Thursday, January 31, 2008

At the Copa. Copacabana.

Guess who has 4 tickets to see Barry Manilow on February 9th?

That's right! ME!

Not that they're great seats or anything (I think they are approximately 1.5 miles from the stage), but they were only $20 each (after fees and taxes). Still, how many opportunities does one get to see Barry Manilow in concert? I mean, he's, like, 100 years old.

I need to find a couple more people who want to go. Tomokito is willing. I haven't asked Y yet. SCGB doesn't like Barry Manilow (*gasp*). I think my secret love for SCGB died a little (but just a little) when I found out.

If I can't find any friends who are interested, I guess I'll have to sell the extra tickets on the Black Market ... or I'll open it up to local blogreaders.

*smooches*

I Have All the Answers

And, so, it seems, does the Neighbors Will Hear. He got all the correct answers on the photo quiz yesterday. Congratulations!

For the rest of you, here are the answers:

1. Pier 1,
2. Whole Foods (mmm. cheese),
3. Whole Foods,
4. Borders (although "outhouse" was a good guess Clio Bluestocking),
5. Pier 1, and
6. DSW.

Now, wasn't that fun?

I was chatting with this guy last night, and he suggested that the Rudy Giuliani Countdown to Victory *giggle* calendar is a Collector's Item and that I should run back out there to buy it.

What say you, Loyal Blogreaders? Perhaps I could make it a prize in my next Blog Contest?

My evening was quite exciting. I surfed the web, watched a movie, and then went up to Tomokito's for margaritas ... which Across the Hall from DUN made. They were ... strong. Such boozy goodness. Mmmm. We watched two hours of PR4 reruns, ate chips and salsa, and drank. YUM.

Tonight, I have a lot of paperworky things to do - pay a few bills, enter data into the budget, start a job application, and get my tax stuff organized.

I am so excited about doing my taxes. As you know, I LUV doing my taxes. There's something so viscerally satisfying about putting all the numbers in the little boxes and doing simple addition and subtraction. Hopefully, I will be getting a decent refund as well. *crosses fingers*

If only there were some way I could deduct PMI payments (which, if I might add, are such a load of crap) ... *le sigh*

I will stop rambling now. More later. *smooches*

Addendum: For Barry Manilow fans (and you know who you are), tickets for his Feb. 9th concert at the Verizon Center are $9.99 (+ $8.25 "convenience charge"). Who's in?

[Hat tip to Across the Hall from DUN Neighbor]

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

QUIZ TIME!

4 Stores!
6 Photos!

All taken within hip, happenin' downtown Silver Spring.

Can you guess which photos were taken where? Have fun!


And, yes, the Rudy Giuliani Countdown to Victory Calendar (only $4) completely cracked me up.

Watch This Space


VUBOQ is going on a Cell Phone Camera Photo Taking Adventure in 30 minutes.
Same VUBOQtime. Same VUBOQspace. Same VUBOQchannel.

A Case of the Winters

It has finally happened. That seasonal misery known as January has seeped into my bones. I thought I could fight it by keeping myself active and entertained. Yet, January emerges victorious with less than a week to go.

If only I could go to bed to hibernate until March (the Best Month of the Year).

Alas ...

In slightly more exciting news, I'm doing laundry tonight.
And I think we're gathering at Tomokito's for margaritas.

I need to knit more so I can finish the scarf I've been working on for eons. I want to start a project for me this weekend. I also want to make a pair of mittens or two (well, at least start the mittens). We'll see ...

AND, I need to step up my job hunting. I hate job hunting.

Bad Haiku Morning

The soup was all right.
Board meeting went well enough.
I feel uninspired.

*smooches*

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Momentous Event

This morning, waking up in the not-quite-heated-through apartment and walking to work in the dreary-misty-grayish rain made VUBOQ yearn for the soup, perhaps some sort of curried soup. Thanks to the wonders of epicurious. I have found exactly what I was craving: Curried Potato, Spinach and Garbanzo Bean Soup. YUM.

I ventured forth unto the Whole Foods and have purchased every single ingredient I need. Do you know what this means?

Can you feel the excitement?

The sense of History?

Yes, kittens, VUBOQ will, for the first time in ... eons, be following a recipe with no substitutions.

I KNOW!!!!

Once you have regained your composure, pulled yourself back into your chair, or ... um ... been given smelling salts, please continue on with your bright and cheery day.

PS. To my brother/brother's friends, who might stumble across this blog by putting my flickr ID into a search engine (like, i dunno, earthlink?), welcome!

Word to the wise though, you may want to skip over the parts about teh buttsecks, because I'm pretty sure you wouldn't like it ... well, most of you anyway *wink wink nudge nudge*

Hot Water is a Beautiful Thing

As of about 5PM yesterday, we had heat AND hot water.
VUBOQ is happier than a pig in mud ... because he knows he can shower afterwards.

What? No, that wasn't some sort of crude sexual reference, and you are all Super Pervy Monkeys for thinking so.

In other news, I'm going to be putting up some sort of Linky Luv List of people who will be attending the Global Blogger Meet-Up (March 15-18ish). If you are coming (and you know you want to), drop me a comment and/or email so that I can include you on the list.

No pressure.

I guess that's about it for now. More later, I'm sure ... *smooches*

[If you missed it, there's a link to the Surprise Party Pix in the previous entry]

Monday, January 28, 2008

Practically Twins


Hard to tell us apart, innit?

Update 1: Here are the other photos from the party: Flickr set or slideshow!
Update 2: We have HEAT and HOT WATER!!! w00t!!!

Weekend Update: Jet-Setting Edition

When I got home from work on Friday, I stopped by the boiler room to see how things were going. The heating guys had some good news: One boiler was up and running, which meant heat, but no hot water for the weekend. YAY.

Unfortunately, a few hours later, I received a call from another Board member. "I hope you have a stiff drink in your hand," she said.

"Of course, I do," I replied. "Don't be ridiculous. What's up?"

"There's a foot of sewage back in the boiler room, and the working boiler has stopped."

When WSSC started replacing the broken pipe, they used a smaller pipe to bypass the work area. Unfortunately, the smaller pipe could not convey all the waste and it backed up into the boiler room again. *durf*

So, after moving Isabella into DUN's apartment (because they have an electric heater), I high-tailed it out of there. I called Y to come pick me up (this was around 9:45PM), so I could have a hot shower at his apartment.

Saturday morning, we lounged around for a bit, ate a leisurely late breakfast, and he drove me to the airport. I flew into Raleigh-Durham, where my best friend from my college days, Isa, picked me up.

On the way to the Surprise Party, we decided to stop for some grub. We ended up in Burlington and this Italian joint, Sal's, a place we used to frequent when we were in school. Ah. Memories. I don't think the decor has changed. And the food was the same ... good enough. Filling. And lots of it. Mmm. Mmm.

We arrived in Greensboro a little before 7. I called the brother's girlfriend to see if the brother had arrived yet. He hadn't. So we hurried into the party for the Big Surprise.

The party was fun. My superfantastic [NC-based] cuzin, wife, und baby were there. As were about 50 of the Brother's nearest and dearest friends. Good food. Lots of booze. We left around midnight, I guess. Good times. I have pictures, which I will upload to flickr once I get home this evening (stay tuned!).

Sunday morning, Isa and I got up, talked for a bit, and then I headed back to the airport. I landed a little before noon, and Y picked me up. I called some Board members to get updates on the boiler situation. The heating people weren't able to get parts until today. Needless to say, I didn't go home. I stayed over at Y's. I like heat and hot water. Is that so wrong?

