.
Me: Or I could just stop bowling.

Here's the fun first-ever conversation I had with the (temporarily reformed) Skankified Ho's new boyfriend at the bowling alley:

S. Ho: Connor, this is Steven.
Steven: Hi, Connor. Nice to meet you.
Connor: Oh, Steven. Yeah. Sometimes [Skankified Ho] calls out "Steven!" during sex. I wondered who that was.
Steven: [shocked silence]
S. Ho: [shocked silence]
Steven: I really don't know what to say to that. [walks away]

Um. Yeah. Like what-the-fuck was that?

Finally, today, when I went home to feed my pussy, I noticed that my bright orange messenger bag was on the floor. "Didn't I put that on the chair when I was last here," I thought to myself.

I bent down, picked up the messenger bag, and -GAH!- there was a FLAT LITTLE MOUSE underneath it! GAH!

Wrong time? Wrong place for mouseykins? Did Psychokitty Isabella, Giver of Vomit of Joy, Attacker of Feet Which Move in the Night, Killer of Alien Crickets give herself a new moniker?

My best guess is that Isabella caught the mouse and played with it until she got bored. Then, she hopped up on the chair, knocking the messenger bag over, which smashed the mouse into a little mouse pancake. Whatever happened, though, the results were totally gross.

Dead mice are never pretty. [Words to live by, those are.]

On that note, I think I'm going to make a margarita and sit in the sun.

*smooches*

Where Did You Go to School?

Shigeki participated in a meme. I found one of the questions interesting: How many schools did you go to?

My list is fairly long too ...

I went to kindergarten in Belmont, NC. I can't remember the name of the school though.

1st - 4th grade, I went to Murphy Elementary in Murphy, NC.

Then, my family moved to Stallings, NC. I went to Indian Trail Elementary for 5th grade and Sun Valley Middle School for 6th Grade.

We moved again to Rural Hall, NC. I went to Mineral Springs Junior High for 7th and 8th grade and North Forsyth High School for 9th - 12th grade.

I earned my BA in Science Education at Elon College (now University). While there, I spent a semester at Birkbeck College, University of London. I also took summer courses at Gaston County Community College (in NC) and Appalachian State University (in Boone, NC).

If teaching counts, I taught biology for 2 years at West Montgomery High School in Mt. Gilead, NC.

Then, I taught conversational English at the California Language Institute in Kokura, Kitakyushu Japan for one year and the Center for International Communication in Futajima, Kitakyushu Japan for two years. While in Japan, I took a one semester beginning Japanese language course at Kitakyushu University. I also took language classes at the Kitakyushu International Center.

After returning stateside, I took calculus at a community college in Hickory, NC and a pottery class at Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton, NC. I had to withdraw from the pottery class, because I went to Beijing to teach a semester of Business English at Kangpei Junior College.

After that, I earned my MA in Global Environmental Policy at American University here in Washington, DC.

And, I've taken personal enrichment courses [advanced beginner's Mandarin Chinese and two domestic environmental policy courses] at the USDA Graduate School.

OK. I think that's it. I put schools that I either attended full-time or worked at full-time in bold, and I italicized schools in which I only took a few classes.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

an "i really should be going to bed rather than typing up a blog entry" entry ...

The other day I had a phone conversation with a former coworker, the Skankified Ho (reformed) (temporarily, I think). During the course of this conversation, she asked, "When is the appropriate time to say 'I love you.'" I said something along the lines of "when it feels right, you'll know blah blah blah stock advice columnist answer."

"True," she said, "but, when did you say it to John."

"I haven't."

"WHAT?!?! How long have you been dating?"

"Nearly 9 months."

Yeah ... we've had a relationship baby, and I still haven't said those three little word which carry so much weight. He hasn't said it to me either ... well, besides those post-coital moments two months (or less) into our dating which completely freaked me out.

We've jokingly said things like "I love you and all, but ... blah blah blah ha ha ha." Which is not the same thing, right? Right?

I do love him. Saying it ... aloud ... to him ... is an entirely different bunch of bananas though. There have been times when I've wanted to say it, but it didn't feel "right" (whatever that feels like). I kind of want to say it now... but he's not here.

Sometimes, I miss him so much it hurts, and I want to curl up into a little ball on the bed hibernating until he gets back. The rest of the time, I tuck the missing in the back of my brain, distract myself with fun activities with friends, and somehow manage to muddle through the day.

Is that love?

I don't know. I think I've become so adept at hiding my emotions that I can't even recognize them in myself.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Friday, April 21, 2006

Marvelous Mush

Mush has explained to me how to get the photos off of my camera phone. She so rocks. Here's the test pic:
It's from my Annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party (way back last Fall). I am the pumpkin carver extraordinaire. This is so hot!

Weekend Plans: Re-Blonding Edition

Tonight, my co-workers and I are going to Strike Bethesda for Happy Hour. The thing about Happy Hour with my co-workers is that it usually turns into Happy Hours ... beginning with a round of tequila shots and ending with drunken staggering home.

Usually this is not a problem, except tomorrow I have to be up very early for my 10:30 hair appointment. I'm going to be re-blonded! YAY! Just in time for my next weekend stint as a bridesmaid. Hair made all purdy, I will head back to John's for a nap or two. I also will need to go feed and play with my pussy and check on Christal's abode.

Later, I'm meeting Jake in Dupont Circle for drinks (at Halo!) and dinner (at somewhere!) and maybe a night of crazy partying (or not!).

Sunday, I will go to the grocery store and recharge my batteries by blobbing around the house a lot.

AND, don't forget, Monday, is the first Meat-free Monday! It would be *so* cool if a couple people participated along with me.

I'm Much More Offended By "Disco Turtle"

This was one of the lead stories on Channel 9's 11 o'clock news last night:

Racy Display Riles Silver Spring

Perhaps a more accurate title should be "Racy Display Riles One Silver Spring Resident."

Only one man, Michael Gurwitz, was quoted as finding the display distasteful, describing the teenaged-looking models as "having Lolita written all over them."

To that, I say, "What the fuck ever, dude." It's nothing worse than the images we are bombarded with everyday on the TV, in the movies, and by what people are wearing on the street.

The only thing offensive I find with the ads (which I walk by nearly everyday on my way to work) is that the models need a bath. They look kinda grungy.

I want to take them all home and throw them in the shower. OK, I *may* want to do a little more than that with the shirtless guy in his underwear, but still ... a little shampoo, conditioner, and body wash goes a long way.

Besides, if you're going to protest something in Downtown Silver Spring, don't protest a new business that is bringing jobs and -perhaps- a sense of style to a place where it is sorely needed. Protest those fucking useless and completely hideous turtle statues that are popping up all over downtown like a bad case of acne.

Disco Turtle. GAH!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

How Are *You* Feeling?

Right now, I'm sad and lonely.
Leave your feelings in the comments section.
Go on. I dare you.

I double dog dare you.

I'm going to bed.
Good night.

Hot In Here

OMG. It's, like, a gabillion degrees outside! A Gabillion Degrees Fahrenheit! [None of that wussy Celsius shit over here.]

