Thursday, July 31, 2008

Someone is a LIttle Durnk at Work

I met SCGB for lunch at Adega (also know as Only Me's favorite restaurant).

I ordered the portabello mushroom sandwich, eggplant fries, and a glass of the house cabernet. The owner handed me my glass of wine and said, "It's on the house."

aw. *sniff* I luv Adega.

Later, SCGB and I decided we wanted another round of wine. He went up to order it. SCGB told the owner that it was my last day of work and GUESS WHAT?

The second glass was free, too! The owner said, "with my condolences."

Wasn't that sweet?

SEE? Sometimes it pays to go to certain restaurants all. the. forking. time.

Of course, now I'm a little tipsy. At work. Drinking coffee. Hoping I'll sober up in time for the office happy hour tequila shots.

*smooches*

"This Is It!"

Good morning, kittens!

It's my last "Good morning, kittens!" from this computer, cubicle, office, building, street ... Doesn't that make you a little misty? *sniff*

It's OK, kittens. Let it out.

Meanwhile, I'm whooping and whollering on the inside.

So far this morning, I have updated my resumes (changing everything to past tense), printed several copies, signed my final timesheet, and had not quite enough coffee. It's free! Enjoy it while it lasts! Even though it is the crappiest coffee known to man (well except for a certain person I follow on twitter, who sometimes tweets about the nastiness that is Blueberry Coffee).

*shudder*

My plans for the day include cleaning out the remainder of crap in my desk, meeting SCGB for lunch at Adega, surfing the internet, and then going to our final happy hour! With Tequila Shots for All! YAYZ!

Last night, I didn't do much of anything except watch Project Runway (liked the judges' decision) and Shear Genius (was very disappointed with the results of the Charlie's Angels challenge).

Now, scroll down to the next post and read about the NEW EXCITING SUMMERTIME CONTEST!!! Make soup! Win pottery!

More later. *smooches*

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Soup that Came in from the Cold

It's time. You've read the hints:

Hint #1
Hint #2

You've made the guesses.

And, now, it's time for the Big Summertime Contest Announcement.

It's a Cold Soup Contest!
Perfect for Summer!
Delicious! Refreshing! All Natural!

What must you do? Very easy:

Send VUBOQ a Vegetarian Cold Soup Recipe and Photo that you either (a) created yourself or (b) modified from an already published version.

VUBOQ (and a crack team of Cold Soup Experts) will review the recipes and choose the top 3.

VUBOQ will make each of the 3 Finalist Soups and determine which one is the

Summertime Cold Soup Champion!!!

VUBOQ loves this contest idea so very much, because (1) he loves the cold soups in summer and (2) it encourages something that he holds very near and dear to his heart:

Creative, Experimental Vegetarian Cooking!

The RULES.

1. All recipes and a photo of the finished product must be EMAILED to VUBOQ at environy(at)gmail(dot)com by midnight August 15, 2008.

2. All recipes must be OVO-LACTO VEGETARIAN or stricter (no meat, no fish. Dairy/eggs are OK).

3. If you are modifying an already published recipe, you must send both the original recipe and your modified version.

4. Bonus points will be given to people who make their recipe using 100% locally grown ingredients.

5. If you live in a funky midwestern town, you may ask for help from any SuperFantastic Cuzins who live nearby.

There will be prizes! Those prizes could be VUBOQ-made Pottery.

Any questions?
Now, GET COOKING!

*smooches*

Baseball: It's More Than Just a Game

Good Morning, Kittens (especially Kristen*!).

Last night, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Nationals vs. Phillies game. It rocked. As you may know, VUBOQ knows a lot about baseball (see this post). So here's my take on the game ...

The Home Team (Go Nats!) wore white. The Visitors (Go Phillies!) wore ... dingy. I mean, really. What up with that color, Phillies? Do you not use bleach? Talk to your laundry service. Srsly.



I got to watch the game with my SuperHot BlogCrush, ShallowGal. OMG. She is so funny (and knows waaaaay too much about baseball - player stats, differences between the two leagues**, and that the Nats have no cute players***). Go read her blog now. No. Wait. Keep reading this post first.

ZOMGz. Teh Cuteness is Unbearable.

Every now and then, the play would stop and the groundskeepers would break out the rakes.


Even baseball teams understand the importance of Good Grooming. Really, a well-manicured lawn is essential. And, you, yes, you, the one with the unibrow, you need to understand the importance of a tweezer. Srsly.

At some point, the game ended, with the Nats losing 2-1. Waaah. If only they had used VUBOQ to Pinch Hit:

Check out that stance!