Anyway, the heating people should be there now working on the boilers. Hopefully, we will have heat and hot water tonight. Cross your fingers.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Late Night Surprise - Update

So why did I volunteer to be on the Board?

Here's the story:

Last night, around 11ish, Tomoko and I smelled something burning. We checked her kitchen. Nothing. Then, I felt her radiators. They were coolish to the touch. "That's weird," I thought. I went down to my apartment to see if anything was wrong there. My radiators were also coolish. Then, Tomoko called to see if I had any hot water. Nope.

So, I thought I would check the boiler room beneath my building to see if maybe a circuit breaker had tripped or something. The picture in the previous post was what I saw.

And, kittens, that isn't just plain old water. It's sewage. There was poo. And used condoms.

I immediately called the other Board Members and we swung into action ... calling every emergency number we had on hand. I turned off the boiler emergency switch (because that seemed like the thing to do, since the boilers were mostly submerged in sewer water).

The rest of the timeline involves ... VUBOQ going to bed ... plumbers arriving ... VUBOQ waking up ... more plumbers arriving ... heating/electric people arriving ... Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission arriving ... waiting ... waiting ... taking pictures ... more waiting ...

oh, and freezing.
and really really wanting to perform my morning ablutions (so to speak).

When I left for work at 11:45AM (after being relieved by another board member), the room had been pumped and hosed down, the heating guys were taking a survey of the damage, power to the room had been restored, and the water had been briefly turned on (but, soon after, shut off again).

The property manager (bless his mostly useless little soul) should be arriving soon with electric heaters for some of the apartments. I will probably stay at Y's tonight, since he (a) has hot water, (b) has heat, and (c) is close to the airport [since I'm flying to NC for the bro's surprise party (shh! it's a surprise!)].

The good news is that it looks like the fault was not with our building, but with the main WSSC line. This means that WSSC should reimburse us for any damages, costs, etc.

*bleah*

I am very, very sleepy.

Late Night Surprise


This is what we've been dealing with since about 11PM last night.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Brief Note to Educators

Dear Teachers:

While I appreciate the fact that you are not only trying to instill a sense of environmental awareness into your young charges, but also teaching them how to write and present an intelligent argument, I wish you would do a little research before providing them with a general address to the Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Why is that?

For one thing, the people who work in the EPA mailroom are duuuuuuuuumb ... and lazy. Rather than read your students' letters to determine where they should go, they will send them to me. It doesn't matter if you're writing about water pollution or air quality or dumptrucks from Canada unloading garbage in the state of Michigan (up to 350 per day! Dumptrucks, not letters).

We are the catch-all, and I'm tired of catching it all. So, here's a brief tutorial of the EPA website:

2. Select your issue (in this example, we'll use "wastes"):


3. Look for "Contact Us":


or Scroll Down ...


4. Find the address:



5. Use it!

Have fun!
*smooches*
VUBOQ

PS. As always, click to embiggen.

VUBOQ, Junior Electrician

My very special after work time started as it normally does. I came home, changed into my pajamas, spent a few minutes doing some light cleaning, and checked my email. Then, since it was laundry day, I sorted my dirty clothes (by color not smell!).

I rewarded myself with a negroni (garnished with a slice of blood orange! I *heart* blood oranges), because it is bitter and because it is my heart.

My cable-possessing neighbor was at Manolo's annual sale in NYC, so we were unable to watch Project Runway. Instead, I had invited a few neighbors over to chill, drink wine, and knit (and maybe eat popcorn!).

At 6:30ish, I trudged over to the laundry room to start a load or two. When I returned thirty minutes later to throw everything into the dryers, the laundry room was dark. *click* *click* *click* I flipped the light switches.

Nothing.

*click* I flipped them again.

Still nothing.

Something must be wrong. I propped open the door and checked the washing machine. It was full of water and sudsy clothes. GAH! The lights in the hallway were working, so the problem wasn't that the whole building was out of power. I went to a neighbor's to borrow a flashlight. Eventually, we found the correct fuse box (there are about 6 thousand of them in the laundry room) and located the blown fuse [It was all black and icky].

The next step was to find new fuses. I checked in the supply closets. Nothing. I called several hundred neighbors. No one was home.

Eventually, DUN called. She was on her way home from work. I asked her to stop by the hardware store to buy some fuses. She did (with much drama and texting and dead cell phone batteries).

I called another neighbor to come assist me with the fuse-changing. She held the flashlight as we debated if flipping the gigantic power switch to off would plunge the entire building into darkness or just a few sections [like the hallways]. Finally, I decided that I would rather plunge the entire building into darkness than be electrocuted to death.

*flip*

*dark* [but only the laundry room area and the stairwells. *whew*]

I unscrewed the old fuse [counterclockwise, yo!] and then screwed in the new one [Type S, 15 amp]. I counted to 10 [I don't know why, but it seemed like something you should do], and flipped the gigantic power switch to on.

*flip*

*LIGHT!*
*POWER!*
*WORKING WASHING MACHINE!*

I am an ELECTRICAL GENIUS!!!

And, thus ended my excitement ... and, that's why it took like 4 hours to do my laundry, and why I am very very sleepy this morning.

*smooches*

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Processing ... Processing ...

Le sigh
Update to follow in a minute ...

He called around 5:30, and I said he could come over for dinner around 7.

He called at 7:15 to say he would be there in 10 minutes. I was on the phone with Mike. "He said he's had a big revelation while in Puerto Rico. I'm hoping we're on the same page and that he has realized we're only using each other as place-holders until someone better comes along."

A little after 8, my door buzzer rang. I opened the door and there he was ... with a rose. "I thought there was a flower shop in your neighborhood," he said, as he gave me a kiss.

No one's every brought me flower before.

"I did a lot of thinking," he said, standing in the kitchen while I stirred the soup. "You're like a boomerang. I keep throwing you away, but you keep coming back."

"Um. It's more the other way around I think," I interjected.

"Well, I know I have trouble saying this, but ... (pause)(deep breath) ... I love you."

boioioioioioioiiiiinggg

We ate soup. We drank rum from Puerto Rico. We had really hot sex. [Apparently, I'm a sucker for flowers.]

I mentioned the kids-thing. He didn't press. It's something he still wants. I'm not all that interested in procreation ... I told him I'm still attracted to him, but I've been trying to sever the emotional connection. And now I'm just more confused.

bah.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Few Things You Should Know ...

... If You Want to Date Me (long-term like)

1. When I am angry/upset about something (that is not you), I do not want your advice (no matter how lovingly given). I want sympathetic murmurings until I calm down (usually in 1 to 5 days). After that time (and only after that time) is it OK to offer advice.*

2. When I am angry/upset about something (that is you), I do not want you to defend yourself. I want you to apologize with little or no fuss until I calm down (usually in 7 to 12 days). After that time (and only after that time) is it ok to explain your weird rationale and why, even though you are still wrong, you think you are right.

3. After the first time I invite you to my home, you are no longer a guest. Please do not sit around expecting me to wait on you. You know where the friggin' water is. Get your own glass. And, while we're at it, helping out (like, y'know, cleaning up after yourself or making the bed) is also acceptable, if not highly desirable.**

4. When I bitch and complain about my job, do not start "being helpful" by pointing out job websites, conducting searches yourself, or saying things like "maybe you should start looking for a new job." I know which job websites to check. I check them frequently. Finding a job that is (a) interesting, (b) in my field, and (c) pays enough money to maintain my current standard of living is not easy. So, BACK da fork OFF. *sheesh*

5. Sex. Several times a week.

That is all (for now).