One of the advantages to being a deputy program manager is that I make the schedule. And, sometimes, when I make the schedule, it just so happens that I give myself a three-hour lunch break. Hey. I deserve it. I work hard. *heh* "hard"

This afternoon, I bought cucumber and avocado sushi rolls and inari sushi from Whole Foods. I walked home, ate my yummy lunch, and played with my pussy. I brushed my pussy a lot. It's pussy shedding season, y'know ... as evidenced by a) the massive hairball puke pile on my hardwood floor and 2) the 8 thousand lint brush roller sheets it took to almost completely dehair my sofa.

On the walk back to the office [via Starbucks. Mmm. Coffee], I noticed it had become a lot warmer. So warm, in fact, that the asphalt roads began to boil and evaporate. Fortunately, the concrete sidewalks seemed fine, if a little softer than normal.

Of course, now I'm back in the office in the glorious glorious air-conditioning. I only hope that the building maintains its structural integrity ... at least until 5PM (aka Go Home Time). Then, it can melt into the ground. I won't care.

Enough Already!

I blame Chicago and their Cows on Parade for the horror that is "Disco Turtle" on the corner of Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road.

At the time, the Cows were different and fun, but now would someone please stop torturing us with badly-designed, no longer unique [Yes, Amanda, the disco-thing - It's been done] plaster animal statues as "art?"

GAH!

Since I've lived in the DC area, I have been subjected to:

elephants and donkeys,
pandas,
piggy banks,
and -of all things-
crabs (Baltimore has crabs. *heh*).

Now, we are going to be overrun by turtles, or I suppose I should say, terrapins.

It makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out.

Does Oral Sex Count?

Yesterday, after work, I met my friend, Jerry, for happy hour at Halo (2-for-1 drinks! woo hoo!). Well into my second Maker's Mark Manhattan (YUM!), our conversation turned to how many sexual partners we've had.

As Jerry was tabulating his total, I said, "4."
"Only 4," Jerry asked, seemingly surprised.
"Yes. But I'm not counting oral sex."

To me, oral sex doesn't count. It's not like I'm going around giving (or receiving, for that matter) random blowjobs to guys on the street. Even including oral sex, my numbers still aren't *that* high. Oral sex isn't as intimate and lacks the emotional connection of butt sex. So, when I'm asked to number my sexual partners, I don't include it.

Do you?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Gimme the Cookies!

Adam over at the Krebs Cycle is sponsoring some sort of contest in which people have to explain why it's important to vote. Here's what I came up with:



(click to enlarge. *heh* "enlarge")

Now that I think about it, it doesn't really answer the question, but *hey* maybe it'll still get me some cookies!

And, hopefully, "by April 19th" means "by COB April 19th."

PS. Clicking doesn't seem to make it "enlarge" *heh*. So, I've uploaded it to Flickr. HERE!

A Woman in Los Angeles Has the Bubonic Plague

I, on the other hand, do not. So, I guess it's not *all* bad.


Did anyone else start singing songs from Oklahoma! after reading the name of the little Cruise-ling? Or was that just me?

Pity, Party of 1! Self Pity, Party of 1!

I feel myself getting into a bit of a funk. And, no, it's not because someone from Ohio, and not me, won the $265 million MegaMillions jackpot. I hate them.

Last night, too many negative things converged at once ... things I don't really like about myself and need to work on fixing. Not worrying about going to movies by myself, for example. Or, being able to speak up for myself when the boyfriend fusses at me about completely stupid things, like his dog getting muddy paw prints on his shirt. gah.

While he's fussing, I'm thinking of things I can say; however, when it comes time to say my piece, I don't say them. They fester inside me. And it's frustrating.

I need a smoothie. Off to Whole foods.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I Don't Care

I'm a little disappointed. I wanted to go see a screening of the Japanese film Repast, directed by Naruse Mikio tonight at the AFI. However, when I sent out an email to several of my friends, no one responded in the affirmative.

I could have gone by myself, but ... I don't know ... it wouldn't be the same. *sigh*

Then, I get home and the dog jumps all over me with his muddy paws. John calls and I tell him. "You were wearing my shirt, weren't you," he said.
"Yes."
blah blah blah lecture lecture lecture.
"When I come home, I change first. I don't wear an $80 shirt to play with the dog."

What-the-fucking-ever. I wasn't playing with the dog. I was letting him in and cleaning up his shit and he jumped up on me.

The friggin' mud will come out in the wash.

GAH!

Reasons why I have a cat:
1. Litter boxes are easier to clean than scooping up shovels full of dogshit.
2. Cats don't jump up on you with muddy paws.
3. Cats are aren't annoyingly needy. They are calm and soothing.

Sometimes I feel like I just can't do anything right.

On Vegetarianism

Anonymous asked in the comments section of my previous post:

I've been a vegetarian for 13 years or so, and I've noticed it pisses a lot of people off. I don't know why people take my eating habits so seriously, but it really gets to them. Or people tell me, "I could never be a vegetarian! I love meat too much!" It's like they feel threatened or something, like they think I'm criticizing their choices, so their going to criticize me first. Ever been treated that way, Vuboq?

I've been a vegetarian since 2000. I have had people, including my parents, question my decision to quit eating meat. Unfortunately, some people do seem threatened by vegetarians. I'm not entirely sure why, but here's what I think:

Some meat-eaters feel threatened because, as moral people, they know that eating animals raised in cruel ways and killed in cruel ways is morally unacceptable. They have to create arguments, more for themselves than vegetarians, to justify their food choices. Hence, vegetarians have to deal with ludicrous arguments, such as "I love meat and could never stop eating it" and "We have always eaten meat. We have canine teeth."

Of course, some of you who know me are thinking, "Hello, Kettle. This is Pot. You're black."

And, yes, I am. I eat dairy products and eggs. I know that dairy cows and egg-laying hens are treated in cruel ways - pumped full of hormones, raised in overcrowded situations, etc. As a moral person, I should find this unacceptable and give up eating those products. However, I haven't and probably won't anytime soon.

The great thing about being a vicious, unrepentant, bitter, old queen is that I don't try to justify my eating choices to vegans, nor do I have to justify it to myself.

If you're interested in some recommended reading, I enjoyed these books:

  1. Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat by Howard F. Lyman
  2. Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
  3. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

There Are No New Ideas

This morning, VUBOQ ran head-on into postmodernism (possibly), and, *ow*, I think I bruised something, maybe my femur or my scapula.

Even after reading the long, long entry on postmodernism in Wikipedia, I'm still not sure I get it. Someone once explained Postmodern Thought (PoMoTho?) as stating that there are no original ideas. Everything is a rehash of something that has already been done. That may not be correct, but that's how I'm going to define it. So there. *nyah*

Anyway, this morning, while I was in the shower, my two separate blog personalities began a discussion. We were brainstorming ideas on what we could do, as blogs, to help improve the environment. More specifically, what we could do to mitigate the onset of climate change.