After much fun conversation with the Gorgeous DC Movie Girl (Go Braves!), Shallow Gal, and a gaggle of drunk girls at the bar, we headed home.

It took forever. Why is Silver Spring so far away? WHY?

And, that was my evening.

More later. *smooches*


*Who needs to start her food blog soon. Srsly.
**There are two leagues?!?!
**Although VUBOQ started developing a little crush on the catcher, Jesus, which is odd, because VUBOQ normally goes for the pitchers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Job Idea #493: Baby Sitter Pimp

Good morning, kittens.

As some of you may know, one of the major stumbling blocks in my relationship with Y is our stance on children. Basically, Y wants and I am not so sure (although last night I had a startling revelation, which needs a bit more introspection before I blog about it).

In the past few months, I have made the acquaintance of several fabulous FBWCs*, and, in reading their blogs, I learned that baby sitters make a lot of cash. Yes, cash. Tax Free. Non-reportable. Under the Table Income.

So, let's do a little math:

1. VUBOQ needs a job, but is not overly excited about the children.
2. VUBOQ's BF loves the children.
3. VUBOQ has been meeting the fabulous FBWCs.

Put it together and what have you got**?

VUBOQ pimps out his BF as a baby-sitter, taking 20% off the top (because scheduling is hard work. Srsly). Suh-weet.

Back in the real world, pottery class was good last night. I glazed two things. I trimmed Canister #3, a vase, and a mug. And, I picked up two finished items:

My First Plate EVER:

First Plate

And, Canister #1:

Canister 1

More later. *smooches*

Oh, the Str8Guy has posted. Check it out.

*Female Bloggers with Children, because "Mommy Blogger" sounds so demeaning.
**Bibbity bobbity boo

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh. And Ow.

Reading Mel's recent post about his weird dreams reminded me of what happened Saturday night ...

I was sleeping on the air mattress in the living room. At one point, I started having this very disturbing dream about being attacked. I waited until my attacker seemed vulnerable, and *WHAM* I kicked him in da nutz! and

*EEEE-YOWCH!!!*

Not only had I kicked the attacker as hard as I could, I had also kicked my very solid wood coffee table with equal force.

Pain is so not my friend. Surprisingly, I don't seem to have any bruises.

In other -less painful- news, I was trying to figure out how to get all my personal files off my work computer. My CD drive isn't working. I don't have a floppy drive on my laptop. And, Office Depot only had SUPER-Expensive flash drives for sale. Then, a friend told me about xdrive. It provides 5GB of free storage space, and it's really quite quick and easy.

Later tonight, I'll see how easy it is to download them from there to my laptop. Fun times, kittens. Fun times.

Weekend Update: Decompression Edition

Does anyone know why visits with the parental units are so stressful?

Here are a few stress-inducing highlights:

Mom came in and said, "It's so clean." Then, she pulled out all my cleaning stuff, started dusting, and showed me how much dirt she's picking up. I. Can't. Win.

Or what about after an entire morning/early afternoon driving around and talking, I'm enjoying a few quiet moments on the sofa when she said "Why aren't you talking? How come we don't have conversations?"

Or maybe Dad trying to have the "You're going to be unemployed soon and will probably be depressed" talk. Um. Yeah. Thanks. That was almost as fun as the "dating" talk*.

But, even with all the stress and pressure, they are fun to be around (most of the time). So, here's the weekend rundown.

Friday evening. I cleaned (but not well enough, apparently).
Saturday morning. I cleaned more (see above parenthetical).
Saturday afternoon. We went to Target.** I spent a lot of money. Fortunately, I had a gift card. I can haz new shower curtain! YAY!
Saturday evening. We had dinner at Thai as Silver Spring. YUM. Then, we went home and watched Roman Holiday. Fun.
Sunday. After breakfast, we drove to two local farms which were open to the public as part of the Montgomery County Farm Tour. First we saw ALPACAS***:

Sheared Alpacas 2

The second "farm" was more like a glorified (and expensive) fruit stand. We bought peaches. And, then, because it was hot, drove home and sat in the A/C for the rest of the afternoon. There was a big thunderstorm, so, instead of going to Taste of Jerusalem for dinner, we ordered pizza. YUM. Then, we played Yahtzee! and watched The Producers.

This morning, I got up, got ready for work, and tried not to be overly irritated. How can people be so cheery so early in the morning? I just don't get it.

They should be leaving about now (9:30ish) to visit my Dad's brother (and wife) in Virginia.