*Also, if you are not a native English speaker and have the social skills of a drunken frat boy at a strip club, please do not look over my shoulder and correct the angry emails I am composing. I am trying (at least in the email) to be tactful.
**And, if I'm hosting a party, would it kill you to arrive a little early to lend a hand ... without me asking?

Kbrr.

My office. It has no heat.
Here is a dramatic representation of VUBOQ:


I'm really quite underwhelmed about life right now.
VUBOQ needs a new attitude.
And a new job.

Does anyone want to hire VUBOQ?
Apparently not.

VUBOQ bought a plane ticket today (because he is *rolling* in money and is not at all concerned about credit card debt) to go to his brother's surprise birthday party (shh. it's a surprise) this weekend.

Fortunately, the parental units will be partially subsidizing the cost of the ticket. *whew*

Y wants to get together tonight to talk. He's been in Puerto Rico on holiday. While there, he had time to think. Hm. Wonder what he wants? Should be interesting ...

I think I'm going to make soup tonight.

Total Randomness brought to you by ...
Cheap Office Management Company, the letter K(brr), and the number 12 (degrees).

Monday, January 21, 2008

Weekend Update: Baby It's Cold Outside Edition

Happy MLK Day, Kittens!

Although it is sunny and blue-skied here in the DC/Metro Area, it is also FORKIN' FREEZING. I don't think I will be venturing forth into the Great Outdoors today ... unless someone can convince me ... or bribe me with booze ... or a delicious combination of the two.

Come to think of it, I haven't ventured out of doors much at all this weekend. It's been cold. And the Metro is seriously forked - 30 minute delays on the Red Line because of trackwork at Metro Center.

So, Friday, instead of meeting Ray and Joey at teh GayBarz, I played Scrabble and Boggle and drank wine with SCGB. I was also in a bit of a funk for two (three) reasons, which I can't really remember but were very important at the time.

Saturday ... hm ... what did I do on Saturday? When one stays inside doing the same things, all the days tend to blend together. Oh! I remember! I dug through the pile of things that needed to be filed (since 2005!) and either filed them or shredded them. I borrowed Tomokito's paper shredder. I gots ta get me one of those! Paper shredding is fun! And COMPOSTABLE! (I think. I need to verify that online).

Speaking of compost, our compost pile is FROZEN. SOLID. I took out my little compost bucket on Saturday (or Sunday?), and I couldn't even bury the stuff. I put it on top of the pile and it was STEAMING!!! So weird. It's probably frozen now too. Someone needs to go out and turn the compost. Not me though.

Saturday night, I hung out with Tomokito. We watched part of an America's Next Top Model season on VH1 (or MTV?). Not sure which season. The one where they went to South Africa, which was cool. I'd like to go to South Africa.

Sunday, lots more blobbing. Then, around 7ish, I had people over for Movies! Pizza! Beer! and Popcorn! At first I thought it was only going to be me, SCGB, Tomokito, and her hubby. However, late in the day, I got RSVPs from Steveandbobby and Rayandjoey. We had a good time. I have lots of pizza left though. I'll be eating pizza all day. Mmm. Pizza. And, I made yummy popcorn - one batch had butter, salt, and ... um ... some kind of parmesan-like cheese made from sheep's milk. The other batch was butter, salt, and chili powder. Yumminess.

We watched 9 to 5 which was a lot of fun ... and the last people left around 12:30ish?

This morning, SCGB came down for coffee and pizza. I need to motivate towards the shower. Then, I need to finish the washing up from the party. I'll spend the rest of the day knitting and goofing off on the net. Fun times, kittens. Fun. Times.

*smooches*

PS. The "New Profile Pic" Poll is open 'til Friday (unless I decide to close it earlier), so scroll down and vote!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Drowning in a Cesspool of Boredom

So, it's time to snap a few photos and have a little vote.

Which pic should be VUBOQ's new profile photo?

One:
A
EEK! Crazy Eyes! Crazy Eyes!

Two:
B
I'm eating healthy (note orange peels in the trash) and O!M!G! I need to get my ass to the salon.

Three:
C
Note the Blogger Dashboard and current profile pic in background.

Four:
D
Who is that mysterious man in black?

Five:
E
So bored. So dying.

Vote early. Vote often. Leave comments.


Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com

War of the Worlds: Dream Edition

I know, I know. I hate reading blog posts about people's dreams, too ...

So, if you don't want to read about my dream last night, click away, click away ...

I was in a non-descript town with non-descript people on a tour of a rather odd museum. It reminded me of a military museum, because the displays were recreations of various battles, made with tiny plastic army men. There was one odd display of a prison scene, in which the prisoners were represented by thumbs. Slowly, I realized they were the severed thumbs of the actual prisoners. *shudder*

As I was leaving the museum, these shiny white structures, most were rectangular cubes, but some were cylinders, began appearing on the streets. As crowds of people gathered around the structures, the tour bus driver and I, sensing something very bad was about to happen, boarded the bus and backed slowly out of the city.

The driver dropped me outside of my building and as I walked down the street, columns of Storm Trooper-like aliens marched past. They didn't bother me. I didn't fit into their programmed instructions, so they ignored me. I knew that the people still in the city were going to be slaughtered.

As I entered my room, someone tried to follow me. I pushed him out and struggled to lock the dead bolt. Even with the deadbold locked he kept shoving the door, harder and harder.

And that's when I would force myself awake to shake off the dream. Normally, when I wake up from a nightmare, the dreams stop once I fall back asleep. Last night, the dream started over from the beginning. Every time.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep very well. Perhaps, it was the mulled wine?

And the Weekend Spreadeth Before Me Like a Vast Still Ocean

Behold! It is Friday.
So Sayeth the VUBOQ.
Thanks be to VUBOQ.

And, as is my custom, I shall give you a brief rundown of my weekend plans:







Yep. Nothing. I have no plans. Yet. Fortunately, I shall be making plans today and, hopefully, my three-day holiday weekend will not be an expansive desert of dullness. I am already toying with the idea of a party on Sunday night ...

I will probably be spending some time organizing the spare room, especially my filing. I need to find a paper shredder. I have lots and lots of things to shred. I wonder if I should buy one?

And, since I took a few sick days off from my Cleanliness is Next to VUBOQliness Cleaning Regimen, I will be playing Cleaning Catch-Up. Fun ...

Shopping would be nice too. If I had any spare moneys. Which I don't.

So, I guess I will spend lots of time on the sofa with my kitty and my knitting.

ANYWAY, the Mulled Wine and Movie Party last night was a bit of a bust. First, SCGB called to say he wasn't feeling well. Then, DUN said she was working late and couldn't make it. So, I called Across the Way Neighbor and Tomokito to tell them the gathering was off. Unfortunately, I had already started mulling the wine.

Of course, when I told SCGB this, he said, "Well, maybe I could come down and have a taste." And, then, *knock knock knock* DUN appeared. And, then, *knock knock knock* Tomokito got home from work. So the four of us drank all the mulled wine and ate goat's milk gouda and crackers. It was nice. I like my neighbors.

The mulled wine was delicious. I didn't add as much brown sugar as I had originally thought might be necessary. And, I also sliced up a lemon, in addition to the orange. YUMmy.

I guess that's it for now. More later, I'm sure. *smoochez*

Thursday, January 17, 2008

To Mull or Not to Mull

Neither snow nor sleet nor slippery sidewalk nor ice nor slush nor ... um ... cold and near-deathly illness, shall keep the VUBOQ from his appointed rounds:

Likker

I have invited the neighbors down (and over) for Mulled Wine and Movies tonight. It should be fun since I've never mulled wine. I mean, I've mulled over wine ... red or white? sweet or dry? cabernet or merlot?