Naturally, with gas prices rapidly increasing to over $3/gallon ($3.05 at the cheap Texaco station near my apartment), we first considered encouraging people to give up driving their cars, or carpooling, once a week. However, after some debate, we decided this wouldn't be practical. Some people live in the wilderness without easy access to public transportation or carpooling neighbors.

Then, we hit upon a great idea: What if we convinced people to give up meat for one meal a week?

People in blogworld seem to love "themed" blog entries, such as the inexplicably popular Half-Naked Thursdays. What if we could convince all those people who like to plaster semi-naked photos of themselves all over the web to also give up meat for one meal a week and post a picture of that meal?

What if we started a "Meat-free Monday" Campaign? Wouldn't that be great? Wouldn't it?

Apparently so.

Even though, my idea may not be entirely original ... the reasoning seems to be. The site above was created for health reasons (and allows fish, which, I hate to break it to you, is actually meat).

Think about it. You could give up meat for one meal a week. Start to improve you health. And, maybe even help the environment. Not too shabby, eh?

In case you're wondering, I am vegetarian. Here's my explanation of why on Envirowonk.

That entry also has some interesting links on how:

Vegetarianism helps the environment, and
Vegetarianism combats world hunger.

So, stay tuned to see if I can get this Meat-Free Monday thing to fly.

*smooches*

Cross-posted on Envirowonk

Monday, April 17, 2006

Busted! I Feel Better.

Funny how someone else's misfortune can brighten your day, eh?

Take, fr'instance, the gentleman in the black sports car who ran the red light, making the turn onto Colesville Road (from Georgia Avenue) only to be stopped immediately by the motorcycle cop sitting in the Panera parking lot.

*giggle*
*guffaw*

I smiled all the way to the metro station.

Move Along. Nothing to See Here.

I've tried to not inundate my journal with mope-y, depressing entries about how I miss John ... blah blah blah. But, sometimes, when it's gray and dreary outside, I can't help thinking about it. And I get all mope-y and depressed. Like now. It sucks.

We're at the halfway point now. Two weeks to go.

Other than the lonely sexless nights (and mornings!) and not sleeping well, one of the worst things is the responsiblity. I feel overwhelmed by it. I have to make sure the dog is fed. And, the mail is picked up. And my cat is fine. And I'm running here and running there and, at the end of it all, I'm exhausted.

Plus, to keep my mind off missing John, I've scheduled lots of fun things to do with friends, which is equally exhausting.

I think, once John is back, I can go home and sleep. All the time.

Was It Worth Getting My Shoes Wet?

Yesterday, I noticed the gas prices at the cheap Texaco near my place. The lowest grade gas was $2.91/gallon. It's probably clicked over to at least $3 by now.

$3/gallon! GAH! I remember [way back when] driving around until I could find gas for under $1 ... similar to those heady college days where we would drive around trying to find bottles of Boone's Farm for under $1.05.

$3/gallon has caused me to reevaluate my commuting situation. This month, with John gone, I have been driving to work every day. According to Google Maps, it's a 4 mile trip. GMC Envoys get about 15 mpg.

Doing the math ...

I use about 0.5 gallons per day for my commute. That would be $1.50. Not too bad, I guess. Except it also costs me between $4.50-$5 to park per day. $6.50 each day. Just to get to work.

So, today I decided to metro. One way from Fort Totten Station to Silver Spring Station during rush hour is $1.40. For a total commuting savings of [$6.50 - $2.80 = ] $3.70! Woo Hoo!

The actual travel time is about the same what with having to walk to and from the stations versus sitting at lots and lots of stoplights. I guess this week, I'll take public transportation when possible. Of course, when I drive the big honkin' SUV, my shoes don't get as wet.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

T[ISBOP]4C

... Thank [Insert Supreme Being of Preference] 4 Coffee ...

I took this pic a few minutes ago, and I love how it turned out with the flowers and the coffee and Oscar looking on in the distance.

The mug in the photo is one I bought for John. We had been dating a month or two, when I went home to visit the folks. They live a short distance from downtown Waynesville, which is filled with cute little mountain crafty stores. Although purchased in Waynesville, this mug was made in Seagrove, NC, a potter's community, located about 1.5 hours from where I used to teach.

The glaze on the mug is called "blueberry and chocolate." Delicious. Anyway, I think John liked the gift, and -using it while he's away- reminds me of him.

With the assistance of the Sweet and Creamy Elixir of Life, aka Coffee, my hangover is beginning to fade. Yay.

Yesterday's Saturday Afternoon Margaritas: Hot Tub Edition! (SAM:HTE!) was great fun. Even though only 3 people showed up, they were the preferred three: Tomoko, Robert, and Terry.

I made the first batch of margaritas using my cousin's recipe: 12 oz. tequila, 12 oz. frozen limeade, 12 oz. Corona, and 12 oz. ginger ale. Muddle in pitcher with spoon. Serve over ice. They were good, but not all that. Maybe I did something wrong, because Cousin Suzanne raves about them. We were kind of *meh*.

Then, Robert took over the margarita making responsibilities. His were much better: limeade, water, tequila, and cointreau. I'm not sure of the proportions though.

We drank and ate liquid cheese (Velveeta and diced tomatoes w/chili). Then, we grilled out veggie burgers and hamburgers. Robert brought the fixins for a very yummy salad. Later, we had strawberries, provided by Tomoko.

"What did Terry bring," you ask. He brought fun margarita glasses! Yay!

A fifth and a half of tequila later, everyone was feeling quite happy. We sat on the deck and watched the stars go by, listening to the occasional wail of a police siren. We opted not to hot tub, as only Terry and I had swim suits. [I did hop in later, though]. Everyone left around 10PM I think.

I crashed around 11:30 or 12. Morning came way too early.

I need to check the newspaper. I either dreamed or actually heard gunshots around 2 or 3AM. Probably it was a dream, but I want to check the paper nevertheless.

Happy Easter!


Thanks to Tomoko for the flowers. More on SAM:HTE! after this head-splitting hangover dissipates.

PS. Happy Nice Sunny Day to the Non-Christians out there :-)

*smooches*

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I Am Drunk and Excruciatingly Horny

That is all.

Old Boyfriends Revisited.

Yesterday, because it was so slow, I let my staff leave at 4. Bored, I decided to see if one of my exes was still around. So, I entered in his AIM ID and sent him an IM.

He answered.

When I was diary-x'ing, I referred to this guy as TGIBS. He dumped me after about 6 weeks, because of "three reasons."

They were: 1. I lived too far away; 2. I am a morning person. He isn't; and, 3. I don't have a car. IMHO, completely frivolous reasons, but ... whatever.

Anyway, he sent me some pics of his recent trip to London and his boyfriend's (partner?) 30th birthday party. They've been together for 2 years now, and

I am so much cuter than the boyfriend.

Life is good.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Special Message Just for You

for you chemistry geeks, that is ...


Like Crack, Only More Fattening

In my former life, as Enviroboi, I know I waxed philosphic about my one, true love. Now, in this "new" forum, I get to do it again! YAY.

I am so addicted to Starbucks Apple Raisin Fritters, which is saying a lot, considering I don't really like raisins all that much. The Fritters are (relatively) cheap and (super) delicious. Venti brewed coffee - $1.80. Apple Raisin Fritter - $1.75. Complete sugar high - Priceless.