As for me, I have my penultimate pottery class tonight. I have a few things to trim, a handle to pull, and maybe some glazing to do. Y is leaving for NYC sometime today, because his sister and niece are there. I think he'll be gone all week. *sigh*

Happy Monday, everyone. *smooches*

*For those of you who don't know: No, I am not out to my parents. Yes, I realize I am lying to them. No, I don't really care. Yes, I will eventually come out to them. No, I don't know when. Probably when I'm ready to deal with all the Christianity that will be thrown my way. Which may be a long time. Yes. I have issues. Who doesn't?
**This is a big deal for someone who doesn't have a car and likes to buy kitty litter in 30+ pound buckets.
***Sorry about the sweater, Amy.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

T-Minus 27 Hours

And guess what I did last night?

I spilled an entire container of peppercorns all over the kitchen. GAH. I still have loads to do to prepare for the Parental Visit.

The living room is mostly organized, but I still need to dust, sweep, vacuum, and do a bit more general tidying.

Kitchen? Disaster.
Dining Nook? Disaster.
Bathroom? Disaster.
Bedroom? Major Disaster.
Bossy's Guest Room? Minor Disaster (but not a big deal, since I'll be sleeping either there or in the living room ... depending on which is cooler).

I have a lot to do tonight. And tomorrow.

As for activities ... I think we're going to take a field trip to Target! Hurrah. I can has gigantic buckets of kitty litter. We might go to the Afghanistan exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. And, on Sunday, there's a local farm tour/open house kind of thing. So, I'll make them drive me all over. Apparently, there is an alpaca farm somewhere in this county. Fun.

*oog*

More later, kittens. *smooches*

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hello, I'm Mr. Productive

And, you may worship me ... from a respectful distance.

Or you could just give me lots of money and/or gin.

ANYWAY, thus far today, I have:

1. Completed the horrible essay question for the government job AND faxed my transcript to HR.*

2. Called the investment company which manages my 401(k) to find out how to roll my funds over to a personal 401(k) once the impending unemployment occurs.

3. Decided what I'm making for dinner tonight: Vegetarian Fried Tofu with Garlic and Black Pepper and Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chopped Peanuts and Thai Basil.

4. Made a sandwich and an iced coffee.

OMG. I'm exhausted. I should take the rest of the day off!

BUT, before I do, here is another hint about the rapidly approaching New VUBOQ Contest:


The first hint is here.

Allrightythen, guess that's it. *smooches*

*The chances of me actually getting this job (even though I am highly qualified) are relatively nil. The position was announced on 7/22 and closes on 7/25. Such a short announcement period usually means they already have someone in mind. But, I thought, "What the Hell? Let's see what happens."

Things I Accomplished Yesterday

1. Washed dishes.
2. Fed the cat.
3. hmmm ... there must be something else.
4. Made a margarita. And another margarita.
5. Played lots and lots of Scramble on Facebook.
6. Heated up a veggie burger.
7. Strained the Thai Basil-Infused Vodka (it is delicious mixed with tonic),
8. Watched Project Runway (so sad about who got auf'ed).
9. Watched Shear Genius.
10. Went to bed.

Which is all well and good, except ...

Do you see anything on that list that says cleaned the house? or wrote the essay for the job application?

Me either. GAH!

And the parents are arriving in T-minus 54 hours. ACK!

And the job closes at midnight on Friday! PANIC!!!!!

So, one of us needs to buckle down and git bizzay! *looks for a volunteer*

More later. *smooches*

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Doom. It Approaches.

My Parents are visiting this weekend.

This is what they look like:

Mom and Dad Shopping

This is an example of our phone conversations:

It's Amazing I Turned Out as Well as I Did

This is why their visits make me a little stressed out:

Weekend Update: The Parent Trap (see paragraphs 4-6)

This is an excerpt from a phone conversation a few weeks ago:

Mom: We want to come visit soon. We're thinking the last weekend of July.
V: The last weekend of July isn't a good time.
Mom: Really?
V: Yes. My job will be ending. I might be SuperStressed. I may just want to relax by myself.
Mom: OK.

This is an excerpt from a phone conversation one week later:

V: Hello?
Mom: We've decided when we're going to come visit?
V: Great. When?
Mom: The last weekend of July.
V: ...

On the bright side, the visit's only from Saturday to Monday.

More later. *smooches*

Meat-Free Tuesday: I Am Me

This food? I cooked it last night.
This picture? I took it myself.
This blog? I write it myself.

These are my words, my thoughts, my ideas, my hopes and dreams, my tears, my own private drama*.


I wanted to clear that up. I am me. The words are my own.

Because I am honest about my life (or, at least, as honest as I can be), I tend to believe what other people write is an honest representation as well**. It's a little shocking and a lot hurtful when I find out I've been misled. (See Dykewife's post here - You'll need to scroll down to the entry titled "Cry, Thief"- and the victim's original post here.)