But, I've never actually mulled the wine. This should be fun. I scoured the intertubez for an interesting recipe and have combined one or two or fifty-seven into my own:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 orange, sliced
5-6 cloves
3-4 cinnamon sticks
a couple dashes of Angostura bitters
1 Honking Huge Bottle of Cheap Ass Merlot

I'll let you know if it's gross or not.

Life, As We Know It, Could Be Ending

The End of Scrabulous?!?!?!?
I may have to take the next few days off work to play as much as I can!

Although I am not fully recovered from my deathly illness, thank you so much for your concern about my well-being. All the thousandsBoth of the comments wishing me a speedy recovery certainly helped! I spent most of yesterday in bed, eating, drinking fluids, and playing Scrabulous (with people who took way too long to move. It's like they were actually working or something. What up with that?).

Then, I somehow managed to crawl upstairs to watch Project Runway at Tomoko's. Fun times were had by all. And, I actually agreed with the judging for once. How odd.

No big plans for tonight other than catching up on my cleaning. We're not even out of the first month of the year and I'm already slacking on my 30-minute cleaning regimen. Can I blame the sickness? Can I? Please? I figure this weekend, I can catch up and become reinvigorated! Yay!

Update: Yikes! I forgot the soup recipe. The original is here.

What I did is this:

In large pot, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
Saute two cloves garlic and one medium onion (diced).
Once the onion is soft, add spices (I used garam masala, turmeric, and "Jamaican Curry Spice").
Heat for a minute or two.
Add two cans chickpeas (with juice if organic. If not, you may need to add veggie stock).
Add one large can of tomatoes (I used fire-roasted whole tomatoes. I meant to buy diced. Oops).
Add a bayleaf.
Bring to a boil. Then, reduce to simmer.
Add other veggies if you want (I put in some frozen corn I had).
Cook until it is done.
Salt/Pepper to taste.

Voila! Done.
YUM!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

'Cept I really have the ague.

Last night, I did not do my 30 minutes of cleaning. Instead, I took a nap. Mmm. Nap.

Then, I made a variation of Mel's Chickpea Soup:


It was delicious. The only problem was I accidentally bought whole tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes, but ... whatever. Recipe to come later, maybe.

Then, I went to our Co-op Stakeholder's Annual Meeting, which was a complete cockup. On the plus side, DUN and I were elected to the board. On the minus side, downstairs neighbor who annoys us was also elected to the board. Gah.

The big minus was the discussion about the budget. It's too high. The increase is too much. The numbers are all wrong. They approved charging an annual parking fee as well as increasing the summertime A/C fee. Then, they whined about canceling the janitorial service. People won't help out. Blah blah blah. Negativity abounded. You can't have it both ways, folks.

When the tally for the votes were counted, the budget with the biggest increase was approved. WTholyF! And, the meeting was quickly adjourned.

I was pissed. I may or may not have said the F-Word.

DUN and I figured that the two lower budget options (one keeping the janitors, one getting rid of that service) split the vote. Also, we think a certain person on the board who had a lot of proxy votes, voted for the most expensive. Must be nice to be made of money, because I have no idea how I'm going to come up with an extra $80 per month starting in April.

They bitched about it being too high and then voted for the most expensive?!?! Are they insane? Or just stupid?

I'm thinking stupid.

This weekend, I'm going to take a random poll of neighbors to see if I can get them to approve one of the cheaper options. Otherwise, I'll be selling a kidney.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pimping the GBM*

Only Me took me to task in the comments earlier for not talking up the great Global Blogger Meet-Up ...

So, I've roused myself off of my deathbed** to make sure as many of you as possible descend upon the DC Metro Area like a plague of locusts and partake of the joy that is Vutopia.

The dates are something like March 15 - 18, with a Very Special Episode on March 17th, cleverly titled, VUBOQ Turns 38.***

Think of the fun times you'll have!

You'll get to meet DUN (maybe, unless she has to go on a work trip), SCGB, Tomokito, Across the Way Neighbor, Across the Hall from DUN Neighbor, and other characters friends****!

Meet fun bloggers, like Only Me and ... um ... MANY MANY MORE!!!

There will be trips to museums! And bars! And monuments! And bars! And ... um ... bars!*****

There will be a Chili and Vodka party with Special Vegetarian Chili and Infused Vodkas!

GAMES! FUN! PRIZES!

What more do you need? Come by plane, boat, train, and/or car! Stay one day or twelve (but not with me)! Make your reservations NOW!

*Global Blogger Meet-Up, pervy monkeys!
** OK, more like deathcubicle.
***Bring presents. Lots of presents. For me.
****Special Guest Appearances by the Men VUBOQ Has Dated
*****Did I mention bars?

Sinus Blockage

Ugh.
Bugh.
Fugh.

I can only breathe out of my right nostril.
My head hurts.
My eyes are watering.
Whine
Whine
Whine
Bitch
Bitch
Moan

I hope I have some durgs at home. I'm heading there for my lunch break in about 45 minutes.

No Soup for You

Last night, I didn't make a variation on Mel's chickpea soup. Instead, I ate takeout Chinese leftover from lunch. Yum.

Once I got home, I did my 30 minutes of cleaning (swept and vaccuumed the living/dining area, tidied up some papers, and dusted/polished the TV cabinet). Then, my friend, Christal called. We haven't talked since Xmas, so it was good to catch up.

I played a kick-ass word in my Scrabulous game with SCGB and surged into the lead. Yay!

Tomoko stopped by on her way home from work to drop off her proxy form. Our stakeholders annual meeting is tonight, and she (probably) won't make it in time to vote. We'll be voting on our new budget (which *may* become contentious) and electing a new Board of Directors. I am expecting to be elected to the Board ... we'll see ... There are two slots becoming available this year, so I'm hoping that DUN will also be elected to the Board.

Later, SCGB and DUN came down for a chat und drink. That was fun. I am so lucky to have really great neighbors.

Tonight, before the meeting, I will clean the kitchen and make the chickpea soup. Y said something a few days ago about coming over tonight. It will be good, because we need to have a discussion. I'm a little confused about how he is perceiving our relationship (or lack thereof).

I guess that's it for now. *smooches*

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ah. January ...

When a young man's fancy turns to his tax refund.

I've been busy spending my tax refund ... or, to be more honest, thinking about how I'm going to spend my tax refund. Hopefully, it will be substantial-ish. I can't remember how much I got last year ... not as much as I was expecting. But, still, any refund is more than I used to get.

I'm thinking I will take half of my refund and put it into my PAX World Fund Balanced Roth IRA. I'm also thinking of maybe opening up some sort of investment account somewhere. Something easy. Something basic. Something that will make my money grow like Magic Sea Monkeys!

Anything leftover, I will sink into the house. New vinyl floor for the kitchen? Superduper closet organization system 3000? We shall see, kittens. We shall see.

In the meantime, can anyone tell me why, after several months, the pair of shoes I'm wearing are killing my feet (still), even though they are the exact same brand/size/style/color of my (former) favorite pair of shoes (now my favorite clay-encrusted pair of pottery-making shoes)?

With Sex You Get Eggroll

Because a co-worker's birthday was yesterday, my boss bought Chinese take-out for all of us. I chose Szechuan Fried Tofu with Vegetables.

It's greasy delicious fun! I may have to eat all of it!

My fortune was crap though:

You display the wonderful traits of charm and courtesy.

Whatever, boring fortune cookie fortune writer needs a new job.