As some of you may know, Starbucks is doing some sort of Akeelah and the Bee movie tie-in. The word on my little Starbucks cardboard "don't burn your hand" holder-thingy today is antediluvian. It was one of my vocabulary words from my High School Junior English Class. I think it's the first "Starbucks" word I a) knew the definition of and 2) could spell correctly if asked. Although, "Steven, how do you spell antediluvian" doesn't enter into conversation too often.

Last night, Christal and I went to dinner at some Mexican Place on Flower Avenue. I have completely forgotten its name, but -yum- they have the best Spinach Enchiladas ever. Then, I drove Christal to the grocery store. She needed to pick up "a few items." Two full carts later ...

Ha ha. I jest. She did need to pick up more than "a few" items. And, if I hadn't have taken control of the cart and hurried her along, we'd still be standing in the processed meat section debating which package of bacon to buy: thin cut or thick cut? maple or honey? $2.39 or $2.45? GAH!

If the buddha grocery shopped ...

I got home around 10, called John, and, soon after, went to bed. Today, I have to buy all the supplies for Saturday Afternoon Margaritas: Hot Tub Edition! (SAM:HTE!). Plus, Christal is having a little soiree at her place tonight, so I'll need to pick up some wine and feta-stuffed olives for that. Saturday morning, I'll do all the cleaning and prep for SAM.

I don't have any plans for Sunday.

Maybe I'll go to church.

[pause]

[pause]

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

More than likely, I will celebrate the resurrection by sleeping in late and nursing a god-awful hangover.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

On Dishwashers and Such ...

JJD has reminded me to tell everyone about my "rather entertaining" dishwasher story. The more I've thought about it, it's not all that entertaining, but here goes ...

As I've written before, I used to teach high school biology in a rural county in North Carolina. This story happened during that time.

After a summer of frantically searching for a job, I was offered the position at West Montgomery High School one week before school was to start. Frantically searching for a job morphed into frantically searching for a place to live and frantically packing for a move.

Luckily, a former member of the county Board of Education liked to supplement her income by renting out her family's log cabin in a gated community in the Uwharrie National Forest. The house was nice: 2 bedroom, 2 bath, nice porch, beautiful view of the river at sunset, etc. etc. etc.

The main drawback was that this house was for sale.

The deal was that the real estate agent had to give me at least one day's notice before showing the house. As the year progressed, the one day's notice shrank to 12 hours to a few hours to phone calls while am at work saying "I'm on my way to show the house" to strange people showing up at the house, knocking on the door, peeking in the window, and saying "oh, the realtor said it would be OK to come by." After complaining to the realtor and my landlady, things would get better for a week or two, but they would rapidly begin to deteriorate again.

I stopped caring how the house looked. If the realtor didn't want to give me any notice, I didn't want to bother making the house look decent. Of course, this lead to fun moments with my students like the following actual conversation:

Cute Student: Mr. Davis, my sister and her husband looked at your house yesterday.
Mr. Davis: Oh?
Mr. Davis (thinking): GAH! The realtor didn't even call.
Cute Student: My sister said your underwear was all over the floor. *giggle*
Mr. Davis: GAH!

And, now, you are probably thinking, "What does this have to do with a dishwasher?"

I will tell you ...

With little or no notice that the house was about to be shown, I would have to run around throwing things in closets and cabinets in a mad attempt to tidy up [This, of course, was before I stopped caring].

One of my most hated chores is washing dishes. So, right before the prospective buyers approached, I would shove all of my dirty dishes in the cabinet under the sink and completely forget that I had done that until much, much later, when I would think. "Hm. Where *is* that big pot? I want to make spaghetti sauce."

I would find it crusty and disgusting in the cabinet under the sink.

After a year of this torture, I moved to a new townhouse in a neighboring town. It was HOT! and it had a dishwasher. Woo hoo!

After a month or two of living with the comfort of modern kitchen appliances, I had a conversation with a fellow teacher:

Fellow Teacher: How do you like your new townhouse?
Me: OMG! It's fantastic!
Fellow Teacher: Really?
Me: YES! I can throw my dirty dishes under the sink now, and they come out CLEAN!

There you have it - my "rather entertaining" dishwasher story. You're welcome.

Phones and Psychology

According to my boss, our phones were fixed at about 3AM today. Yay. Now we can "work."

Last night, due to oogly stomach, I crashed early - around 9ish, maybe 9:30. I slept well.

Oscar is so weird.

Does anyone remember that experiment on superstitions, in which scientists fed pigeons at completely random intervals? As it turned out, the pigeons all began doing really weird things, like hopping on one foot or walking with one wing in the air. Apparently, they started associating these behaviors with receiving food. [Hah! God Bless Google! I found it!]

Anyway, the point of this is that Oscar does some really weird shit. And, I'm wondering if that's the reason. For example, last night, as I was getting us ready for bed. He started to go batshit crazy. He would shake his collar a couple of times. Look at me. Crouch down. Spin in a circle and crouch again. He did this three times.

Finally, I let him out of the bedroom. He ran downstairs to finish eating his food and have some water. Then, he came back upstairs, plopped down beside his doggy bed (on the hardwood floor) and fell asleep.

I read somewhere in a dog-training article that dogs have signals. A simple (and perhaps more practical) one is sniffing by the door when they need to go out. Is it possible that Oscar's signal has some how morphed into this "shake, look, crouch, spin, crouch, repeat" system.

Seriously, the dog is fucked up ... which gives me a delicious idea *rubs hands together menacingly*

*smooches*

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

VUBOQ Queries the Nation

*heh* "queries"

Who wants to come load the dishwasher? *heh* "come"

My boss let us leave at 4PM today because the phones were still gang aft a-gley-ed. Hm. Methinks, I need to come up with a new acronym, along the lines of SNAFU (situation normal: all fucked up)... GAAG: gang aft a gley-ed!

Anyway, because of our early departure, I fed and watered the kitty and made it back to John's before 5. Woo hoo. I thought about taking a nap ... that didn't happen. I am really tired though. Really.

Now, before I fix myself and my dog (augh! Not *My* Dog! Not *My* Dog!) some dinner, I must shove bunches of dishes which are littering the counter into the gaping maw that is the dishwasher.

Which reminds me of a rather entertaining story from my youth. Perhaps, I shall share it with you tomorrow ... if someone reminds me. I am old and tend towards forgetfulness.

*smooches*

PS. JJD friggin' finally updated. Check it out!

The Happiest of Hours

Ah. Happy hour. I had planned to meet my friend, Kristen, at Tapatinis after work today to celebrate our birthdays. But, as that Scottish poet wrote, "the best-laid plans o' mice an' men/ Gang aft a-gley."

And gang aft a-gley'ed have my plans. I'm feeling a bit oogly today ... stomach issues => lack of sleep => cranky VUBOQ. I can't think of much worse than a cranky vicious, unrepentant, bitter, old queen. Except maybe one with an oogly stomach to boot.

So we'll get together some other time. Maybe next week.