But, I move on ... to write about my food, my booze, and my dreams.

Last night, I made, what I like to call, Refrigerator Pasta, which consists of whatever food I can find in my fridge that I think will be yummy tossed with pasta.

So, I diced a bunch of grape tomatoes, some black olives, scallions, and Bulgarian Feta and mixed it with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and basil and oregano from the garden. See:

Well, hello, Chef's Little Helper!


Then, I stirred in the spaghetti and voila! dinner! It was delicious. Srsly. Chef's Little Helper was a Margaritatini, which, I suppose, is a shorter way of saying, "I didn't feel like pouring it into a margarita glass."

Who knew that margaritas were so easy to make? 2 oz. tequila, 1/2 oz. of triple sec, juice of half a lime. Shake over ice. I topped mine off with a little bit of Lemon Italian Soda to make it fizzy. Yum.

While all that cooking was going on, I also started my Thai Basil Vodka Infusion. No pictures because, um, well, it's just not pretty. The basil leaves are going all gross and slimy looking. I figure it should be infused by this evening (tomorrow morning at the latest). I'll take a picture of the final product. Promise.

Have I mentioned my parents are visiting this weekend? GAH! More on that later.

For now, I must work on a few more guvmint KSAs. The impending unemployment nears ... and it's getting me a bit stressed out. Stay tuned for the Send Gin to VUBOQ button.

*smooches*

*Which I choose to make public. That seems so weird, if I think about it too much.
**Unless, of course, they state otherwise ...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Clicky Clicky

Flowerpot from the Top

New pottery photos are on flickr!

Tuesday Teasers (cont.)

The Upcoming Contest. A Hint:




Care to make a guess?
*smooches*

Tuesday Teasers ...

Good Morning, Kittens.

Here's a little teaser photo for you. Can you guess what they are? Do they look a little familiar, Mel?

Give up? Ok. They are mugs. And they are glazed with the same glazes I used on the mugs Mel won in the 10% Refund Challenge awhile back. Unfortunately for you, these mugs are not prizes. The one on the right is Dad's (slightly late) Father's Day present. The one on the left is Mom's (slightly early) birthday present. Yay. And, since they are coming up this weekend, guess who won't have to pay a fortune in shipping charges?

Anyway, there are more pottery photos to take and post, but you are going to have to wait until I get home. Sorry.

Last night in pottery, I felt semi-productive. I glazed one canister and a plate. And I threw a vase and another vase (which may end up being a very tall mug). I was hoping to trim Canister #3, but it was nowhere near ready for trimming. Oh, well. Next week.

There are only 2 more pottery classes left this session. Wah. I hope I will be able to take it again in the Fall. We shall see ...

Meanwhile, I may be announcing a new contest in the coming days ... I'm excited about the idea. I hope, you, my thousands hundreds tens of readers will also be excited. Stay tuned.

More later. *smooches*

Monday, July 21, 2008

This. That. The Other

I was planning to spend my afternoon randomly applying for federal government jobs on USAJOBS. When I logged in the little screen instructed me to change my password to something between 8-20 characters with at least one character being capitalized, one being a number, and one being a symbol, like ! or ~ or ^. So I did. I felt like I was typing in some sort of weird l33t sp3ak!*&! I can haz txtmsgs?

I hit enter and *pow* *bang*

*fizzle*

myUSAJOBS sort of went all blank and sh!t. Thus, rather than search for jobs or do actual work (yes, I have about a gabillzillion email to proofread), I read blogs. Oooh. Fun.

I stopped by Why I Hate DC, And, guess what? There seems to be a new Hater in charge. I used to be a regular WIHDC reader before Rusty took over a few years ago and filled the blog with too much baseball, guitar hero, and Late Night Shots. That, coupled with infrequent posts, pretty much killed my interest. The new girl has a quirky writing style which could prove to be fun. I'll be reading it more frequently to see if it continues.

The Rusted One, before he moved, linked to his parting interview on the Washingtonian site. I learned that I'm not the only one who thinks that Wonkette has gone from being a fun, snarky political blog to being a big ol' pile of barf. What a relief.

Then, I received an email from someone in HR about my exit interview:

"I have been notified that you will be separating from the company on Thursday, July 31, 2008."

What an odd turn of passive voice phrasing. Anyway, the guy scheduled my phone exit interview for next Wednesday. And asked me to call him. Um. What? He's representing the company which is letting me go and I have to call him ... at his convenience ... so he can tell me all about it? So weird. It makes me wonder if that's standard practice. I guess he will be sitting by his desk eagerly awaiting my call. I know I can't wait to make it.

Because, srsly, I am *so* ready to go.