Weekend Update: Dooby Dooby Doo Edition

Wah wah wah waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah ...

So. My weekend. Hm. Where to begin? I guess with Friday evening?

I was feeling a bit under the weather, so, rather than go out on the town, I ended up in my apartment having drinks and watching DVDs with Tomoko. Then, Y called and wanted to come over. Although I wasn't exactly feeling it, he needed to hang out with friendly faces.

See ... what happened was this: He had a meeting with his advisors, and they told him (and I'm paraphrasing here) that there was no chance in hell that they were ever going to award him a PhD. This came as a bit of a shock since, in May, they admitted him to candidacy and he had been getting improved results with his experiments.

Apparently, they had been giving him (nearly) impossible tasks with (nearly) impossible deadlines in the hopes that he would give up/fail. He didn't. Thus, the advisors had to come straight out and tell him. They've offered to award him a Master's degree (gee, thanks). And Y seems a bit ... lost right now.

Which is understandable.

So, Saturday, while Y moped around, I cleaned out the spare room closet (which was FULL of old paint cans and crap) and started taking my 12 of 12. Then, we went to lunch at El Golfo. Yum. We watched movies and goofed around (I may or may not have taken a nap) until Tomoko's husband's birthday party (which was fun).

Sunday, Y had to go home to call Israel. I cleaned and organized the Linen Closet of My Discontent. Two more closets to go! Around 7:30, the neighbors gathered at Across the Hall from Diagonally Upstairs Neighbor Neighbor's apartment to watch The Lives of Others. It was good, but I still can't completely love it since it stole the Oscar from Pan's Labyrinth.

And that was a rather rambling account of my weekend. Today, I think I am going to make a variation of Mel's Garbanzo Stew for dinner. And, of course, it is Clean the Living/Dining Room Day. Woo hoo.

*smoochez*

Oh. And I just took this quiz ...

92% Barack Obama
90% John Edwards
87% Hillary Clinton
85% Bill Richardson
81% Chris Dodd
77% Joe Biden
71% Mike Gravel
70% Dennis Kucinich
50% Rudy Giuliani
42% John McCain
38% Mitt Romney
36% Mike Huckabee
31% Tom Tancredo
25% Fred Thompson
14% Ron Paul

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Linen Closet of My Discontent

Step One: Empty contents of the Linen Closet of My Discontent onto my bed and dresser [dresser not pictured]:


GAH! DISASTER!

Step Two: Convince Psychokitty Isabella to not set up residence in the newly emptied Linen Closet of My Discontent.


"But it's so comfortable," she protested.

Step Three: Neatly arrange cleaning products and personal care products on bottom shelf. Neatly fold towels on second shelf and sheet sets on third shelf. Randomly shove comforter and mattress pads on top shelf (not pictured).



Voila! It is done!

12 of 12

And the morning starts as it should

jan12of12 004

Isabella watches the birds

jan12of12 006

On the way to lunch, we pass a sweater

jan12of12 008

My one true love

jan12of12 010

My other true love

jan12of12 011

Refrigerator

jan12of12 015

I never should have gone to Harvard

jan12of12 018

SCGB gives his cheesiest grin

jan12of12 022

Bring out the cake

jan12of12 031

Happy Birthday to You

jan12of12 035

Shy neighbor

jan12of12 026

Blurry DUN

jan12of12 039

Happy 12 of 12 everyone!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Multilingual Me

If today were moving any slower, time would be flowing backwards [a la Superman: The Movie when he starts flying around the Earth really fast in the opposite direction of its rotational spin to make time move backwards and thus save the life of the already dead Lois Lane (Margot Kidder, Best Lois Lane EVER. Discuss!]

Would that really work? I mean, wouldn't the inertia caused by the Earth suddenly spinning backwards cause all sorts of havoc? And even if the Earth survived that, would time start moving backwards simply because the rotation switched directions? What does Stephen Hawking have to say about this?

Allrightythen, that was a hell of sidetrack. Um. I'm bored. So I started counting the number of languages in which I could count to three. It's not very many:

English (duh)
Bahasar Indonesian
French
Japanese
Latin
Mandarin Chinese
Spanish

I can also say "Where is the bathroom" in Tagalog (or is it Cebuano? I can't remember). Not that I'll ever be able to use that, but it's stuck in my head for some odd reason.

OK. Now, entertain me with your comments about either (a) Physics and the Mechanics of Time Travel, (b) Counting to Three in Various Languages, or (c) some weird combination of the two.

4:05 Update: VUBOQ would like to add that, after surfing through a couple of other blogs' comment sections, he is very glad that only nice people who leave nice comments read his blog.

*Happy Weekend Smooches to All the Nice People Who Read My Blog*

A Few Questions Answered

VUBOQ is feeling a bit draggy/under the weather today, so here's a rather uninspired post:

1. Java asked, "Are you right handed or left handed?"

VUBOQ is left-handed, as are my father and brother, which explains why we are all so handsome and clever.

2. I'm Steph asked, "Are those veggie chips?"

They are Whole Foods 365 Brand Garlic Ranch Potato Chips, and they are totally YUM.

3. The Neighbors Will Hear asked, "No prom pics of you?"

VUBOQ went to two high school proms. He went to his Junior prom (and looked very dashing - and very young- in his white dinner jacket with matching blue bowtie and cumberbund). VUBOQ skipped his Senior prom (and heard from friends that it was total crap). Then, VUBOQ's good friend couldn't find a date for her Senior prom, so he -being the ubergentleman he is- missed several fun parties at his college and took his friend to the prom. He wore tails that year. Very hot. There are pictures ... somewhere. Perhaps my parents have them or something.

4. Clio Bluestocking asked, "Has the illegal kitty found her home? Will she be deported?"

Finally, the kitty, named Trouble, belongs to the "housesitters" downstairs. The housesitters who are totally bogarting the visitors' parking every night with their TWO CARS and dumping their nasty cigarette butts all over. One of the Board Members has agreed to have a talk with them about this. Hopefully it will be soon.

It was a good thing I got the cat our of my apartment as quickly as possible because he is positive for Feline Leukemia Virus. I'm not sure if Isabella has been vaccinated against that or not. Probably not.

La la la la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaa ...

I have no big plans for this weekend. I was thinking about going out tonight, but, if I don't feel undraggier, I'll stay in, watch movies, and play Scrabulous. Saturday, Tomokito's husband is having his birthday party in their apartment. VUBOQ will be in attendance ... at least for a little while.

My cleaning projects are to organize 4 closets (2 bedroom, linen closet, 1 spare room), finish packing/storing Xmas decorations, and do some fun fun filing of papers. *woo hoo*

Who has all the fun? VUBOQ, that's who!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

File Under: Things Which Only Happen to VUBOQ

I went home for lunch today.

While I was making my sandwich (vegan tunafish with spinach), I heard an odd crying noise. I looked out my peephole, but didn't see anything.

I opened the door to see what was happening .... and in walks THIS:

Cat
[Please ignore my icky slippers. kthx.]

Isabella was FREAKING OUT! I quickly locked her in the bedroom while I figured out what to do. I called a few neighbors. No one was home.

Eventually DUN called back, we talked. She offered her apartment to house the lost kitty. I went upstairs, protected DUN's belongings, set up a makeshift litterbox, put out some food and water, and made much use of DUN's handy phone list.

No one seems to be home ... maybe the old Asian couple who live on the ground floor (but they eat cats, right*?). They don't speak English very well (if at all), and I didn't feel like miming "Is this gray tabby cat I found in the hallway yours?"