In other exciting gang aft a-gley news, my hotlines phone system is down. We discovered it at 10:30 this morning, when we suddenly realized, "Hey. We're not getting any calls." This is slightly humorous because the hotline had supposedly been up for 2 hours already. It's now nearly 1:30. It's still down.

Slow day.

On the plus side, my friend, Christal, is coming back to DC for the weekend. We're going out to dinner tomorrow night. Then, she's having a party on Friday at her place. She *may* come to SAM:HTE on Saturday. Woo hoo!

Immigration Nation - revised

I wrote this semi-diatribe about immigration, an issue about which I don't know enough, and I felt like I was simply stringing together a series of cliches and soundbites I've heard from other people. I considered deleting the entry. Instead, I'm typing up this short introduction and hoping that my readers will take the opportunity to educate and enlighten me.

Here it goes ...

Although I know next-to-nothing about my family's history/ancestry, I am practically positive that we are from immigrant stock. I would guess that a very large percentage of Americans are as well.

So what is all this fuss now about immigration? We got here first and we want to keep it to ourselves?

We worry about our tax dollars being spent on immigrant health care.

They're here illegally but they still get a free education, we say.

Well, fuck that, our spoiled brats don't give a damn about their education. Let some people who are trying to better their lives take advantage.

Judge a society by how it treats its weakest members. These are the people that are working ridiculously long hours, getting paid shit, and doing all the crap jobs that most Americans don't want to do.

They are the important underpinings of our economy. A little healthcare, free education, and understanding go a long way. They're only trying to do what our ancestors did a few generations ago: Make a better life for themselves and for their families.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Waiting.

Twenty minutes until 10.
I'm waiting for my phone to ring.
"We have night training. I should be done my 9:30. If it's not too late, I'll call."

It's never too late.

Sure, I might be a bit cranky if, say, you call at 2AM and wake me up from a sound sleep and a hot dream.

I might even curse you out and then hang up. I've been known to do that - not remembering the call the next day and wondering why my friend seems so distant.

So, I feed the dog.
I cooked dinner.
I ate dinner [spinach, onion, tomato, and blue cheese omelet].
I watched CSI.
I made a brandy alexander.
I knitted a row or two.
I went into the basement to watch a movie, Water Drops on something something, but I turned it off after about half an hour.
I let the dog out.
I let the dog in.
I turned on the hot tub.
I soaked until I got bored [15 minutes].
I showered.

And, now,

I wait.
For the phone to ring.
Twelve minutes until 10.

Luke 2:10-11 KJV

... with some modifications.

Y el ángel dijo a ellos, miedo no: para, behold, le traigo los buenos tidings de la gran alegría, que estarán a toda la gente.*

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Para a usted se lleva este día en la ciudad del resorte de plata un salvador, que es almacén del zapato del diseñador.

For unto you is born this day in the city of Silver Spring a Saviour, which is Designer Shoe Warehouse.

Yes, the biblical prophesy has come to pass! A DSW is opening up a mere two blocks (TWO BLOCKS!) from my office! I can't wait for it to open. Why isn't it open yet? Why?

I may vomit.

*Spanish translation courtesy of Google Translation tools.

Big Money Dreaming

The lottery grand prizes have almost reached an amount worth playing. MegaMillions is around $189 million and PowerBall is at $200+ million.

If no one wins this week, I may have to go out and buy a ticket. This is my lottery buying ticket philosophy: I never buy more than 2 chances at a time. I pick the numbers for one, and I let the computer pick for the other one.

I don't understand people who spend hundreds of dollars on lottery tickets. My math skills are not all that great, but my understanding of probability is that if you buy no tickets, you have zero chance of winning the grand prize. If you buy one ticket, you have a one in [let's say] 200 million chance of winning the prize. Pretty long odds, but better than zero.

If you buy 50 tickets, you don't reduce the odds to 1 in 4 million (4 million x 50 = 200 million). Instead, you have a 1 in 199,999,950 chance of winning. You haven't really improved your odds all that much, AND you are out $50 rather than $1.

So, I spend $2 on each lottery about every 6 months or so [$24/year]. One of my friends always says, "Steven, you are throwing your money away."

I disagree. I look at it as entertainment. One could also say you are throwing your money away if you go to a movie or a baseball game. Sure I could invest my $24 worth of lottery tickets each year, but I'd be missing out on the chance to dream how I will spend my winnings.

I suppose I could dream without purchasing a ticket, but actually holding the ticket in my hand, knowing that there is a tiny, far-off glimmer of hope that I might* win, helps to make the fantasy more fun.

A Visit from Santa Julia

As some of you may have ascertained from my last entry, I stopped off at Adega, the cute little wine shop in Silver Spring yesterday afternoon. I decided to buy a nice bottle of wine to compliment the masaman curry I planned to make.

I bought a yummy white wine from Argentina, Santa Julia. During the curry cooking and eating process, I somehow managed to drink the entire bottle. I think they are making wine bottles smaller than they used to.

The curry, itself, wasn't too bad. Not great. It wasn't as spicy as I thought it was going to be. Plus, I pre-cooked the potatoes for a bit too long, so they were a little on the soft side. And, the color didn't look right. I thought it would be redder than it was. I still ate it. I'd I will be eating on it for several days. Curry for lunch! Curry for dinner! Curry for breakfast! Curry and rice! Curry spaghetti! Curry omelet! Good thing I *heart* curry.

The rest of the evening was fairly uneventful. John called. I took some pictures to send him. I watched CSI and a movie. I'm trying to remember what movie, but I can't. GAH! I was only half-watching it though ... I was also emailing and goofing around on the computer.

Went to bed a little after 11. 6AM came really early. Santa Julia wasn't exactly kind to me.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Bad Pun Afternoon

Conversation with the wine cellar and cafe shop owner:

Owner: I wish we could have windows that would open onto the sidewalk.
Me: That would be nice, like some of the restaurants in DC.
Owner: Yeah, but how do they keep the flies away?
Me: Haven't you heard? DC is a "No Fly Zone."

*groan*

Thoughts on Curry

While I was uploading my pictures from Thailand (see previous entry), I began to think about curry. I love me some Thai curry - green curry, red curry, penang curry, country-style curry, yellow curry ... mmm ...

As for John, well, he no like curry. He no like curry. He no like coconut. Ergo, while the John is away, the VUBOQ will make curry! Yay!

Tonight, I am going to make Gaijin Girl/Token Asian's favorite (if I remember correctly), Masaman Curry! This morning at Whole Foods, I bought an onion, potatoes, mushrooms, and Thai jasmine rice. S**t! I forgot to buy coconut milk. AUGH.

Anyway, I found a package of Masaman curry paste in my cabinet yesterday. I thought about looking for a "fake meat" to add to it, but eventually decided to use mushrooms. I wonder how that will work.

I. am. very. excited.

Thai curry. Yum.

peanut butter. I think I need to buy peanut butter for the curry, too.

My Left Knee.

It hurts.

