Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Earth-Shattering Event!

Can you guess what it is?



Answer to be posted tomorrow ...
[PS. Feel free to speculate wildly.]

Stimulate Me!

First, I need to complain a bit about terminology. When did paper copy and electronic copy become hard copy and soft copy? And which one is which?

Paper is hard.
Electronics are hard.
Which one is soft?

And, why even change something that was perfectly ok? Have TPTB never heard "if it ain't broke, don't fix it?" Does not typing those extra 7 letters save time/money or something? BLEAH. It make-a no sense.

*whew*

I feel better.

Now, if you're interested in when you will be getting your guvmint stimulus check, take a look at these fun tables. And, here's a fun little calculator to help you determine if you will be getting a check or not: Economic Stimulus Payment Calculator.

I should be getting my check in the next couple of weeks, and I'm sure you are all wondering what I am going to do with mine ... (and, even if you're not, I'm going to tell you).

It's all going into savings! YAY!

Possibly half will go into my PaxWorld Fund ROTH IRA and the other half will take up residence in my ING Direct Account (which is currently getting crap interest [3%], but that's better than nothing. Right?).

No contest this time, but I would like to challenge all of you who get a stimulus check to stimulate yourself* first:

Put some into savings or a retirement account. You're the best investment there is!

*Pervy Monkey!

The Final Countdown

Good morning and good news, kittens!

It's the last day of Alcohol-Free April! YAY! AND, we made it with only one teensy little slip ... if only Steve had become a US Citizen in May. Bastard. It's all his fault. I hope the rest of you had a wonderful, wonderful month of no booze as well :-)

On the bright side of being booze-free, I will be finishing April about $200 under budget. SUH-weet! I can't remember the last time that happened. I figure I saved so much money because (a) I wasn't drinking (and booze costs a lot) and (b) usually when we go out to happy hour, we end up eating dinner out as well. Dinners out can be 'spensive. So, YAY for me! YAY for being booze-free for (nearly) a month! and SUPERYAY for being under friggin' budget for the first time in (nearly) forever!

*pats self on back*

The beginning of Return to Booze Month looks like this:
May 1 - Casual Martini Gathering at My Abode (tentative)
May 2 - Happy Hour in DC (possibly Nellie's? ShallowGal, you free?)
May 3 - Saturday Afternoon Margaritas: Baltimore Edition III (SAM:BEIII)

*oog*

I think I may need another week off after all that ...

In other news, I have two Prize Packages ready to mail this morning [Mel and Angie, be on the look out]. I'll be mailing the rest tomorrow. I ran out of boxes and packing tape last night. BAH! Just as well, I can only carry two boxes at a time to the post office anyway.

I think I'm going to give my Mom the Squaretop Vase for Mother's Day (Can you believe it's almost Mother's Day already?). What do you think?

Thanks to everyone who responded to the poll yesterday! First, I'd like to mention that I think GayProf must be my long-lost, much smarter and handsomer, younger, Latino brother based solely on his poll answers/comments.

I went to Borders with the idea of purchasing Steel Magnolias with my $10 gift card. However, I ended up purchasing Steel Magnolias AND Sense & Sensibility AND Edward Scissorhands for about $15. BARGAIN! So happy!

DUN, Y, and I watched Steel Magnolias last night. Teh fun!

More later. *smooches*

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Meat-Free Monday: Stinky Pee Edition

Last night, for Meat-Free Monday, I made a recipe I found on epicurious, Japanese Noodles with Bok Choy and Tofu.

The recipe itself was SuperEasy and FAST! Dinner was ready in under 30 minutes. I meant to put some dried chili peppers in the sauce, but I forgot. My only quibble is that it was a bit too oily. I think next time I might cut some of the oil. Other than that, it was delicious.

In addition to the noodle dish, I roasted a bunch of asparagus which Y had found somewhere on sale. I brushed them with a mixture of basalmic vinegar and sesame oil (from the above recipe) and roasted at about 450F until they looked done (maybe 10 minutes?).

YUM. See:


Now, behold the Power of Meat-Free Monday! The good food turned my normally not so photogenic BF* into a total HOTTIE-PATOTTIE. Mmm. Mmm.


It also inspired him to take photos (with my camera!) of his late night coffee:
[One guess who made the mug]

Did you have a Meat-Free Meal on Monday?
If so, tell us about it in the comments. *smooches*


*Srsly. He's a cutie in person, but get out a camera and he turns into a total goofball. Can't take a decent photo to save his life. This one was nice though :-)

Shopaholic!

Another fun poll!
[There are 5 choices. You may need to scroll to see all of them.]


Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com


Meanwhile, I was going to blog about what people should do with their stimulus checks*. I may save that for another day ...

Now, take the poll. And tell me why you chose what you chose in the comments.

*Here's a suggestion: Send them to soon-to-be-unemployed VUBOQs

Like, Dude, Busy.

Good morning, kittens.

It's been a bit busy at work this morning. I forgot my annual performance evaluation and updated resume were due today, so I had to crank those out*. Bleah.

I have a buttload of email to answer today too. *ugh*

Lessee ... Meat-Free Monday was a success (yay!). Photo will be uploaded and posted tonight. Stay tuned.

And, here's a little reminder that small-minded bigots are still alive and well (unfortunately). It seems like we touched a nerve:

[from The Daily Star (second item)]

Homosexuals at greater risk

Thanks, The Daily Star, for publishing my letter of Feb. 1 opposing homosexual behavior. Some opposed publishing my letter. They don't realize most Americans, including the local population, are against homosexuality. But perhaps only my detractors' letters should be published. Glad they aren't the editors. They want me to listen. And I do. But when I speak, many head for the door, afraid they will hear a discordant tone. Those left tell me to shut up. I refuse.

One said I "... ha(ve) no idea that we are living in the 21st century and that many, if not most, homosexual men are in ...monogamous relationships." I can picture him in 208 Rome remarking, "Don't they know this is the third century?" as he passes Christians protesting the same immorality. Many male homosexual relationships are like an extreme open marriage, encouraging extra-partner relationships.

Another hypocritically accused me of "cherry picking" because I didn't mention more heterosexuals die of AIDS than homosexuals: 9,000 vs. 8,000. He also cited Jesus: "Let the one without sin cast the first stone." First, he failed to say the U.S. Census has homosexuals at 2 percent of the population. The proportion of their AIDS deaths is astronomically greater than heteros. Further, he threw stones at me! He also cherry-picked his Bible quote. Jesus confronted suffering and evil. After his resurrection. he told his disciples to encourage repentance ... and forgiveness. Incidentally, I'm not better than anyone. I seek God's forgiveness daily.
The CDC reported 450,000 male homosexual carriers. AIDS experts, however, agree it is under-reported by at least 35 percent. So, 607,000 are infected. The Census reports 2.1 million male homosexuals _ 29 percent then are infected.


We discourage loved ones from other behaviors with a much lower risk. So, why not this behavior?

Jerry Kabat
Oneonta


To refresh your memories, here is the post with the original letter and my response.