SO ... I moved the cat into DUN's apartment. She looks happy there:

Camouflage Kitty
[Can you spot the kitty?]

I came back to work and sent out a mass email. Hopefully someone will know something.

*I'm kidding. I'm kidding. I'm sure the old Asian couple who live on the ground floor don't eat cats. Well, fairly sure ...

One More PR Post

During the judging ...

What VUBOQ heard:

Michael Kors: Ricky, that dress would look good with your ass.
Ricky (laughing): I know, right?

What everyone else heard:

MK: Ricky, that dress would look good with your hat.
R (laughing): I know, right?

VUBOQ's version? Much. Better.

Still Reeling

from the results of Project Runway last night...

Beware, le spoilers (highlight to read):

I mean, gah!, Victorya (hate her) winning? Sweet P was robbed! Robbed, I tell you. Kevin auf'ed? NO! So very very sad. I shall miss his fanciful metrosexual sculpted facial hair and his constant affirmations of straightness. Although, hello?, did you see his high school prom picture?

Anyway, I must move on. On the bright side, watching PR4 with my wonderful neighbors, Tomokito, DUN, SCGB, and Neighbor Who Lives Across the Hall from DUN was a blast. We had cheese! and crackers! and white bean dip! and chips! and wine! Fun times!

And I went home to dream about felted belts which need buckles. Perhaps that will be one of my weekend projects (besides organizing 3 closets and straightening the spare room and putting all the Xmas stuff back into storage).

I think this 30 minute daily cleaning routine (with time off on Fridays for good behavior) is really going to work. Keep your well-manicured fingers crossed for me.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mmm. Chips.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner of Champions!

Breakfast of Champions

*belch*

Ka-POW!

I think SCGB just spanked me in Scrabulous. I must run home during my lunch break (in 14 minutes) to check.

Speaking of Scrabulous, I am so totally addicted ... Right now, I have three games going. With really smart people. They are making me think. It makes my head hurt, but I guess it's good for me. The supersucky thing is that I can't play at work (stupid Evil Firewall of Doom). I can only play first thing in the morning, at night, and if I can sneak away during lunch (in 11 minutes).

It's not fair. It's just not fair.

The Quorn is Green

Actually, it's brown, but whatever ...

When I got home last night, I began Day Two of Operation Cleanliness is Next to Vuboqliness. Day two is the kitchen. I *hates* my kitchen. It is gross. Even when it's clean, it still looks dirty. I basically top-cleaned everything, swept, mopped up some small spots, scrubbed the sink, and took out the recycling and compost bins. Then, I had a glass of wine. Yay wine! Today will be laundry and bedroom. Fun times.

After relaxing for a bit checking email, playing Scrabulous, and chatting with friends, I made a simple tomato sauce using the ground quorn. I took a picture, but forgot to upload it. Sorry. I made the sauce a little too quorny. It was more like a very quorn chili on top of pasta. The taste was fine (did it even have a taste?). The texture was good too. The final verdict will be passed (*heh* "passed") later on today. Sometimes, with other meat-substitutes (like Boca Crumbles), I experience unpleasant side effects the following day. *gurgle gurgle*

After dinner, I knitted and put in a DVD. SCGB came down for a beer and a chat, which was fun. Then, I went to bed.

Of course, during the night, the Psychokitty decided to vomit. Not once. Not twice. But three times. Three times! What the hell up with that? Just when I think she's getting not-so-vomity, she gives me extra-special presents. yay.

Oh. And Y called. He's all stressed out. Funny how he misses me most when he needs someone to cook his dinner and pamper him. He was all "can you come over?' And I was all "No. I'm busy." And he was all "I'm stressed out and have a headache. And I want to watch movies and cuddle on the couch." And I was all "I'm sorry. Have a good night."

Kbrrr. I put the VU back into the BOQ.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Interruption

It would seem I have a certain proclivity for damaging my left thumb. ow

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading.

Children of the Quorn

I'm back from a fun-filled shopping excursion at Whole Paycheck Foods. I thought that tonight I would make a boring pasta dish, because I remembered that yesterday I saw their 365 Brand Pasta Sauces were on sale - $1.99. Bar.Gain.

But, then, I noticed that a big ol' can of 365 Brand Diced Tomatoes is cheaper than 365 Brand Pasta Sauce at $1.19. Look at me saving $0.80! Such a power shopper.

And, since I have onion and spices at home, I can make my own crappy pasta sauce. W00T.

I also picked up a little bucket of mushrooms. Then, as I wandered aimlessly down the frozen food aisle, I saw that Quorn was on sale. I've never had Quorn, so I thought I'd give it a try in my crappy pasta sauce. Edible fungus! Mycoprotein! Fun!

Suddenly, boring pasta dish has become a Gen-U-Ine Eating Adventure.

Behold!

The product of overzealous furniture polishing:

Overzealous

See... what happened was, like, this weekend, I was, like, polishing my dresser, and like, wow, like, I totally jammed my thumb on one of the dresser drawer corners. Teh ow. Totally.

Clouds Like Angel Wings and Other Things

That's the last time I stay up until after midnight drinking wine, playing Scrabulous, and chatting with people on a school night. *oog*

There was big excitement in little Sligo Creek Park last night. Around 11PM (or so) the Montgomery County Police pulled a minivan over right in front of our building. Apparently, it was a slow crime night in Silver Spring, because, at one point, there were 5 police cars involved. The three people in the van were ordered out of the van and made to sit on the curb while one police officer searched it. Eventually, the officers let two of the "suspects" leave in the minivan. The third young man was driven away in the police car. Very exciting. I had to go up to a neighbor's apartment for a better view. We were in our pjs peering through her blinds with my binoculars. Too funny, I'm sure.

In other thrilling news, because the weather was so nice yesterday (low 60s?), I went for a run of about 20 minutes. My best guesstimate is that I ran a little over 2 miles. Then, it started getting cold and my knee started to twinge a bit, so I came home.

Once safely inside, Day One of Operation Cleanliness is Next to Vuboqliness began. In thirty minutes, I dusted, vaccuumed and swept the living room and dining room. I also organized some papers and stuff that were piled on my table. This weekend I will polish some of the furniture, which I didn't have time to do. I'm feeling very tidy. I did not, however, wash my dishes from dinner. Bad Vuboq. I am going home during my lunch break to do that (and clean the catbox).

Then, I had a martini - a well-deserved reward, I think.

Today is Kitchen Cleaning Day on the schedule. Fun times, y'all. Fun. Times.

Monday, January 07, 2008

25 Minutes

And then it's Go Home Time.
That makes me very happy.

There is some sort of amateur model shoot going on on the parking deck roof across from my office. If I listen really hard, I can hear the photographer saying "pouty! pouty! now, strut, my kitten, strut!"

I went to Whole Foods, and I bought coffee, soymilk, spinach, and spicy olives (for my Woo Hoo! I cleaned my living/dining area for 30 minutes martini)!

I'm going running after work, because it's like 65 degrees right now.
Winteriffic!

*smooches*

The Cubicles Have Ears

One of the new people on another hotline in my office, consistently says, "Let me transfer you to the National Lead Center," even though he has been told by his supervisor many times that it is the National Lead Information Center. Drives me batty. And he doesn't even work with me.

Maybe I'm just hormonal.

Of course, his supervisor is the person who calls the forward slash (/) in web addresses a "backslash" (\). (^-^)/~~

I think I'm teetering on the edge of a Career/Life crisis. To prevent anything rash from happening (i.e. throwing my computer out the window and running out of the office), I am not thinking about it. Best not to dwell.