For the Spring Semester of my sophomore year at Elon College (now University), I participated in a study abroad program in London. I, and about 35 other students, lived in a run-down building about 8 blocks north of Hyde Park. I can't remember the name of the street (it was over 15 years ago), but it was near Edgware Road and a Safeway. Every week, we received a food allowance. Every Monday was a happy evening spent at our local. By Thursday, we were eating "McDonald's Ketchup Packet Soup."

One weekend, some of the girls decided to have a party in their flat. "Come on over," they said. "We're making jell-o shots. Bring some booze!"

We came. We brought booze. We had a good time. The alcohol flowed copiously. The jell-o shots were shot with gay abandon. The music started, and we danced.

Suddenly, *our* song came on: Love Shack by the B-52s. Michelle pulled me up on a chair to dance with her. We danced. My knee twisted and I fell off the chair. Quietly, I limped up the stairs to my flat.

After about an hour or so, the numbing power of alcohol worked it's magic, and I felt fine. The party was still going strong, so I went back downstairs.

"You're back," everyone said. "Let's dance."

We did. A few minutes later, I felt an intense stabbing pain in my left knee and I crumpled to the floor.

Through the haze, I remember looking up at Mark, the Brit with the stunning blue eyes, as he said, "Steven, you are fucked up."

I hobbled out of the party and up to my room, where I somehow managed to get into my bed.

When I awoke the next morning, my knee had swollen to the size of a grapefruit. Ow. I could barely bend my leg. For the next month or so, I wrapped it and limped everywhere I went.

Once back in the States, I went to my family doctor. He said everything looked fine, but I might have knee trouble when I'm older.

Well, I'm older. And my left knee hurts.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Late Night Self Portrait 1

GAH.

So there are certain aspects of my personality that I find a little annoying ... [and, I realize I am opening myself up for all sorts of comments]. The most annoying of these though is that at inopportune moments I start to concentrate on things that make me sad. And, then, unsurprisingly, I become sad.

I am sad.
I am missing John.
I am going to try to ignore this annoying little aspect of my personality by watching The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on Starz!

Why do I doubt that it will work?

Better Late Than Never

In November 2004, I met my friend, GaijinGirl (aka Token Asian) in Thailand. She and her family were kind enough to host me and allow me to be a bumbling, jet-lagged tourist.

I have finally downloaded the pictures off of my digicam. And, I'm in the process of uploading them to my Flickr account. I have a little Thailand 2004 set going ... check it out!

And, GG, I still can't thank you enough for such a fabulous trip! *smooch*

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Back from Philly

whew. I'm tired. Long day. Up at 7. left the house at 8. Met everyone at 9. Robert drove us to Philly. Bad rainy weather so the trip took longer than normal. Got to the Franklin Institute. Walked through the Body Worlds exhibit - which was quite interesting. Met some of Robert's friends for a late lunch at a crepe restaurant (fantastic!). rode back. got to Fort Totten around 8. dog was super-hyper. i'm eating dinner. am very tired. more later. for now, a photo:

Bobby, Steve, Me, and Tomoko outside the crepe restaurant.

Friday, April 07, 2006

La Garganta del Diablo

I've added Diablo's blog to my list o' blogiliciousness. Everyone must now go over there to say "hi." I think it's some sort of blogville rule or something. He recently added some pictures from his trip to Buenos Aires [OK, you queens, stop singing "Hello! Buenos Aires!" from Evita]

What? I'm the only one singing? Fine. Let me finish ...

just a little bit of ... just a little bit of ... star quality ...

All right, I'm done.

So. What happens now?

You'll get by. You always have before ...

Fine. I'm really done. No more Madonna or Evita references from me.

Just, go! Go visit La Garganta del Diablo and tell him a vicious, unrepentant, bitter, old queen sent you.

And another thing: Did I alphabetize that correctly in my bloglist? I treated the "la" as a "the" and ignored it. Is that the correct thing to do? Any grammarian help out there?

Starbucks Pointers

To the lovely young couple who ordered 8 drinks at the Starbucks this afternoon, I have a suggestion:

It was very nice of you take all of your co-workers' orders and make a run to the Starbucks. However, after you have placed your order, step back and wait for awhile. Don't huddle around the tiny little serving shelf with your list of drinks, turning and examining each one to see if it's yours. And, then, saying things like "Wait. What did she say? What is this? Maybe that *is* ours."

Because it's not. It's mine. And, if you would have moved your fat asses out of the way, I would have been able to get my grande caramel macchiato a lot easier. Honest.

And, to the manager of the Starbucks ... maybe if you had a policy on how to handle large orders [like, I don't know, maybe telling the cute little barista that all those drinks were for one order and to keep put them aside?], things would have run a bit smoother and all those caffeine-craving coffeeheads wouldn't have been getting so cranky.

GAH!

Bookery Goodness!

The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What It Means for the Earth, by Tim Flannery arrived a few minutes ago! YAY!

As it turns out, I own another book by this author, A Gap in Nature. I didn't know it until I looked at the inside cover. Pleasant surprise. It's a fun coffee table book with interesting pictures of extinct species.

Prima Donna. First Lady of the Stage

Your devotees are on their knees
To Adore You.


I forgot to mention that ever since seeing the opera last night, I've been stifling a burning to desire to sing all of my conversations. In Italian.

Of course, not knowing Italian makes that very difficult. As does not being able to carry a tune in a bucket, with an ergonomic handle.

Naturally, since I am unable to sing all of my conversations in Italian, I am instead [in my head] singing an interesting mix of musical numbers from The Phantom of the Opera and Fiddler on the Roof. My brain is so weird.

I suppose that's slightly better than singing the proper way to comply with the Toxic Substances Control Act Section 13 Import Regulations to a caller from the United Kingdom.

L'elisir d'Amore

Opera virgin no more. Yep, my opera cherry has been taken. And, unlike butt sex, it may take a little convincing to get me to go again.

Ha. Seriously, the opera was pretty good. The principles were adequate. The chorus was ... a little weak. But, the music was fun.

Our seats were on the very last row of the orchestra level (far away, but I can't complain about free tickets). Fortunately, Robert brought some binoculars, so we could still see some of the action up close and personal: Oooh, look! Heaving bosoms!

And, it was Cute Gay Couple Central! Quoth Robert, "Who else would come to these things?"

After it ended, Robert and I walked to the metro. I got to Fort Totten Station around 11:15. As I was getting ready to walk through Scary Park, I noticed something strange. Two young men walking about 50 yards in front of me started to dawdle. Then, one of them walked off the path. As I approached, I saw that he was crouched behind a tree. "Well, that's just odd," I thought, and instead of entering the park, I walked past it. He could have been using the bathroom (although "crouched" is a weird position to do that in) or he could have been joking around, but I didn't want to take any chances.

I decided to take the long way to John's. Long, but safer, as it followed two well-travelled and well-lit streets. I called John and we talked the whole way. I got home around 11:40.

Of course, I was too keyed up to go straight to bed, and Oscar was way too hyper after being in his kennel all evening. I guess I finally fell asleep at some point between 12:30 and 1.

6AM came way too early this morning. And it's raining. GAH! Hopefully this day will go by quickly. I have no plans tonight, other than knit and watch DVDs.