Except, of course, for the whole being-unemployed-having-no-money thing.

If the unemployment stretches past a month or two, I'm considering adding a "Buy VUBOQ a Fifth of Gin" button on my sidebar. Does anyone know how to do that? Would you be willing to buy VUBOQ a fifth of gin? Seagrams is on sale. Right now. At the likker store beside my office. Only $7.99!

You know how VUBOQ loves teh gin, right?

He might even send you a pot in gratitude ... assuming he can afford to take the pottery class (maybe that should be a button too?).

Hey. I'm like totally switching between 1st and 3rd person. Isn't that COOL?

Wow. Total ADD Blog Post.

Later, kittens. *smooches*

Weekend Update: Partied Out Edition

Good Monday Morning, Kittens :-)

Our phones seem to be working again. Huzzah. I have about a Gabillzillion email inquiries to answer. And, I'm out of deodorant. Oh. Woeth art I.

So, weekend roundup time ... Friday, after ditching work at noon:30, I headed over to Y's. He was at school, so I played with Fuego, wasted time on the internet, and ... um ... that's about it. Then, around 2:30, I headed over to the pottery studio, where I trimmed Canister #2. I feel much better about it now. At first it was all wonky and off center, but I -somehow- managed to fix that. Yayz.

I left the studio around 4, met up with Y, and walked back to his place, where we, um, well, uh, y'know ...

Then, we made cocktails using the Raspberry-Lime Infused Vodka. The first cocktail was the vodka plus ginger ale. I thought it would be yummy. Unfortunately, it wasn't. It needs to be mixed with something a tad sweeter. So, next, we tried it with cranberry juice. Much better. I think it still needs to be fizzy though (I likes teh fizzeh drinx). Then, I took a nap. Booze + [um, y'know] = V. Tired Vuboq.

After teh nap, I fixed a simple dinner - pasta (mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, rotini pasta) and roasted asparagus and salad (well, Y made the salad). Afterwards, we watched Ratatouille, which was cute and fun (kind of like me!).

Saturday, we slept late (yay). Then, in the afternoon, we returned Fuego to his rightful home. That evening, SCGB, Tomokito, Y and I went to Joey's 30th birthday party. Lots of fun. I drank too much.

Sunday. Very. Hung. Over. Around 11, I managed to get moving enough for us to go out to brunch at Austin Grill [Hello, Bloody Mary. Will you be my friend?]. We did a little shopping in hip and happening Downtown Silver Spring. Then, headed back to the ranch for a nap and [um, y'know].

That evening, Y and I went over to Mike's house to partake of the 'failed' Joey Birthday Cake. It was delicious. Mike wasn't happy with the decorating though.

We got home around 9. I went to bed a few hours later. Fun weekend. The end.

More later. *smooches*

Friday, July 18, 2008

Happeh Happeh Friday!

Guten Morgen, Katzchen.

It be Friday! HUZZAH! That make-a me happeh. And, I am only working 'til 12:30 today. AND, the phones are still BORKED, so I won't have much to do. YAYz.

After leaving work yesterday around three, I pretty much wasted the afternoon. I went to Whole Foods. I made a tall, tall, icy cold margarita. And, I blobbed on the sofa. Of course, I also watered the garden, strained the raspberry-lime vodka, and made a yummy dinner.

Dinner was this:

Curry

Thai Masaman Curry [tofu, tomatoes, mushrooms, and scallions in a peanut-y curry sauce]. Delicious.

Later, I made a fun label for the raspberry-lime vodka, since it's for a friend's birthday party. See:

Raspberry-Lime Vodka

After work today, I'm heading over to Y's for a bite (*heh*). Then, I want to go to the pottery studio for a couple of hours. After I finish there, I'll go back to Y's for dinner and movies (Ratatouille and Infernal Affairs).

Saturday, we will return the SuperCute (ButNotQuiteAsCuteAsIsabella) Kitty, Fuego, to DUN's apartment. Then, we'll go to Joey's birthday party. The big 3-0. So. Very. Old.

No set plans for Sunday, yet. Although, my friend, Alison, from NYC, might be in town in the late morning/afternoon. We shall see.

Have a fabulicious weekend! *smooches*

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Government Efficiency

I noticed around 11:30 this morning that our call volume had decreased significantly. As it turns out, the EPA decided to switch the hotline to the new contractor ... even though the new contractor isn't supposed to take over until August 1st.

Plus, they haven't completed training and have no idea how to answer the questions.

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA.