However, I need to jumpstart my job hunt.

Either that or land a handsome, wealthy SugarDaddy who can support me and my pottery-making/knitting/bad short story writing ways. If you know anyone who fits that description, please let me know. I'd be willing to put out. Srsly.

I can has sugardaddee.

Weekend Update: I Can Has Kleen Bedroom Edition

Happy Monday, kittens. It's a bright and shiny new week. *woot*

So, here's my weekend in all it's splendid glory ... Friday, after work, I went to Mike's house for a dinner/happy hour thing. There were 8 of us, including Y and SCGB. Mike made lentil soup, which was ... erm ... not great. Fortunately, there was cake and lots of booze. After dinner, Y went to a nearby club to visit a friend from out of town, and SCGB and I made everyone else watch Project Runway reruns all night. After we had exhausted the PR4 rerun supply, I called Y and made him drive me and SCGB home. Of course, the downside of getting a ride home was that Y stayed over.

It's not that I don't mind him staying over (he's cuddly and warm and I sometimes get a blowjob out of it); it's that he never leaves.

Saturday, I had plans to do some major cleaning. Of course, I had to wait until Y got his lazy arse out of bed. Once that happened, I attacked my disgusting bedroom with the force of a thousand Merry Maids. Halfway through (er ... halfway to starting), I had to call the Most Fantastic Cuzin for advice and moral support.

I put all the crap on the bedroom floor into boxes and moved them into the spare room. I cleaned off and polished most of the bedroom furniture. I vaccuumed. I even took off the mattresses so I could vaccuum under the bed. All I have left to do now is (a) organize the two closets, (b) polish the bedside tables, and (c) arrange how I want everything else (packing away things I don't want out).

Then, I had a glass of champagne.

I was getting hungry. I wanted lunch. The problems were: (1) Y was still on my sofa working and (2) I didn't really have enough food for 2 people. However, like Tim Gunn says, I made it work and somehow [a la Jesus and the loaves and fishes] managed to feed us both.

SCGB came down to talk about going to a movie, and Y finally left (around 4?). [Later, on Sunday, Y said he was upset because he wanted to go to the movie.] As SCGB told me, "Y still treats you like you are his boyfriend or something. It makes me uncomfortable." Yeah. I'm not really sure how to handle this. I'll figure it out eventually.

Anyway, that evening, DUN and I met SCGB at the AFI Silver to see Juno, which I totally *heart*ed and highly recommend. Well-acted. Funny. Sappy. Heart-warming. An all-around good time. Go see it. Today! After the movie, we drove to a little Salvadoran restaurant, Samantha's, for a late dinner. Total yumminess. I had a pupusa and beans and rice. Mmmm. I need to work on my mad pupusa-making skillz. Dinner over, the three of us played a game of Scrabble. Guess who won? *ahem points to self* [Speaking of which, I am becoming totally addicted to Scrabulous on Facebook. Anyone up for a game?]

Sunday, I had a relaxing morning. I did a bit more tidying up. At noon, I met Steveandbobby for lunch in super-happening downtown Silver Spring. When I got home, the DUN/SCGB family were going for a bike ride. DUN/SCGB's other brother is going to fix my bike. YAY! It's going to cost A LOT less than if I had taken it to a shop. YAY! I'll be able to go on bike rides. YAY!

Later, DUN and I had a two-person potluck. She made yummy winter squash and super spicy collards. I made quinoa (KWAI-noah vs. KEEN-wah, you make the call!) with corn and asparagus. Fun times. Later, she called me up for some apple crisp with ice cream. Yay! I *heart* my neighbors.

Tonight is the final board meeting before they approve the new budget and horrendous co-op fee increase. DUN and I are planning to attend. I'm sure it will be a SuperFun Evening!

Before the meeting though, since it's like 60+ degrees here, I might go running. Fun! AND, I will be starting my 30-minute daily cleaning regimen today. It's Living Room/Dining Nook day! Woo hoo! Let's be clean and happy in 2008!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Vivisection

"Have you spoken with him since you are no longer seeing Y," Steveandbobby asked.
"No," I replied. "I have better things to do with my time."
"And the claws come out," Steveandbobby said, making little cat scratching motions. I changed the subject.

The past few nights I've had some disturbing dreams. Dreams in which I'm being vivisected. I watch the knife make an upward slice, starting at my navel and ending at my chest, working its way towards the classic y shape of a human autopsy. My skin is spread apart and my guts, red and glistening under the light, pulse and throb. Then, I startle awake to stare into the darkness for awhile.

"What could it mean," I asked a friend in Canada.
"Maybe it means you are anxious about being exposed to the core," she replied.

Tonight, an idea hit me ... it's not about a fear of being exposed as much as a revelation that instead of sharing everything on my blog, like I promised myself I would do, I have been keeping secrets. Blogging is my therapy. It's where my random thoughts crystalize into coherency. Without it, my feelings tend to stay bottled up inside, where they fester and rot.

I have some festering thoughts that need to be extracted. And they will be soon.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Photo Phlashback

A little weekend quiz. Can you name the city and country for each of these three photos?

1.

2.

3.
Good luck! *smooches*

Friday, January 04, 2008

Cultivating Empathy

What kind of crop would it yield?

From Carolyn Hax's chat on the WaPo:

There was an article in The Post yesterday about cultivating empathy that had some really excellent suggestions. I was curious about something though.

One of the exercises it mentioned was to help empathize with someone who you knew didn't like you. One of the aspects to this exercise suggested imagining that the reason this person didn't like you was completely correct and that you were in fact in the wrong -- and to do this without rationalizing your own perspective or making excuses.



This sounds like a good exercise ... if only I could think of someone who didn't like me ... I mean, really, I'm so luvable.

Anyway, my weekend is shaping up to be mostly uneventful with a few tidbits o' fun thrown in.

Tonight, I'm headed over to Mike's house for happy hour/dinner/Project Runway watching.
Then, tomorrow or Sunday, I'm meeting my imaginary friends, Steveandbobby, for lunch.
For the rest of the weekend, I plan to clean and organize my bedroom. And maybe scoot on down to the Best Buy to check out new stoves.

I have all the fun. ALL OF IT.
Now, scroll down to help me pick my Best Post of 2007.

Down Not Out

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I mixed my martini and relaxed a bit on the couch.

I started to feel a bit down. Not sure why. So, I picked up the book Only Me sent me for Xmas, Rule No. 5: No Sex on the Bus (confessions of a tour leader). It's very funny in an odd sort of way. I think if Only Me were a tour leader, this would be a book he could write as well :-)

Then, I found out another blogger buddy was in Asheville, so I helped her find a decent (I hope) restaurant for dinner (by calling my parents and asking for some recommendations).

Later, SCGB came down. We shared a bottle of wine and talked. It was nice. I'm very lucky to have the neighbors and friends that I have.

By the end of the night, I wasn't feeling down any more ... which is a very good thing.

More later.
*smooches*

OK. It's "later."

I got an email from Scott-o-Rama last night saying that he was going to post the "Best of 2007" entries for everyone the cutest people on his blogroll. We have until tomorrow (?) to submit our FAVORITE entries. This presents a problem ...

Do you even KNOW how many entries I posted last year?

About 670. Fork.

So, to narrow it down, I figured that you (my wunnerful readers) chose your favorite entries by commenting on them. There were about 20 posts that had more than 10 comments. Of those 20, about 4 were not either (a) me begging for lots of comments or (b) me all depressed because my "relationship" had ended or (c) a combination of the two.