Tomorrow, I have to be up early because Robert, Tomoko, Steve, Bobby and I are going to Philadelphia for the day to see the Body Worlds Exhibit at the Franklin Institute. Cadavers. Fun.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Barnes & Noble Gift Card Foolishness

For my birthday, my parents gave me two $25 gift cards for Barnes & Noble. Who knew that using them would turn into such a royal pain in the ass?

Earlier this afternoon, I went to www.bn.com to look for a couple of titles I had in mind:

The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery, and
Field Notes from a Catastrophe, by Elizabeth Kolbert.

Each book was about $16, so I qualified for free shipping! Woo hoo! I also had about $18 left to spend. I decided to get the third Harry Potter DVD. It was only $15. After taxes, the total came to $51.80-ish. Not bad, I thought $1.80 for 2 books and a DVD.

Then, came the big surprise. As I was checking out, I clicked the "other payment" option to enter in my gift cards ... and what do my wondering eyes behold?

A little note that says "Only one gift card/certificate may be used per order."

Da fuuuuuuuuck!

So, I cancelled my order, and decided to buy each book separately. Since I would not qualify for free shipping (about $4 per order), I would not buy the Harry Potter DVD.

The first book I ordered, I hit the wrong button and it charged my credit card. I had to cancel the order. And make it again. GAH!

Finally, both books were ordered. Of course, they will ship separately. Besides wasting about $8 on shipping, all that extra packaging will be used to. GAH!

Gift cards are such a scam.

[I am excited about reading the books though. Both are about climate change!]

VUBOQ Becomes Like Yogurt

... Cultured.

Steve invited Robert and myself to attend an opera at the Kennedy Center tonight. We're going to see L'Elisir d'Amore (pronounced Lel-ee-ZEER dah-MOH-ray or Laser Eye Surgery for Rebecca de Mornay). The Baltimore Opera has published a handy little summary here.

It would seem it's about a guy who loves a girl but is too shy to tell her. Hilarious hijinx ensue. Hm. A funny opera? I thought it wasn't opera unless someone died. Oh, well ...

Anyway, I've never been to an opera before ... I can't wait until Richard Gere arrives, gives me a really expensive diamond necklace, and flies me to the Kennedy Center on his private jet. Then, after being moved to tears by the beautiful music, he'll fly me home, and we'll make mad, passionate love in his penthouse ... or in John's house ... whereever. He can make the call.

Old Lady at Opera: Did you like the opera, dear?
Vivian:
It was so good, I almost peed my pants!

Edward Lewis:
She said she liked it better than Pirates of Penzance.

The photo above? I received a small package in the mail yesterday from my friend and former Japanese language exchange partner, Mari. She sent a CD of photos. This one is from her last visit to DC, which was in the Fall of 2005. I think I was in the process of buying my apartment, but hadn't closed yet ... which would possibly mean October-ish.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

In Case You Were Wondering...

I remembered to bring home the frozen pizza. It's cooking now. YAY!

Also ... my earlier "To Do" List:

1. Remember the frozen pizza that I left at work again.
2. Make reservations at the kennel for the last weekend in April.
3. Find the correct address for John's Hawaii tax payment.
4. Research the opera L'Elisir d'Amore.
5. Finish my birthday thank you notes.
6. Oh. And, maybe, do some work.

Time for a little "Yay Me" Cheer.

Yay Me. I rock.

New Career Move

OK. I've spent a portion of the day considering my job situtation. After much serious thought, I have decided I need to change career paths. I must go where the jobs are.

Since there seems to be a need (and a recent opening), I'm going to move to my parents' house and open up my own S&M Slave Castration service in the garage.

I can't wait for the money and customers to start pouring in...

Old News

courtesy the most marvelous Mush:

NC Castration Suspects Given Lawyers (Yahoo! News)

You may be wondering why this article is gracing the prestigious pages of VUBOQ ...

well, besides the fact that it's about a) castration and b) 24/7 sex slaves [I'm getting the giggles just thinking about that], the Castrators in Question live in my parents' town!!! HAHAHAHA!

*tee hee*
*giggle*
*giggle*
*snort*

Since You Asked

Here's Jaleo's sangria recipe ...

9 ltr red wine
24 oz orange juice
32 oz 7-Up
8 oz Rose's Lime Juice
24 oz sugar
8 oz vodka
8 oz brandy
2 cinnamon sticks
Diced pears and granny smith apples

Mix all items together except fruit. The sangria can be stored up to two weeks in a cooler.
Add fruit approximately one hour prior to service.

Makes 5 GALLONS

All Hail Jaleo

Last night, I met my friend, Bellringer Mike, at Jaleo to celebrate our birthdays. His is the day after mine.

I arrived a little before six and had a glass of sangria at the bar while waiting for Mike to arrive. The bartender was supercute with his yummy Spanish accent and winning smile. *melt* "You can come home to live with me ... until April 29th," I almost said aloud.

Mike arrived. We chatted. Here's what we ordered:

Half pitcher of sangria (yum)

Manzanas con Manchego, Apple and Manchego salad, $5.75
Pimientos del piquillo rellenos de queso y setas, Sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese and mushrooms, $6.95
Patatas bravas, Fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce & alioli, $3.95
Dátiles con tocino como hace todo el mundo, Traditional fritters of dates and bacon*, $4.95
Garbanzos con espinacas ‘Que bien cocinas, Tichi’ , Moorish stew of chickpeas and spinach, $5.25

*Of course, I couldn't eat these. But, because my cousin raves about them, I made Mike order them. And, forced him to eat them all.

Pastel Vasco con helado de leche merengada, Basque cake with semolina cream, cinnamon-vanilla sauce & ice milk, $7.50

And, coffee (for me).

Grand total: $51.59. Mike covered the extra $1.59 [I had a $50 gift card from my parents] and we left $5 each for the tip.

Not bad for a super-fantastic meal at my favorite restaurant. Plus, it was great seeing Mike and catching up on all the latest news in his life.

Goals for today:

  1. Remember the frozen pizza that I left at work again.
  2. Make reservations at the kennel for the last weekend in April.
  3. Find the correct address for John's Hawaii tax payment.
  4. Research the opera L'Elisir d'Amore.
  5. Finish my birthday thank you notes.
  6. Oh. And, maybe, do some work.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Overheard in the Elevator

Here's the conversation I just overheard in the elevator between two men who had finished their smoke break (*cough* smelly):

Man 1: She's a Hessian.
Man 2: She does seem overly emotional.
Man 1: Well, she's a Hessian. [pause] That requires a lot of psychology.
Man 2: Uh-huh. *beeeeeeeeeeeelch*

Besides the whole fucked up "Hessian" thing ...
Yes, you read correctly. He burped. In the elevator. In front of witnesses.

Puppy!


I promise that this blog will not turn into Cute Overload while John is away; however, last night I took some cuuuuuuuuuuuuute pictures of Oscar. And, since I wrote a depressing entry over on EnviroWonk, I needed to do something fluffy over here.