*sigh*

In more hopeful news, I have submitted 4 job applications in the past three days (2 federal government, 1 DC government, and one with a nonprofit association). Maybe something good will turn up soon :-)

*smooches*

I Think I Died and Went to Gay Reality Show Heaven

OMG. Kittens. Did you see it? Did you? Did you? Did you? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Project Runway Season 5 Episode 1 was absolutely delicious. I devoured every delectable morsel and followed them with swigs of fabulous blueberry margaritas. Mmm. Mmm.

I was very pleased with the results. I loved the top 2 dresses and hated the bottom 2. YAYz. VUBOQ knows Reality Show Fashion! And, some of the boys are CUTE. I'd break it down for all of you, but there is better site for that.

THEN, immediately following PR5 was Shear Genius. kyaaaaaaaaa!!!! Could life get any better than bitchy fashionistas followed by bitchy scissor-wielding prima donnas? I. think. not. I was sad to see the loser go home. I liked her. *le sigh*

I am *so* very very very glad that Tomokito has cable. Otherwise, I'd have to dump Y and find a BF with cable ... and, on short notice, that can be difficult.

More later. *smooches*

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Food Time, Kittens

Good Morning, Sugar Muffins!

After all of the excitement at work yesterday*, experimental cooking at home proved to be SuperRelaxing!

First, I made the Raspberry-Lime Vodka Infusion, using about a pint of raspberries and 2 sliced limes. See:

Raspberry Lime Vodka Infusion

It seems to be infusing quickly and should be done in a few days. Hopefully, it will be delicious.

Then, I cooked dinner. First, I made a slightly modified version of this soup from epicurious: Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup. It was super easy. I omitted the coriander** and the 1/2 cup of ice***. As the soup was chilling, I boiled some linguini and tossed it with butter, olive oil and herbs from the garden, rosemary, basil, and oregano.

Ta da!

Cucumber Avocado Soup
Well, hello, Chef's Little Helper, tequila with lemon soda.


The soup was creamy and delicious, although a bit on the tart side. I believe I may have added too much yogurt. Next time, I may blend up a chili pepper with it to see what that does (other than make it spicy).

In other news, no one seems to be able to guess what is going to happen as the end of pottery class approacheth, so I'll give you a hint: It starts with a C and ends with -alicious. Let the rampant speculations BEGIN!

More later. *smooches*

*Haha! Who am I kidding? There was no excitement at work yesterday.
**For one, I didn't have any. And, for two, I can never remember if coriander and cilantro are the same thing or not. And, for three, I wasn't in the mood for something cilantro-flavored.
***Simply because adding ice seemed weird.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

There Are Only 3 More Weeks of Pottery Class Left

And do you know what that means?
I'll bet if you put on your thinking caps, you can figure it out.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

Oh, Look, It's Tuesday...

And I have a big bag of potato chips on my desk.
At 9 in the morning.

IS THAT SO WRONG?!?!?!?

Guess what?
I found a federal government job which had NO essay questions! I applied this morning! EXCITEMENT! Of course, it's in Colorado ... which might present a small problem, but (this needs to be said again) there were NO ESSAY QUESTIONS! I had to apply.

Also, I'm mailing my application for the DC government job this afternoon. AND, I only have one final essay question to answer for the DHHS job (which closes on Friday, so I'm a little pressed for time ... but not much).

Lessee ... pottery class was relatively good last night (except for the very end ... which I'll get to in a moment). First, I glazed lots of things: two mugs, two vases, and a flower pot. Then, I trimmed a serving bowl. My plate and first cannister have not been fired yet. Boo. Then, I threw cannister #3.

The really cool thing is that I had run out of clay, but the front desk girl had already left. I couldn't buy more clay. The storage room that contains all the clay was locked. So, the instructor gave me a big bag of Instructor Clay (which is abandoned clay from previous sessions). Sweet! Free clay! Love. It.

After throwing cannister #3. I decided to start trimming cannister #2. I was trimming the lid and, somehow, I knocked it off center and trimmed it lopsided. Which is bad. I think I can fix it, but class was over. I was tired and couldn't be bothered to stay any longer. So I left.

And had a gin and tonic at Y's. And played with Fuego. Yay.

Plans for today include possibly doing laundry (since DUN is at the beach her laundry slot is available), starting a vodka infusion for a friend's birthday party this weekend (how does Raspberry/Lime sound?), fixing something interesting for dinner, and watching DVDs.

Fun times, kittens. Fun. Times.
More later. *smooches*

Monday, July 14, 2008

Yet Another Word Cloud

Because David did it ...

10 Reasons Why VUBOQ Is Tired Today

1. He took a nap yesterday afternoon for about an hour.
2. He stayed over at Y's (and he *never* sleeps well at Y's).
3. He went to bed at 10:30, which means he woke up at 2.
4. Y's apartment was too cold.
5. Y's apartment was too hot.
6. Y's apartment was too cold.
7. Fuego is a naughty kitty.
8. He had to get up to go to the bathroom at 2:30.
9. Y came to bed around 3.
10. He was thirsty at 3:30.