My guess? Closet case (who doesn't get laid irony).

More later. *smooches*

*And, by "crank those out" I mean "change the dates on last year's performance evaluation and resume."

Monday, April 28, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now the Rain Has Gone

Except it hasn't.
It's still here. I can tell.
Lurking behind that big bush over there.
Sneaky rain.

In other news, it's Meat-Free Monday! You can help out the environment by enjoying a Meat-Free Meal today! Won't that be fun?

This is what I'm going to attempt to make: Japanese Noodles with Bok Choy and Tofu. Like, OMG, I'm going to follow a recipe (mostly). What the fork up with that? Hmm...

Also, PeskyMac is organizing a One Local Summer Challenge hosted by her Farm to Philly blog. I'm thinking a One Local Summer Meat-Free Monday Challenge might be fun! Are you with me? Or against me? [Hopefully, if you're a SuperHot guy, you're against me. *rowr*] Either way, I strongly encourage you to participate [it doesn't have to be Meat-Free, but it would make me happy if it were :-)].

La la la. Now, go look at my pottery again (almost an entire year's worth!). Tell me. What's your favorite piece and why?

*smooches*

Weekend Update: Gray Skies Edition

Happy Monday, Kittens! Are you like me and *so* not wanting to be at work today? I hope so!

After quite a rocky start here at Harvard, my weekend improved significantly. Steve's Naturalization Party in Way-Out Suburubia was way fun. Perhaps, I'll be posting pictures later (assuming he sends some out). The brief hiatus from Alcohol-Free April was well worth it ...

Except for the hangover Sunday morning. So. Painful. Fortunately, the Co-op Board had planned a Yard Work Day, which motivated me (and another slightly hungover co-op resident) to get off our sofas and do a little yard work. We weeded. Raked. Spread mulch. A good time was had by all.

Then, another neighbor (who took pottery this session) and I drove over to the pottery studio to pick up our final pieces for the term. Here's a photo:

The rest are on flickr. Go look.

In other news, Dad has returned home and seems to be recovering nicely. Thanks for your good thoughts.

More later. *smooches*

UPDATE: Party Photo Stolen from Tomokito:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Updates and Continuations ...

I came home. Y came over. I had a good cry. Things seem better today.

Plus, Dad apparently made it through surgery ok. He was actually scheduled to have the back surgery this coming week, but the pain was so bad even the super-extra-strong pain pills (so strong the doctor couldn't call in the prescription. Mom had to pick them up at the hospital. And she refuses to share) were not working. The doctor decided to go ahead and operate ahead of schedule. I'm supposed to get a call today for an update ...

So, that's that...
And now for the continuing weekend saga of ...

The Birth of VUBOQ as Re-Enacted by Gay Bears (and a Virus or Two)

Previously, you met the Cast of Characters. Now, the story begins ...

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon not too many years ago.

At Dupont Circle, a snake lay waiting in the grass*.



An unsuspecting VUBOQ got closer ...



And closer ...



To be continued ...

*Well, in this case it was Syphillis in the Parsley, but whatever.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Things Aren't Always Sunny in Vutopia

I didn't get the job.
My dad is having emergency back surgery in about 2 hours.
All I want to do is go home and crawl into bed, but I have to stay at work 'til 5.
Trying not to cry in the office is making my head hurt.

The People Have Spoken ...

... And it certainly was interesting to see/read what you had to think concerning my Alcohol-Free April.

Meanwhile, I'm feeling cranky today.

I haven't heard anything from the job recruiter, even though she said she would contact me Wednesday or Thursday. I'll probably shoot her an email after lunch. I'd rather not have to sit through the whole weekend without knowing any additional information.

Also, people who don't read are driving me BATTY. There is going to be a public meeting at EPA next week, which was announced in the Federal Register. In the announcement it clearly states who to contact if you want to attend the meeting. It is not us. We are listed as a contact for general information (which, naturally, no one has provided us). However, guess who about 15 people in the past few days have contacted to request to attend the meeting?

Here's a hint: US.
GAH.

I really want to reply to their emails much more snarkily than I am.

Fortunately, there are little things which brighten my day ... like when I am doing boring, repetitive data entry, I have to enter the information from CHINA. Our database (for some odd reason) doesn't allow me to enter CHINA as the country. So, instead, I enter all calls and email from CHINA as TAIWAN. *hehe*

Lots of fun weekend activities coming up ...
More later. *smooches*

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Look! A Poll!

Hi, kittens.

One of my good friends, Steve (of Steveandbobby fame), recently became a US Citizen. This coming Saturday, I will be attending a party to celebrate his Americanosity. I, of course, will be wearing my Star-Spangled Satin Tights.

Anyway, it's a party. There will be booze. And, now, the poll:


Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com

Doing My Part to Improve the Economy

You, too, can be cool like VUBOQ

My parents, in their overly generous nature, shared some of their tax refund with my brother and me. Our family didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up. Now, my parents, being careful savers and good planners, have more money than they expected in their retirement. Perhaps, this could explain their relatively recent money giving thing.

Anyway, I transferred half of the check into savings (in preparation for my possible upcoming unemployment). The other half I used to buy the following:


Two t-shirts from the Sean Show.

This one:


And this one:
[Secretworm Tees available here.]

Who's gonna be the hippest kid on the Mean Streets of DC this summer?
ME! (and maybe you, if you make like a VUBOQ and spread some monetary luv)

Meanwhile, I *might* be hearing about the 2nd Level interview today, so keep those good thoughts flowing :-)

And, yesterday at pottery was good. All of my bisqueware was out of the kiln, so I glazed 4 mugs, 2 vases, and one bowl-like-thing. I hope they turn out well ... [because, if they do, certain contest winners may be receiving them].

After glazing, I went over to Y's. Then, we drove to my place. Then, I went to bed.

I am living the life, kittens.

Have a groovilicious day! More later. *smooches*

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not Overly Incentivized

Is that even a word?

Anyway, met with the head honcho. Signed the "Incentive Bonus Package" letter. I am not allowed to discuss the terms (Stupid Confidentiality Agreement), but let's just say this:

I'm not feeling all "Woo Hoo I'm going to stay until the End of the Contract" right now. However, if I do end up staying until the End of the Contract, the extra cash will be welcome.

Gregor Samsa Has Left the Building

During my break, I had to run to the store to buy wax to take to the pottery studio*. On my way to the elevators, I saw this:

Mmm. Tasty.

In other news, the director of our division is coming in this afternoon to talk to us about a severance package/bonus, if we agree to stay until the end of the contract. It will be interesting to hear the offer.

*We use melted wax to coat the bottoms of our pieces to resist glaze. An unglazed bottom doesn't stick to the kiln. One of my classmates pointed out that there wasn't much wax left and suggested it might be a good idea to bring in my own "just in case."

Given the inconsistent actions of the studio manager, I felt that was a valid suggestion.

Someone Went All the Way to the Pottery Studio ...

... and all he got was a big pile of NOTHING.

Yesterday was an exercise in frustration.