Of those final 4, I picked these two:

Profile Photography 101
The Secret Life of Bears

Which do you think is better?
Feel free to nominate your own personal favorite VUBOQ post as well ...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Though the Weather Outside Is Frightful ...

... the chili was Delightful!

BOSSY requested my chili recipe (which actually changes everytime I make it), so here's what I did this time:

First, two points to consider:

1. Make sure you have lots of chili powder on hand, and
2. Make sure you have lots of Chef's Little Helper in hand.

Essential Ingredients:
Olive Oil
Onion
Garlic
Chili Powder
Salt und Pepper (Ah! Push it! Push it real good!)
Jalapeno
2 Cans of Red and/or Black Beans
1 Can of Diced Tomatoes with Chilies
Green Squash (aka Zucchini)
Frozen Corn
Mushrooms (I buy pre-sliced b/c I'm lazy like that.)
Cheese (I also buy shredded cheese. See above.)
Wine

Essential Ingredients VUBOQ Forgot to Buy This Time Even Though They Were on His Grocery List:
Garlic
Jalapeno

Instructions:

1. Open bottle of wine (do not start drinking yet. srsly).
2. Slice all veggies that need to be sliced.
3. Pour glass of wine. Commence drinking.
4. Heat a couple of splashes of olive oil in large pot.
5. Add garlic, if you remembered to buy it. Drink more wine.
6. Add onion. Drink more wine.
6b. Add jalapeno, if you remembered to buy it. If not, Just drink more wine.
7. Add chili powder. Drink more wine.
8. Add the mushrooms. Drink more wine.
9. Once onion is soft and the mushrooms seem done-ish, drink more wine. Then, add the beans (undrained or drained, whatever) and canned tomatoes. Drink more wine.
10. Bring to a boil. While waiting, drink more wine.
11. Oh! Start cooking the rice, if you're cooking rice. Have some wine.
12. Reduce heat. Throw in the zucchini and the frozen corn. Wine, anyone?
13. Let it cook until the zucchini seems done ... like not too mushy, y'know. Open another bottle.
14. Add salt and pepper to taste (if you can still taste). Finish the first bottle of wine.
15. Serve with rice (or cornbread). Top with cheese.
16. Eat. Smile. Say "YUM!"
17. Drink more wine.

There you have it! Chililicious

Let Me Entertain You

Last night was quite uneventful. I did laundry. I made chili. I knitted. I created a photo essay of me using one of my Christmas gifts, but forgot to upload the pictures, so you'll just have to wait.

Instead, have I got a surprise for you!

Guess what I'm wearing today???

Nesod

Need a slightly better hint?

Nesod2

That's right! It's the debut of the Never-Ending Sweater of Doom (finished sometime last Spring, but never worn -in public- until today!) Make me feel good. Tell me it's not crap.

Oh, and the color is actually CRANBERRY, not the washed out brownyred in the photo.

And, finally (for this post at least), a bad poem I wrote last night:

A Weekend Memory Captured in Crappy Free Verse

Drunk,
We danced.
His hand slithered down the front of my jeans.
Wide-eyed,
I started to speak.
"He doesn't care," he said,
Matter-of-fact.
I turned to look at his partner,
My ex,
My friend,
Chatting unaware across the bar.
Another friend,
Dancing rhythmless behind me
Twisting
Arms flailing
Hits me in the face
Knocks my eyeglasses askew
"He doesn't care," he said,
Matter-of-fact.

But I do.

*applause*
*applause*

More later, kittens. *smooches*

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Have You Ever?

Have you ever stumbled across a blog that you've thought was the most boring, insipid pile of dreck that you've ever read?

Have you ever read that blog's archives in the hopes that it used to be better?

Have you ever found yourself repeatedly visiting that blog in the hopes that it will (miraculously) get better?

Have you suddenly thought, "Oh. Em. Gee. Someone could think that about *my* blog?"

Have you ever come to your senses and realized that no one would ever think that about your most wonderfully fantastic and funny and insightful blog?

Me too.

Now, let me tell you about Laundry Day ...

Knitting McKnitterson

Here's a pic of the current on-the-needles project:

HP50

It's about half done. I hope to finish it by the end of this week. Then, I need to cast on another Harry Potter Scarf for another friend. Why do I have so many Harry Potter-loving friends? WHY?

Hopefully, that one will be finished by February, because I want to start knitting some things for ME, namely the Dark Mark Illusion Scarf and the Saturday Afternoon Hoodie. AND, maybe, figure out what to make with the yarn I bought in North Carolina:

NC Wool

I'm open to suggestions. I will probably make a scarf, I guess ... I wonder if I have enought to make this one:

Chunky Braided Scarf

Probably not.

Not the Way I Wanted to Start Out the New Year

Every. single. person. on my hotline called in sick today. Fuckers.

Lessee ... one has a "family emergency" [mm.hm. I believe that about as much as I believe that he had a "headache" on Monday] ... another one is sick (sick of work? sick that her 2 week vacation ended?) ... another one has "leg problems" ... another one has transmission problems (but can come in at noon:30. oh joy). And, my boss? He also has car problems.

Yeah. Thanks for leaving me here all by myself today. Bastards. It's not like I don't have things planned for the day (oh, I don't know, like, maybe getting a friggin' lunch break).

I really don't need this crap. I think I may take a half-day on Friday now.

In other news, I'm working on my New Year's Resolution of becoming More Like Martha. I'm developing a weekly 30 minute cleaning schedule. This week, my goal is to get my bedroom and closets sorted and organized. My 30-minute regimen will start next week.

Here's what I have so far:

Things to Do Every Day:

-wash dishes, including coffee pot
-empty the cat box
-make bed
-sort/file mail

Things to Do Once a Week (30-minute Cleaning):

-Monday: Living Room/Dining Nook
-Tuesday: Kitchen
-Wednesday: Bedroom (and Laundry)
-Thursday: Spare Bedroom and Bathroom

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place.

I am also going to devote *at least* 30 minutes to job-hunting per day and (maybe) some time for writing and thinking about going back to school. We'll see ...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's the End of the Century!

Or maybe it isn't. Whatever. One of us is a little overhung and doesn't really care ...

My New Year's Eve Champagne Tasting was a total blast. 7 people came. We started with a delicious (if I do say so myself) Cranberry Champagne Punch, which I modified from a recipe I found on line. Here's how I made it (try it at home, kids!):

64 oz. cranberry juice
2 cans of ginger ale
1 pint raspberry sorbet
1 bag frozen raspberries
1/2 bag frozen cranberries
1 bottle dry champagne (I used Barefoot Bubbly Brut Chardonnay Champagne)

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures, so you'll just have to imagine the good times which were had. I crawled into bed around 3AM ... *oog*

Here's a list of the champagnes (and sparkling wines) we tasted:

Sofia Blanc de Blanc (It comes in cans! Tres chic!)
Finca La Linda Extra Brut Chardonnay (from Argentina. Too extra brut)
Marwood Brut Sparkling Wine (from Italy. Sweet and fruity)
Tenuta S. Anna Prosecco (also from Italy. Unanimously the group fave)
Piper Sonoma Brut

I am thinking we had one more kind, but I can't find a bottle. Perhaps I just imagined it.

And, I'm sure you're all dying to hear my New Year's Resolution, right? Well, I'm still formulating it, but I'm going to be using a recent housewarming gift from a fabulous friend to become more organized and maintain a cleaner, happier apartment ...



Martha! Martha! Martha!

Oh, and the plate in the first photo was part of my Xmas present from my brother and his gf. It's from the Bob Timberlake Gallery in NC. Very pretty.