And, 6:30 came awfully early.

Now, vuboq can't decide if he hasn't had enough coffee ... or if he's had too much.

Weekend Update: [Kinda Sorta Forgot to Type Something Here] Edition

Good Morning, Kittens.

Sorry for the later-than-usual post, but I was busy working on two job applications. One, for a DC government job, will be ready to mail tomorrow, and I have one more KSA to write for the other, a federal job with the Department of Health and Human Services. The federal job closes on Friday, so I need to work on the last essay today and tomorrow.

So ... my weekend ... I didn't do much of anything Friday night, other than a bit of cleaning. SCGB and DUN came down for a drink, so that was my only fun.

Saturday was Co-op Yardwork Day, starting bright and early (8AM!). Then, I had to get ready for Saturday Afternoon Margaritas: Stay at Home Edition. You can see pictures in the previous entry. It was a lot of fun, and Blueberry Margaritas are fantastic! OMG. So yummy. And a complete spur-of-the-moment inspired creation.

Sunday, Y and I had a bit of a lie-in. Then, I cleaned up all the dishes from the party and made breakfast. Later, we moved Fuego, DUN's kitty, to Y's apartment. DUN is having plasterwork done on her ceiling while she is out of town. I thought Fuego might enjoy spending time at Y's, rather than being locked in a bedroom while the plasterers work.

He seems to be making himself at home:


We had sushi for dinner. And, then, I goofed around on the computer. Fun times.

Guess that's it for now. Pottery tonight. I might take some bisqueware photos since it's taking me so long to finish stuff.

*smooches*

Sunday, July 13, 2008

July 12 of 12: Margaritas and Xanadu

So here's my day in 12 fun pictures ...

Heather Sprays the Poison Ivy
Co-Op Yardwork Day started bright and early at 8AM. Heather's job was to spray the poison ivy. Lucky Heather.

Esther is a  Hoe
Esther hoed a new garden bed.

Drying Margarita Glasses
Yardwork done. It was time to get ready for Saturday Afternoon Margaritas: Stay at Home Edition (with Special Guest Star, Xanadu).

Sparkly Toilet
You could eat off this toilet. Srsly.

Vacuum Cleaner
Then, came the hoovering.

Clean Living Room
OMG. So. Clean.

Poppy
A quick trip out to the yard to weed the flower bed.

Pre-Party Nap with Isabella
Pre-party nap with Isabella.

Esther Enjoys Margaritas
Esther and Peter arrived first. They had to leave early for a beach trip.

The Party 2
The party is in full swing. The pitchers of margaritas are flowing.

Blueberry Margaritas!  YUM!
Blueberry margaritas are surprisingly yummiliciuos!

Mike Watching Xanadu
Mike "watching" Xanadu [He actually fell asleep. Imagine!].

The rest of the pix from my day are here.

And there you have it. 12 of 12. *smooches*

Friday, July 11, 2008

T to the G to the IF!

Good afternoon, kittens.

After a morning filled with yummy breakfast, coffee, and a *smidge* of teh hot buttsecks, I'm at the office and ready to take on the day! *w00t!*

I don't have any big plans for this evening, other than cleancleancleaning the house and watching a movie or two. Then, tomorrow, SuperEarly in the morning is our Co-Op Yardwork Day. YayZ. After that, I'll run to the store and pick up the ingredients for the liquid cheese, the margaritas, and (possibly) pupusas. Around 3PM, the Saturday Afternoon Margaritas revellers will begin to arrive. Many margaritas will be drunk. And, Xanadu will be watched. Huzzah!

No plans for Sunday yet (other than recover from the Margarita Event of the Season).

Have a good weekend. *smooches*

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Don't Panic

Ok. Do panic.

Here is a short list of things which cause mild panic attacks (what? our hearts aren't *supposed* to beat at 150 times/minute?) if I think about them too much:

Impending Unemployment

Not having a new job lined up

Running out of money

John McCain

An apartment which looks like its insides exploded

Having an apartment which looks like its insides exploded, but still inviting about 10 friends over for margaritas (and a very special viewing of Xanadu) on Saturday.

Having an apartment which looks like its insides exploded, but still inviting about 10 friends over for margaritas (and a very special viewing of Xanadu) on Saturday even though there is the impending unemployment and serious concerns about running out of money.

Thank Gawd for deep breaths, cheesy poofs, booze, and a squeezable kitty.