I got to the pottery studio around 4:15, and the kiln was on. There were no new bisque pieces on the shelves. There were shelves full of pieces to be glaze-fired, and the greenware shelves were empty. Using my amazing powers of deduction, I concluded that all of my pieces were in the still on kiln.

Of course, this made no sense, because we had received an email from the studio manager stating that the last bisque firing would be Monday. Given that there were no new pieces on the shelves to be glazed, the kiln was not even fired on Monday.

Which pissed me off. I made a special trip to the school to glaze my work based on information the studio manager provided. And it was wasted. Grrrr.

I will probably be heading back to the studio today to glaze my final 6 (or 7?) pieces. Carolyn is going to call the studio this afternoon to verify that the kiln has been emptied. She will call (or email) me to let me know, and I will either go to the studio or go home to do laundry. Fun times.

Of course, all this pseudo-drama made me a little cranky. Which I took out on Y. And he was doing his best to pick. at. my. every. nerve.* I reciprocated. Eventually we made up and had dinner.

Dinner was excellent, btw (if I do say so myself). Using the leftover ingredients from the Matzagna!, I made little matzoh pizzas (with the tomato sauce, spinach, and mozzarella). Then, I tossed bowtie pasta with a mixture of the arugula spinach pesto, ricotta cheese, and grated parmesan.

Much better than the previous evening's cooking disaster of epic proportions.

I guess that's about it. More later. *smooches*

*btw, even though Y and I have had a couple of arguments recently, I don't think that we are arguing a lot. Both of us have been a bit more stressed than usual [Him with school. Me with job uncertainty]. Personally, I think it's a bit healthier to argue (in a civil manner) than to keep it all bottled in.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hmmm ....

The salto spread thinly on bread with hummus and spinach made a fairly decent sandwich.

On impulse, I bought a book from Amazon.com, American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau, edited by Bill McKibben, foreward by Al Gore. I read the review in today's WaPo and thought, "This is a book I should have." So I bought it. Interesting that I left a comment about one of Bill McKibben's books on GayProf's blog yesterday (or was it the day before?).

I still want to buy a couple of t-shirts, but I'm waiting to see if the April budget will allow the purchases. I think it might. Not consuming alcohol for an entire month tends to be a great way to save money (especially if you drink like a vuboq).

In case you're interested (and live in housing built before 1978), EPA promulgated a final rule today which requires firms/individuals hired to do renovation/repair/painting to provide owners/tenants with information regarding the hazards of lead-based paint and to post information as well. This becomes effective on June 23rd. Additionally, by 2010, all individuals and firms doing renovation/repair/painting in pre-1978 housing will have to be certified and follow specific work practices.

Fascinating. You can read the regulation here. Or get the basics here.

I'm leaving work today at 3:30. HUZZAH!

Meat-Free Monday: Bowl Full of Fail Edition

Good morning, kittens. I hope the rain has stopped in your world and the sun is peeking through the clouds just. like. here.

Last night, I gathered together my ingredients for what I hoped would be yet another brilliant experimental cooking success.

It wasn't.

Step One was to make pesto. Here are the ingredients:


Don't they look pretty? I had grated fulvi romano with peppercorns, garlic, dried chili peppers, organic arugula, and olive oil (some of which had been used to store my already-been-done-eaten feta-stuffed olives).

All of which was shoved into a blender and had the Hell pureed out of it. WHIRRRR!

Then, I poured it into a bowl. See? Pretty:


Of course, this is where things started to go horribly wrong. I tasted the pesto and decided it needed salt. I picked up the salt and started to sprinkle a little in.

*WHOOPS*

My hand slipped and, like, 8 TONS of salt poured into the pesto. I scooped out what I could. But, when I re-tasted it, all I could taste was salt. My pesto had become salto. *ugh*

I immediately sent out a Cooking 911*. I also texted SCGB, who didn't have much advice to offer. I tried putting in a teaspoon (or less) of vinegar to see if that would help.

It didn't.

So I poured all the salto into little containers. Put them in the fridge. And, hope that I'll be able to figure out a way to de-salt them or use them in a way in which the salt isn't so over-powering. Pesto soup? More Pesto? Are the possibilities endless?

Anyway, instead of eating pesto, I nuked my sweet potato and ate that. Then, I had cheese and crackers. And some salad.

The end.

I hope your Meat-Free Monday (if you had a Meat-Free Monday) was more successful.

As for my plans today, I am going to the pottery studio after work. If all goes according to plan, my final creations should be out of the kiln. I can glaze them tonight, and they should be done by this weekend. Yay!

*to which NO ONE responded. Thanks A LOT twitter buddies.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Return of Meat-Free Monday

My company was recently purchased by (or it merged with) another company. It's not supposed to affect us mindless minions in any way, but I'm sure the owner made a boatload of cash. Anyway, there is a company-wide meeting in downtown DC after work today to explain the merger/buyout/transition/whatever.

I am not going, because:
(a) my job ends at 5 (and that meeting goes on until 7),
(b) I will more than likely no longer be working for this company after June (or sooner *crosses fingers*), and
(c) I have pottery class.

(c) is the "official" excuse I gave my boss. Of course, the interesting thing is that I'm not going to pottery class tonight.

Yep. I'm going tomorrow because I don't think my final items will be out of the kiln tonight.

*hehe*

Since I will be home on a Monday night for the first time in ages, guess what? Experimental Meat-Free Monday Cooking will commence! YAY!

Why don't you join me*? Enjoy a delicious meat-free meal tonight AND help the environment. Food photos and description tomorrow (if it turns out to be any good).

For those of you who are new to the blog, here are some Flickr photos. I tried using the "search blog" function to find all my previous Meat-Free Monday posts, but the search function is full of teh sux. Since I didn't start using tags until recently, here are a couple of Meat-Free Monday sample entries:

Meat-Free Sunday (watermelon gazpacho)
Meat-Free Monday: Food Porn Edition (cucumber feta salsa)
Meat-Free Monday: Bowl Full of Mud Edition (Carribean Black Bean soup)
First Ever Meat-Free Monday Post (Polenta Portobella)

Happy cooking!

*Figuratively. I'm not inviting both of you over to my house for dinner. I only bought one sweet potato.

Weekend Update: Matzagna Edition!

Good rainy Monday morning, kittens!

Is the weather gettin' you down? Well, take heart! Here is a fun-filled recap of my Fabulicious Weekend:

Lessee ... Friday, I ditched work early to go to the pottery studio. I managed to trim three mugs and attach the handles before I was kicked out at 5. Then, I headed over to Y's for teh buttsecks. Then, we got into an argument because he wanted me to stay over, even though I had clearly told him that I would come over for teh buttsecks after leaving the studio; HOWEVER, I needed to go home because I had things to do there on Saturday morning. He didn't remember the part which came after the however. Stupid selective memories.

Anyway, I won.

We went to dinner at some Thai place on Greenbelt Road. It was not very good. After dinner, we drove over to my house.