In the meantime, I am still hating DST. I feel like I've been run over by a truck. I don't even think jetlag is this bad. BAH! on DST. BAH! I say.

Tonight, I'm going to Jaleo for dinner. YAY! It's my one of my favorite restaurants in DC. My parents gave me a gift certificate there. Mmmm. Roasted red peppers stuffed with goat cheese and mushrooms. Yum. And the best sangria in DC (imho).

Things I must remember to do today:

1. Take home the frozen pizza I bought yesterday for dinner but left at the office
2. Clean out John's refridgerator. [There are things in there that are close to becoming new life forms. I swear, sometimes, they say, "Hi, Steven" when I open the door.]
3. Take out the garbage.

That's it for now. How about one more DemonDog photo before I go:




*puppy smooches*

Monday, April 03, 2006

Home again. Home again. Lickety Split

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa............. back at John's.

I am so tired. DST totally sucks ass -except for it being nearly 7PM and still light out.

After work, I dashed to my place to pet my pussy (rowr!) and feed my pussy and clean out my pussy's litter box [See? It's not all fun and games]. I grabbed some more clothes and some necessities from the fridge: soy milk, pasta sauce, about-to-go-off broccoli. Shit! I forgot coffee. GAH!

Aside: I also forgot the frozen pizza I bought at Whole Foods during my lunch break. Fortunately, I have leftover pasta salad I can eat.

Then, I drove to John's and spent the first half hour cleaning up Puppy Poo out of the yard [and off the deck - when did that happen?].

Now, I'm relaxing with a yummy Sapphire martini with garlic stuffed olive. It's a drink and an appetizer! I so love martinis.

When the clock chimes 7, I'll head downstairs, have dinner, and watch CSI reruns. What a full evening I have planned!

Hopefully, I won't get too lonely ... like last night.

If I Were Still Teaching...

I was reading in the Washington Post this afternoon about the rising costs of private school education. The article mentioned that first year teachers in Prince Georges County make about $40,000/ year.

Which made me think about when I was teaching (from 1992-1994) in North Carolina. My starting salary was $19,800. Let's all have a little laugh about how little I made (and how I managed to save enough money to live for about 5 months without a job after I left teaching).

*pause for laughter*

So, what if my life had made a different turn and I still lived and taught in North Carolina (god forbid). Well, starting salary for NC teachers is now $25,510. My salary after 13 years of teaching would be ... $35,980 [$39, 580 with a master's degree]. Woo hoo! I'm rolling in the big bucks.

At my current salary here, I would be a 25-year teacher [20 with a master's degree] or so.

Hm. I guess leaving the NC education world wasn't that bad of an idea after all.

Montgomery County: Employer of the Disabled

Because I will be using John's car this month, I decided to buy a monthly parking permit rather than pay on a daily basis. There are two parking garages within walking distance from my office. One, owned by Montgomery County, costs $85/ month. The other, owned by a private company, is closer and $95/month. I decided to swallow the extra $10 and pay to park right across the street.

Early this morning, I went to the little office in the parking garage across the street. There was a long line. I asked the people in the line, "Can you buy a pass for this garage here? Or is it only for the Montgomery County lot?" No one knew.

There was an employee sitting at a window. She was not helping anyone, but was busy with her little adding machine. I was standing at the end of the line right by her window. So, I turned and said to her, "Excuse me. I have a question."

Nothing. She didn't look up. She didn't stop her little clickety-clackety adding maching typing.

"Excuse me," I said a little louder. "Can you answer my question?"

She still didn't look up. *clackety clackety click* went her little adding machine.

"Is it possible I am being ignored," I thought. "No. That couldn't be. My Montgomery County tax dollars couldn't be going to waste on someone ignoring me." Then, it hit me. So, I said, rather loudly,

"It's so nice Montgomery County is hiring deaf-mutes."

The people in line giggled. The clickety clackety adding machine woman stood up and walked away.

Fortunately, the next woman in line asked one of the other workers who told her I was in the wrong office.

Seriously, how hard was that? How much time would it have taken for the first employee to answer my question? How important was it that she get her numbers added up right then?

*gah* rude people first thing in the morning are no fun.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I Give You ... KONG!!!

... er ... OSCAR!!!
uh. um. no. that isn't a pile of dirty towels that I still haven't taken down to the laundry room. I've been busy. Yeah. busy. That's it.

*good night puppy smooches*

DST. Yeah, You Know Me

Did everyone remember to Spring forward late last night?

Even though I hate losing the hour (it makes me groggy the first few days), I love love love it being light in the evening. Spring and Summer are AWESOME. Now, if only someone could make it so that it never got above 80 degrees or so here in the DC Metro Area...

I have done absolutely nothing this morning, except make coffee. And, hm, with John gone, I can actually make it the way I like it! Yay! [I like my coffee like I like my men, strong and black. Ha.] Actually, I like strong coffee with cream or milk (no sugar). John likes weak coffee (known in these parts as light brown water) with tons of milk and sugar. Quoth John: "If it tastes like coffee, I don't like it." *geh*

So this morning, I made the coffee stronger than I usually do. YAY!

I have no plans for the day. I may go sit in the sun and knit for awhile. Then, I thought I might call Robert to see if he's interested in meeting for an early dinner somewhere.

Maybe I'll eat an orange.


PS. The picture has nothing to do with this entry. It's one I took on my trip to Thailand in November 2004 (when I met up with GaijinGirl/Token Asian).

Saturday, April 01, 2006

There May Be a Preponderance of Postings ...

This month ... at least ...

I just ate my yummy dinner of bowtie pasta with mushrooms, tomato, and spinach. Now, I'm scarfing down some Haagen-Daz raspberry sorbet (fat free!) and waiting for some re-run of an Ellen Degeneres special to come on. Oh, and beer. I'm having lots of beer. Yay. Beer. Good.

I figure I'll be posting more often this month, since I'll be a) alone and b) at John's with computer access.

Today, after driving around (as mentioned in previous post), I uploaded some photos to his computer. I'm going to be doing a fun little photo project. If it works. I'll post the result here. If not ... well, too bad. While I was farting around with the digicam, I uploaded two pics from Saturday Afternoon Margaritas: Baltimore Edition (SAM:BE!), which was -I believe- around June 25, 2005. Those two photos sandwich this entry.

I love SAM.

The John Done Gone

As God as my witness, I'll never write a "John Done Gone" entry again.

He left this morning at 11:25, taking the SuperShuttle to DCA. Today is my "Mope Around the House" Day ... at least, until around 4, when I'll drive the truck over to my apartment to feed the kitty and check my mail. I'll pick up my knitting, some DVDs, and some clothes. Then, I'll drive over to check on Christal's place.

After that, I figure I'll make a nice pasta-y dinner - something with spinach, mushrooms, tomato ... maybe a little broccoli. Fix myself a martini. Sit on the sofa, by myself ... and well, just be by myself.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I'll take Oscar for a walk in the park. Maybe snap a few photos of the cherry trees. Hopefully, the little bit of rain we've had today won't ruin the blossoms.

OK. I'm a little sad.

Hope everyone has a glorious weekend.
*smooch*