Saturday morning, after lots of teh buttsecks I fixed a quick breakfast, cleaned a bit, worked awhile in the yard, packed my bags, and we headed back to his place so I could bake the Matzoh Lasagna (heretofor referred to as Matzagna!).

The Matzagna! was super easy to make (if a bit messy, but I left the dishes for Y to do). Here's the final product:

[There are a couple of "process pictures" on Flickr].

Around 6:15, we left for his friends' house and the Passover Seder. Of course, we got into an argument ... I wanted to put the Matzagna! on the back seat. Y wanted it in the trunk (because it might spill all over his precious backseat). I was like it might spill all over your head if you make me put it in the trunk.

Considering that the Matzagna! was in a dish with a tight fitting lid, wrapped in a towel, and in a bag, I didn't think worrying about it spilling was a major concern. Wrong. So, I put the Matzagna! on the floor board underneath my seat.

The Seder was fine. BUT, WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME YOU SIT AT THE TABLE FOR LIKE 52 HOURS BEFORE YOU CAN ACTUALLY EAT????

Vuboq was v. v. hungry by the time the surprisingly delicious Matzagna! was brought out. We left around 11, using the excuse that I was tired (rather than saying one of the other dinner guests* was driving me bat-shit crazy and if we had stayed there any longer I may have had to poke his eyes out with my fork).

Sunday morning after lots of teh buttsecks, Y noticed the odd matching bruises on my shoulders (see photo in previous entry). It would seem that I am ... delicate.

Around noon, I went to the pottery studio, intending to trim/attach the handle to the final mug and glaze a vase. Instead, I ended up staying for 5 hours to use up all of my clay. I threw two more vases and a bowl-like thing. Since today is the last bisque firing, I am hoping they will be dry enough to go in the kiln (without exploding).

Carolyn drove me home. I ate good cheese and olives and a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. I watched a movie. I knitted. I went to bed early.

All in all, a very good weekend.

AND, with all the rain we are getting, my wildflowers, marigolds, and Thai basil seeds are ALL sprouting! YAYZ!

More later. *smooches*

*He was one of those people who [thinks he] knows everything about everything and has to tell everyone he knows everything about everything very loudly. The final straw was when he started correcting his girlfriend as she was discussing her research.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

All of Them?

This sign made me laugh today ...



This didn't...



Apparently, some of my weekend activities were a little rougher than normal.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

No Time Saturday Morning

Durg. No time to set up the photoshoot for The Birth of VUBOQ as Re-Enacted by Gay Bears (and a Virus or Two). Sorry. Instead, why don't you go to my flickr page to view my latest finished pottery pieces?

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm Looking at You, Saudia Arabia

(and Jordan and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates ...)

Funny factoid of the day:

When someone blunders across my blog using the search term ass fucking [or something similar like queen of ass fucking*], 4 out of 5 times that person will be from a predominantly Muslim country.

Are Arab men (and/or women) Pervy Monkeys?

You make the call.

*That's me!

Pottery, Passover, and Pervy Monkeys

Happy Friday, my kittens! And what a BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL DAY!

I'm jetting out of work at 3 today to get a head start on the most FANTASTIC (alcohol-free) WEEKEND EVER!!!

First stop is the Pottery Studio. I have four mugs which need trimming and handles and a vase which needs glazing. Then, I'll head over to Y's. No specific plans for the evening but it had better include some red-hot luvin.

Saturday, OMG! OMG!, look for the next exciting installment in The Birth of VUBOQ as Re-Enacted by Gay Bears (and a Virus or Two)! It's the Dinner to end all Dinners. The post should be up sometime in the afternoon (hopefully).

Saturday will also involve a little housework, perhaps some yard work, a lot of matzoh lasagna making, and my first ever Passover Seder. Then, back to Y's house. Hmmmm ... Is buttsecks allowed on Passover?

Sunday, I have to go back to the pottery studio to make sure that my mugs are ready for the last bisque firing. After that, I hope to spend some serious quality time soaking up sunshine. Mmm. Sunshine. I luvs it.

More later. *smooches*

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Squinty McSquinterson of the Squintyville McSquinties

It is bright outside.
Squinting. It gives you teh eyewrinklz.
I can't find my sunglasses.
So I bought a new pair at Burlington Coat Factory.
For $10!
I don't think they are quite gay enough ... but what can one expect from the Factory?

Here's a photo:


No comments about the hair. I've been trying to go for a longer 70s shaggy look .. and it's just not working. OK. That's not entirely true. It's not working on days when I put absolutely no effort into the hair beyond washing, conditioning, combing, and putting on a hat.

Back to the sunglasses. I think they need more *sparkle*.

In other news, a few days ago, I sent Y a recipe from the WaPo for a matzoh lasagna. Now, it seems I've been volunteered to make it for a Passover Seder we are going to on Saturday. Here's the recipe (linked above as well):

Matzoh Lasagna

Ingredients

Greens-Ricotta Filling
Approximately 2 bunches of arugula or spinach, thoroughly washed, stemmed and spun dry

3-5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat of chiles: 1/2 fresh red chile of choice, seeded, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Note: This yields about 1 cup pesto, which is double the amount you'll need for one lasagna. The leftover pesto makes a great sandwich spread.

1/2 cup ricotta cheese, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Approximately 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
12-16 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
At least 2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
8-10 matzoh boards (less than one box)

Method

Prepare filling: Chop greens and reserve half. In a large skillet, heat garlic in olive oil for 15 seconds. Add half of the greens, toss with tongs to coat, cover and allow to wilt about two minutes.

Transfer wilted greens to the bowl of a food processor and puree. Add half of the reserved raw greens and blend to combine. Add nuts, if using, and blend until well integrated. Add chiles, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust accordingly. Add 1 tablespoon oil gradually so that pesto is somewhere between a sauce and a chutney. Scoop pesto out of food processor and measure out 1 cup of pesto to combine with ricotta cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Store remaining pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.

In a small saucepan, heat marinara sauce until warm. Season with salt, pepper and herbs, as necessary.

Prepare matzoh: Wet each matzoh under warm running water to moisten. Stack damp matzohs on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel.

Grease a 9x13 rectangular baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble lasagna: Spoon enough marinara sauce on bottom of dish to cover surface. Place two matzoh boards in dish, side by side, so that they're snug. With a rubber spatula, spread half of the greens-ricotta filling on top of matzoh, covering the surface, and add one-fourth of the mozzarella and Parmigiano.

Create a new layer with two matzohs and this time, spoon marinara sauce so it covers surface, followed by more cheese.

For the next layer, add two matzohs and the remaining greens-ricotta filling, then top with both cheeses.

The top layer is two final pieces of matzoh, covered with marinara sauce and any remaining cheese.

Place dish in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Cheese will begin to bubble. Remove from heat and allow to rest for a few minutes. Slice and eat immediately.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Whachuthink?

In the Big Leagues

On my walk to work this morning, I passed a discarded can of Skoal. And I found myself thinking, "OMG. Do people still dip?"

Suddenly I was on a whirlwind trip down memory lane ... [insert Wayne's World doo-doo-doot doo-doo-doots here] ...

I was 6 and somehow found myself playing on a Little League baseball team, the Reds*. My brother was on the same team. We were the worst team in the league, and I, I with my awesome athletic ability, played Right Field**.

One day during practice, one of the cooler kids on the most losingest baseball team ever [so that probably gives you an idea about how cool he was] brought a bag of chewing tobacco. My brother and I didn't try it there, but brought it home to ask permission.***

Dad, in his wisdom, said, "Go right ahead," and sat back to enjoy the show.

My brother and I both took big wads of shredded brown tobacco leaves and shoved them in our mouths.

BLEEAAAARRRRGGGGH! *spit*
*cough*
*gag*
*sputter*
*cough*

Needless to say, from then on, I stuck with Big League Chew and didn't try any type of tobacco product again until college.

Come to think of it, my Dad pulled the same trick on us with some unopened beer we found on the side of the road one time. And there was a similar result: I didn't try alchohol again until my Senior year in high school.


~~~

In other news, last night, I did laundry. Then, Y came over and we watched a movie, Immortality (which apparently is also called The Wisdom of Crocodiles?). It was awful. BUT, it had a young Jude Law in it. AND, he is SO cute I watched the entire film. It was fun to pick out the mistakes ... like, do they use Social Security Numbers in the UK? Anyway, cute Jude Law (with hair!). 'nuff said.

More later. *smooches*

*I don't think it had anything to do with Communism. I could be wrong.
**In Little League parlance, it would also be called "The Position Where Kids Who Have No Athletic Ability Whatsoever are Sent Because No One EVER Hits the Ball to Right Field."
***We were such good boys.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pottery News and the Joys of Scheduling

It would seem that the last bisque firing is going to be on April 21st. This is not good. I still have BUTTLOADS of clay left. Plus, 4 mugs which need trimming and handles. Hopefully, I can get out of work early on Friday, run to the studio (it closes at 5) to trim and pull handles. Then, maybe on Sunday the mugs will be dry enough to put in the kiln on Monday.

There will probably not be enough time to throw anything else. GAH. But, I don't want to abandon all my leftover clay, either. *sigh* Looks like I'll be signing up for a summer course ... [which, in and of itself, is not a bad thing ... unless I'm unemployed at that time. Then, it would totally suck and be money that I shouldn't have spent.]

The last glaze firing is the 28th.

My exciting plans for today after work include: vaccuuming! laundry! and sweeping! OMG! I haz all teh funz. ALL OF IT!

I'm also going to eat cheese and olives. Because if I can't have alcohol, at least I can have good cheese and olives.

The Horrors of Retirement

in which I not only steal Mush's use of "in which," but I also discover that I am going to die miserable, alone, and starving ...

I received a fun email this morning from my 401(k) plan. They have a new Retirement Checkup!, which will help me to insure that I'm saving enough money to survive after I retire (which, apparently, is going to be at Age NEVER).

Considering that I put 5% of my salary into my 401(k), combined with the generous *cough* 25% match by my company, AND that I plan to put $200/year (at least) into my fabulous PaxWorld ROTH IRA (which has shown consecutive losses ever since I started throwing my money into that investment sinkhole*), this is what the wonderful Retirement Checkup! predicts:


On a brighter note, scroll down to see the WINNARZ of last night's 10% Refund Challenge and Poor Bastages Who Owe the Tax Man Pity Party drawings!

More later. *smooches*

*I'm kidding, btw. Not about the losses, but about the investment sinkhole. I have faith that it will turn around in the long run. It's all about the long run with IRAs, right? RIGHT?!?!?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pity Party WINNARZ!!!

My camera batteries finally charged, so here's the exciting finale of our Tax Day Extravaganza: The WINNARZ of the Poor Bastages Who Owe the Tax Man Pity Party. First, the entrants:


All the names were put into the Official Non-Sponsor Bazura Bags Recycled Juice Boxes Bag:


And, FIRST Prize goes to ... [drum roll, please] ...

Congratulations, ANGIE!!!! *w00t*

And, SECOND Prize goes to ... [drum roll, please] ...

David! YAY! Congratulations!

Please email [environy(at)gmail(dot)com] your mailing addresses and (eventually) you will receive your SuperFantastic Yet-to-be-determined Prize Packages!

Thanks for playing, and we are all really, really sorry that you had to pay taxes this year. Srsly.
*smooches*

10% Refund Challenge WINNERS!!!

Good Evening, Kittens!

The drawing for the winner(s) of the 10% Refund Challenge has just taken place! I know you are excited to find out who will be receiving the fabulous yet to be determined prizes!!!

First, I wrote all of the 10% Refund Challenge participants on slips of paper:


Next, they were folded in half and placed in a small bag made from recycled juice bags from Bazura Bags (not one of our sponsors).


I reached in ...


and the 1st Prize Winner is ... [drum roll please] ...


Mel! Yay! Congratulations!

But, wait! There's more! I decided to have a 2nd Prize Winner ...


And, the 2nd Prize goes to ... [another drum roll please] ...


Dorothee and Jay! YAY!

If you would email me [environy(at)gmail(dot)com] your mailing addresses, I will send you your fantabulous prize packages (as soon as I figure out what they are going to be)!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the 10% Refund Challenge. To me, and the charities to which you donated, you are ALL winners! *smooches*

Stay tuned for the Poor Bastages Who Owe the Tax Man Pity Party drawing later tonight. My camera batteries died, and they are currently recharging.

Anticipation!

Can you feel the excitement? It's palpable!

In about 4 (or 5) (or 6)* hours, one of these lucky (and generous) people will be winning a fabulous prize of a yet to be determined nature:

-Earl Cootie
-Mel
-Julia
-SCGB
-Eight Lives Left
-Dorothee and Jay
-kmkat

AND, one of these unlucky people will also be winning a fabulous prize of a yet to be determined nature:

-Someone in a Tree
-Angie
-Sticky Crows
-Biddy
-Heather Outside Boston

OMG. I can barely stand the suspense! Who will win? WHAT will they win?
Only the Shadow knows fer sure.

*maybe 7

*yawn*

Good morning, kittens.

Yesterday was fun. I jetted out of work at 2:30 to deliver some documents to DC. Then, I walked to Barnes and Noble to make use of some birthday gift cards. I bought this:

Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian!

I'm so excited. I've been wanting this book for AGES. Now, I haz it! Huzzah! I am planning to snuggle up on my sofa this evening with a cup of tea, my kitty, and this book. *woo hoobity hoo*

Later, I went to my last [instructor-led] pottery class. We still have a few more sessions to use up clay and finish works-in-progress. I glazed three more things [a vase and two mugs], using a *new* color scheme. I know! You thought I could only glaze things in blue and white. This time I used green and a new brown glaze. We'll see how they turn out. I also threw two more mugs.

AND, my faux corningware casserole dish is finished:
Tell me it's gorgeous [There are two more photos of it on flickr].

OH, one more thing ... for those of you who were paying attention. Over the weekend, Tomokito, Y, Emiliano, and I did have cookies, booze, and DDR . However, while Emiliano had beer, and Tomokito and Y had gin and tonics (gins and tonic?), I had tonic. With lime. Delicious. I have been Alcohol-free for 15 days. Practically an eternity.

Don't forget: 10% Refund Challenge and Poor Bastages Who Owe the Tax Man Pity Party drawings are TONIGHT!!!

More later. *smooches*

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tax Day Eve!

As you sit there, rumpled, in need of a shave, surrounded by adding machine tape* and coffee-stained files and chewed pencil erasers and forms with odd names like S-4B/2104: Withholding Allowance for Pet Apes Who Eat Only Organic Bananas, and you're thinking "Where in the hell did I put that Organic Banana receipt," there is a bright spot, a beacon of hope.

There!
On the horizon!
Do you see it?
Glistening in the distance?
Beckoning you to move towards the light?

What could it be? You squint, and, yes, it's ... it's ...

It's the Last day to enter VUBOQ's 10% Refund Challenge ~or~ the Poor Bastages Who Owe the Tax Man Pity Party!

You have until MIDNIGHT TONIGHT to either leave a comment or email. There will be prizes and fun! And, most importantly, dogooderyness!!!! Don't wait. Enter NOW!!!

Drawing to be held April 15th (possibly around 7PM).
Employees of vuboq.blogspot.com not eligible to win.

*and the children born after 1985 think "What?"

Weekend Update: Whole Lotta Nothing Edition

Good morning, Kittens! I hope everyone is well-rested and ready to take on a brand new week. *w00t*

Here's the rundown of my exciting weekend ...

Friday: Y had dinner/movie plans with a friend, and I had been wanting a quiet evening at home ... so that worked out perfectly. I knitted, watched movies, and, then, DUN, who had friends visiting, invited me up for dessert. Ice cream with rhubarb and blueberry sauce. Yum.

Saturday: I took the headshots for the new Weekend Serial: The Birth of VUBOQ as Re-Enacted by Gay Bears (and a virus or two). Stay tuned for next week's installment, The Dinner. I can tell you are as excited as I am about this.

Then, I worked in the yard for a bit. All I did was break up the soil in the Chili Pepper Graveyard and scatter a whole bunch of wildflower seeds. Hopefully, they will sprout. And the Chili Pepper Graveyard will become a Wildflower Wonderland.

After lunch, I headed over to Y's to bake cookies for sex to bake cookies. I made snickerdoodles, using the recipe in The Joy of Cooking (75th Anniverary Edition). As I was making them, I noticed that the dough seemed a bit ... gooier than I thought it should be. Nevertheless, I plowed ahead.

The cookies, though delicious, were ... um ... flat. And crispy. I wanted thicker, chewier cookies. So, I called Mom to see if her recipe was any different. She checked in her copy of The Joy of Cooking (1970s edition), and guess what?

No snickerdoodles recipe.

So, she had to dig through all her other boxes of recipes until she found it. Turns out the two recipes were exactly the same except her recipe used 3/4 cups more flour. I suppose that explains it. I made a notation in my book.

After eating cookies (and more sex), Y and I met Tomokito and her husband at a Japanese restaurant near Y's house. It was good (enough). Then, we came back to Y's for cookies, booze, and Dance Dance Revolution! *w00t*

Sunday: I went to the pottery studio. I glazed three items (a vase, a cup, and a handleless pitcher). I trimmed a vase. And, I threw two pots that may become mugs. Then, I headed back to Y's for cookies (and more sex).

That evening, we had dinner at El Golfo (spinach! enchiladas!). Then, Y went to Across the Way Neighbor's apartment to watch Desperate Housewives, while I tidied up my house a bit [and had cookies (and no sex) with SCGB].

Today, I'm leaving work a bit early to hand deliver some documents for work. I should have time to stop by the Barnes and Noble to make use of a couple birthday gift cards. I want to buy Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Then, I'll head over to my last (*sniff*) pottery class. Actually, we'll have open studio for several more weeks, but this will be the last class with the instructor.

Have a great Monday! More later. *smooches*

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Birth of VUBOQ as Re-Enacted by Gay Bears, Part I

In a recent email conversation with David, I realized that I have never explained the origins of my name (or if I had, I've forgotten, so you're just going to have to read it again, kittens).

Without further ado, I give you a new Weekend Serial:

The Birth of VUBOQ as Re-Enacted by Gay Bears (and a virus or two)

Part I: The Cast of Characters (in order of appearance)

The role of VUBOQ will be played by:

Jesus Christ (aka Buzzy)

The role of the Ex-BFF will be played by:

Syphilis (which is surprisingly fitting)

The role of the Ex-BFF's friend (whose name I have forgotten) will be played by:

birthofvuboq 004
Mononucleosis

The role of the SuperCute Shop Assistant Manager will be played by:

birthofvuboq 002
Muhammad (aka Buddy)

Stay Tuned next week for Part II: The Dinner

Friday, April 11, 2008

Um. Oops.

What was I just saying about academics and their total lack of brains?

It would seem that someone, who shall remain nameless [Here's a hint: It starts with a "V" and rhymes with "BUBOQ"], left the apartment this morning and locked the deadbolt. The thing is: One needs a key to unlock the deadbolt from inside the apartment. Y was TRAPPED! Fortunately, he found a spare key ... which I didn't know existed ... on some random key chain. Interesting. I am hoping it was a correct key and he didn't break the lock.

Oh, and the Co-Op Rat Drama is giving me a headache.

TGIF!

Last night, Y came over and we watched Volver. It was very enjoyable. Of course, at one point, I tried to go to bed (during the movie), and Y wouldn't let me. So, I stayed up (later than normal) to watch the end.

After the movie, as I was getting ready for bed, Y asked, "What are you doing tomorrow?"

"Going to work like most people do."

[pause]

[pause]

[pause]

"Oh. Tomorrow is Friday. I forgot," Y said. "I'm sorry. I wouldn't have asked you to stay up to watch the movie if I had known."

OMG. Academics and their total lack of brains sometimes.

ANYWAY, not much going on. Certain people on the Board are driving me crazy. They are worried about rats and raccoons around our building. People, we live in the woods, near a large creek and park. We are going to get rats and raccoons and other various and sundry creatures of nature around our building. The trick is to keep them from coming inside the building. GAH. And I will not allow anyone to put strong rat poison out. Sorry.

Weekend plans so far are minimal. I'm going to be baking more cookies on Saturday. I think on Saturday morning I'm going to scatter the shade-loving wildflower seeds in the Chili Pepper Graveyard. Sunday, I need to go to the pottery studio. And that's about it.

More later, probably. *smooches*

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Force You to Look at My Plants

(and, no, "plants" isn't "code" for "anything else")

Chocolate Mint


Hot and Spicy Oregano


Two Types of Chili Peppers (Serrano and Thai)


AND, the piece de resistance, the Parsley That Will Not Die


That is all. Carry on.

Like, OMG, Work!

What up with that?
I've been busy today.
I need a break.
We received a buttload of email to answer from our project officer.
Then, there was a conference call with some EPA peoples.
Now, I am done and eating as many greasy potato chips as I can shove into my face.

I think I'm going to play Minesweeper for the rest of the day ...

*smooches*

Updated to Note: It's HOT. And I seem to have gotten chocolate on my shirt. How did that happen?

Mixology

Last night, after folding all my laundry, I invited a few neighbors (DUN, SCGB, Tomokito) down to help me perfect the drink recipe I created for the Helix Lounge Spring/Summer Cocktail Contest. After a little trial and error (and a lot of gin), I think I hit upon a winner. The suckiest thing is that, since it's Alcohol-Free April, I couldn't sample my own creation. Poo.

I emailed my recipe to the bar this morning. If you'd like to play along, email me (or leave a comment) and I'll send you the recipe. The drink, which I have dubbed the Blueberry Collins, is a lovely purple color and is YUMMY (or so I am told).

And that's all the news that's fit to print. More later. *smooches*

PS. Don't forget you only have a few more days to sign up for the 10% Refund Challenge or the Poor Bastages Who Owe the Tax Man Pity Party! Fun! Prizes! Dogooderyness!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I Can't Decide If This Was On Purpose or Not

I received an email from our IT Department this afternoon, explaining that power to the main office will be cut at 9PM tonight and restored at 6:30AM tomorrow. Thus, we won't have access to email, electronic timekeeping, and the company intranet. The email closes with this:

"Sorry for any incontinence this may cause."

BWA-ha-ha-ha-HA-HA-HA

*giggle*
*snort*
*chuckle*

April 15th Draws Nigh!

I know some of you are dreading the Ides of April, BUT there is something to look forward to!

On the Evening of April 15th, the Winners of the
10% Refund Challenge
*and*
Poor Bastages Who Owe the Tax Man Pity Party
will be announced! [Fantastic Prizes still TBD.*]

Of course, there is still time to sign up for either FUNTASTIC drawing. You must email me or leave a comment on my blog by 11:59PM EST April 14th. Although not a requirement, it would nice if you told me to which organization(s) you are donating (so I can provide that organization a little linkyluv).

So, far the Good People of Vutopia have donated to:

Campus Cats
Care
Food and Friends
Kiva
Medical Students for Choice
Operation Migration
Ornicus
Seva Foundation
Washington Animal Rescue League


Keep up the good work :-)

*smooches*

*Is it my fault the kiln is broken? Is it? I think not.

You Have to Pronounce "Major" Like You are Victoria Beckham

Good morning, kittens.
Just a few random bits of nothingness to report this gray and dreary morning.

Last night was the board meeting. It was good. Prior to the board meeting, we went to Across the Hall from DUN Neighbor's apartment for chili. That was also good.

My apartment is a Certified Disaster Zone. When I get home from work, I have to do MAJOR cleaning. MAY-JOR.

And laundry. It's laundry day! *w00t*

I'm having a few neighbors over tonight. Helix Lounge is hosting a summertime cocktail contest. I have a GREAT idea for a cocktail, but, since it is Alcohol-Free April (Day 437 9), I can't sample my own creation. Thus, the neighbors will be taste-testing guinea pigs*. Hopefully, the cocktail won't be total crap. It sounds good in theory, at least.

Here's a fun new blog for everyone to visit: Saving the World Before Bedtime (Check out the superfunkycool spectacles!).

Finally, I'm working on a very special weekend post, featuring our favorite Gay Bears, Jesus and Muhammad. Stay tuned.

More later. *smooches*

PS. Like, OMG, I almost forgot. You totally have to go over to the Sean Show to check out all his superfantabulous t-shirt designs. And, you know, if you're thinking "Which one should I buy VUBOQ," I'm all about the Homophobia is Gay or the one about Distress (I can't look up the exact name because the Sean Show is blocked from work. *sigh*).**

That is all ... for now.

*HAHA! I just reread this and it sounds like I'll be serving them Guinea Pig Cocktails. That is not the case. Guinea Pigs are more of a Autumn/Winter beverage. Rather, my neighbors will be guinea pigs, taste-testing my cocktail creation. Is that clear now? LOLZPONIEZ.
**Size S, please. KTHXBAI.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Snuffing the Flame

Once, while teaching at the small junior college on the outskirts of Beijing, probably between the lessons on "All Governments are Stupid, Not Just Yours" and "This Class is a Free Speech Zone; Tell Me Exactly What You Think and I Promise Not to Send You to Re-Education Camp," one of my students asked me what I thought about Tibet.

*alarm bells*

"This is a hot button issue," I thought. "My answer has to be diplomatic and sensitive." My students were 5 years old when the Tiananmen Square massacre happened. They were convinced the protesters had guns and fired on the police. For their entire schooling, they had been indoctrinated by their teachers and by the government. I paused, slowly forming the exact words I would say. I took a deep breath and began,

"Tibet should be a free and independent country."

*moderately controlled uproar*

"Quick throw them a bone," I thought.

"But you can have Taiwan," I said.

*confused silence*

I think I might have been the first person to ever not tow the party line with them, and I went on to explain my thinking. Before moving to Beijing, I'd read biographies of Chairman Mao and of Chang Kai-Shek. I'd read several books on the Cultural Revolution. I'd also read the Dalai Lama's take on the situation. I'd come to the conclusion that the whole "Tibet is a part of China" party line was a load of crap. Tibet was an independent theocracy until, under duress, signed an agreement with the PRC. Returning Tibet to its former independent status was a no-brainer.

Taiwan, on the otherhand, was a part of China until WWII, when the Japanese annexed it. After WWII, Chang Kai-Shek set up his government-in-exile there. Eventually, I think Taiwan and China will be peacefully reunited. Of course, it's not going to happen until mainland China becomes more democratic and less authoritarian. (Um. Yeah. Right).

And, what does this have to do with the upcoming Olympics in Beijing? Nothing, other than I think the current Olympic Torch Protests are going to backfire.

Not that I can watch Chinese news, but I will bet you 12 BILLION DOLLARS that the scene that is playing across all the TVs there is the one in which the protestors are harassing the woman in a wheelchair carrying the torch*. And the Chinese Government is saying, "See what the evil protestors are doing? They have no respect. They are bad people. All we want to do is show that China is good and wonderful. You should be proud of China." And the people, who have grown up without learning to think and to criticize and to question, will believe it.

The protests will cause China to lose face. And things will get worse for Tibet.

*I can't find the picture online, but I saw it in the WaPo this morning.

Quick Job Update

I emailed the recruiter.

She responded that the organization felt the candidate they spoke with last week was less experienced than they may want. She is confident that I'll be asked for a 2nd interview, but, because they are keeping the job open for a couple more weeks, it might not be for awhile. As the recruiter said, people like me are hard to find :-).

Teh waiting. It is awful.

You Know You Are Tired When ...

You empty the creamer into the trashcan and put the empty container in your coffee mug.

Yes. Actually happened. This morning. Just now. *oops*

First things first ... the recruiter never called yesterday. Should I be thinking "no news is good news?" or something else? Should I send an email to find out what's happening? Should I call during my lunch break? gak.

Pottery class was fun. I glazed my casserole dish. I trimmed one vase, and I made another one. There's something wrong with the kiln though, so I didn't have any other things to glaze. I should have a spiraly vase, a handleless pitcher, and a cup in the kiln now. I also have two mugs waiting to be placed in the kiln. I hope it is fixed soon. There is only one more week of instruction left. Then, we have open studio until the end of the month. Fun times.


It's another gray and gloomy day. Woo hoo.

More later. *smooches*

Monday, April 07, 2008

Retail Therapy

Yesterday, when I was feeling SuperCraptastic, I decided to do a little online shopping. My original intention was to look for a professional messenger bag/briefcase/thing. As I was surfing teh 'netz, I remembered that I also wanted to buy a funky new belt for the summer.

I ended up at Bazura Bags, because I wanted to buy this belt (in pink ... it will match my soon-to-be purchased bedazzled uterus t-shirt*). However, I got sidetracked in the Work/School department. Instead of buying a belt, I ended up buying this:


and this:



Gah. I couldn't help myself. Perhaps they are not quite as "professional" as I intended, but they are funkycool bags ... and that's more important than boring professionalism. IMHO.

*Who wouldn't want a bedazzled uterus t-shirt? Ask me for details, if you want one too.

Accentuate the Positive

Rather than dwell on my crankiness (I don't think I'll be feeling full strength until I hear from the recruiter, and, then, I'll either be ecstatic or doubly down dooby dooby down wah wah wah waaaaaaaaaaaah), here are the good things that happened this weekend:

1. I made green tea, using my hagiyaki, which, if you don't know, is one of the best pottery styles in Japan ... and my favorite. I own lots and lots of hagiyaki, including a v. expensive tea ceremony bowl. Love my hagiyaki :-)

2. I seamed one sleeve on the Never-Ending Cardigan of Doom.

3. I cast on and knit one band of the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Potter Scarf, which I promised a friend last year.

4. I weeded and tidied the garden area (with some neighborly help) in front of our building.

5. I planted the chocolate mint in the planter on our porch.

6. I planted the marigold and thai basil seeds in some small containers. If they sprout, I will transplant them into the garden

7. I transplanted the serrano chili and thai chili plants. They got kinda beat down by the rain yesterday, but I think they'll be OK.

8. Dinner at Udupi with Y. Plus, he gave me my birthday present: New Slippers! YAY!

9. Watching Sweeney Todd on DVD. It didn't seem as gory on the small screen. Y felt a little queasy though.

10. teh buttsecks.

And, here's a photo of #1 and #3. Enjoy:

More later. *smooches*

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Moody and Gray

And cranky. Very cranky.
Which means that (a) I bailed on the Non-Bris Party and
(b) Y is a little peeved.

I did manage to get up to go with him to brunch with his friend visiting from NYC. We went to the Red Dog Cafe ... a place I doubt I'll visit again ... Not just because the service was bad (like, um, hello? coffee refill? asking how the food is or if we need anything? would that be possible? apparently not), but also because the food was, not bad, but bland. Flavorless. Dull. Uninteresting. Things I can make at home ... and make better.

Of course, b/c I was getting cranky at being ignored by the crap waitstaff, I was not as participatory in the conversation. Which caused Y to think that his friend will think that I don't like her (um ... whatever.).

She talked like a mile a minute, and it was difficult to get a word in when I did feel like I had something to add to the conversation, which wasn't often because the conversation revolved around the following topics (1) Israel, (2) Israeli movies, (3) Israeli music, (4) Hebrew language, (5) Jews in general, and (5) Y's problems with his grad program. Yep, not exactly my areas of expertise. At one point, Y, bless him, thought he would try to bring me into the conversation by mentioning that his friend knows of my former best friend. Mm. Hm. Yep. The best way to get me involved in a conversation is to bring up a topic I don't like to talk about because it still makes me sad.

So by the end of brunch, I didn't think I could deal with several more hours of people whose main points of conversation would be at least 4 of the 5 topics already mentioned ... especially since a good portion could be conducted in a language I don't understand.

Y brought me home and went to the party. I've been watching movies and knitting, but my mood is still total crap.

Sometimes I think people, and by people I mean Y, don't bother looking past my usually cheery exterior to see that -right now- I'm under a lot of stress. I'm waiting to hear about being asked back for a second interview for a job for which I think I am uniquely qualified and would love doing. However, you can never anticipate an organization's hiring decision. If I don't get that job, I face the very real, and very scary, chance of being unemployed in less than 3 months.

Maybe another job opportunity will present itself. But what if it doesn't?
Unemployment like totally sucks.
And being worried about that sort of thing sucks even more.

I won't even go into some of the darker thoughts which have flitted across my brain the past few days.

And, to top it all off, BOSSY has a new boyfriend. I've been replaced. So sad.

OK. Now, forget you ever read this post. VUBOQ will be back to his normal self tomorrow.

*smooches*

Friday, April 04, 2008

*le ugh*

VUBOQ is supposed to get a call about The Job either today or Monday. Well, there are 33 minutes left in "today" and there has been no Call.

Which means that, even though VUBOQ realizes that He could get a call on Monday, VUBOQ is totally panicking and knowing that they don't want to hire Him. Because, really, if they had totally loved VUBOQ wouldn't they be calling as soon as possible?

[And, why does it smell like rotten eggs all of a sudden?]

A weekend of being depressed and thinking the worst, when VUBOQ would have much rather spent shopping for a cute new shirt and tie to wear with his suit. What fun.

*sigh*

Weekendery Fun

Major disappointment. Y told me last night that the party on Sunday is not a bris. Boo. Hiss. I was so looking forward to that. I had even come up with the Perfect Bris Gift. Here is a rather imperfect rendition of my idea (to be printed on a baby t-shirt):Get it?

The rest of my weekend plans are ...

Tonight, Y and I are going on a date. He's taking me to Udupi Palace, which is a vegetarian Indian place in Langley Park. YUM. This is part of my birthday gift, btw. Then, we are coming back to my place to watch Sweeney Todd (finally).

Tomorrow, I was planning to do some yard work: cleaning up the garden plot, weeding, spreading some compost, scattering wildflower seeds, etc. etc. etc. However, the weather is not looking like it wants to cooperate (rain! blah!). If it rains, I may spend the day on the sofa knitting and watching movies. Not that that's a bad thing ...

Sunday, Y and I are having brunch with one of his friends from NYC. Then, we're going to the Not-Bris Party. I was hoping to go to the pottery studio, but I don't think that will happen. Maybe I'll stay late on Monday night or something instead.


Also, I received an email in my Flickr account that a photo I took is being considered for the Schmap East Coast Guide. I have no idea what that is or what it means, but this is the photo:
Flickr link

More later (perhaps). *smooches*