Frustration, Thy Name is DC Department of Human Resources

Good Forkin' Mornin', Kittens.

I decided to hit the ground running this morning by typing in my application for a pretty cool-sounding job with DC government (actually, DC National Guard). I've been working on the stupid KSAs for weeks (and still haven't figured out how to answer one of them). However, I thought that, if I started working on the application directly, the writing juices would begin to flow. They did. I was making good progress.

Then, I made a fatal mistake: I saved my work.

Yeah, yeah. I know. You're supposed to save your work. That shouldn't be a mistake.

Except that for some reason, when I opened the newly saved file, it was BLANK, not the nearly complete form I had been working so diligently on for the past 1.5 hours. Yippee. And, then, when I went back to the DC site, my form there had disappeared. Gone. Ka-PUT. I hit refresh and, guess what?

Yep. It was BLANK too.

To quote one of my favorite lines from To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar:

What in gay hell?

I'm not quite sure what that means, but it seemed appropriate.

So, rather than start typing all over again, I emailed my friend who told me about the job to see if it's even still open (because, who knows, with the way the website is working, the job may have closed a month ago).

And, that's been my morning. Yayz.

More later. *smooches*

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Behold! The Ravages of Age

Exhibit A: I had this absolutely fabulous Str8Guy post in mind ... and have completely forgotten what the idea was.

Exhibit B: I was reading something ... somewhere ... this afternoon and thought "this makes me so angry! I should write a post about it!" If only I could remember what it was or where I read it ...

And, finally, from a photo taken by Goblinbox in March (and posted on this blog before apparently. Not sure where, but it's showing up in my blog photo file),

Exhibit C:
[teh ginormous eye wrinklz]

If my blog posts stop suddenly, it's because I have forgotten my password.

I Force You To Look at My Food

Good Morning, Kittens!

This is a picture of my dinner. I -sort of- followed this recipe from Epicurious: Sweet Potato Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing.

Most of the modifications I made were with the dressing. I used my own Thai Basil instead of cilantro and replaced the chili powder with 3 of my dried Thai chilies. The dressing was still a bit ... not zingy. I think it needed something else, but I'm not sure what. Maybe a smidge of red curry paste?

I tossed the salad with about a cup of red quinoa to give it a bit more nutritional value.

The result: Surprisingly Delicious, even though I cooked the potatoes for a smidge too long. I give this recipe Two Thumbs Up! Way up!

Chef's Little Helper last night was gin with lemon italian soda over ice cubes with blueberries frozen in them. Yumminess!

Meanwhile, I'm still pounding away on the stupid KSAs. I think I am stuck and need to have a brainstorming session with some friends. Because there are a couple of questions which I have no idea how to answer (most involving my knowledge of building regulations and accounting practices). I'll continue to slog away at them today though. Wish me luck.

More later. *smooches*

PS. If you have time, read this fascinating two-part series, Trail of a Killer, in the WaPo. This is part 2, but there is a link for part 1 on that page.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Corporate Has Weird Logic

My boss emailed me this morning in reference to our annual pay/merit increase:

"Since the increase will be for one month, Corporate has only given us a 3% increase instead of 4%."

OK. My first thought was that, well, since our contract ends in one month, any increase is nice. But, then, I thought "WTF."

I mean, really, not giving an extra 1% because it's only for one month seems kind of petty. A 1% increase works out to an extra $10 per month (maybe less, I haven't bothered to do the actual math). Is the company in such dire straits that they can't afford that?

Also, knowing that we are all looking for new jobs, couldn't they give us the highest possible amount so that we have that extra little bargaining chip with our new employers? Not to mention that it could also affect the amount of our unemployment benefits if we don't find a job.

The Corporate Office is always trying to sell the line that they *care* about their employees, but a move like this smacks of hypocrisy and corporate self-interest.

Pots and Jobs

Good morning, kittens.

I am trying to be productive with the job search today. So far, I have brainstormed on the KSAs* for two jobs. My goal is to get both of those applications completed by the end of the week. If I can do a bit more note-taking at work today, I should be able to complete rough draft essays for all the questions tonight. Then, tomorrow, I can finalize the questions and submit the applications online. Fun. Times.

Pottery class last night was semi-productive. I trimmed a plate. Then, I made another lidded canister. I haven't glazed anything yet ... I was going to do some glazing last night, but ran out of time. Plus, a certain classmate managed to get dirty wet clay fingerprints all over my bisqueware. Which annoyed me. Was it entirely necessary to pick up every piece of pottery on the shelf to see if you'd made it? I can (usually) tell just by looking if a piece of pottery is mine. Then, I look at the signature to double check. I also wash my hands before handling bisqueware. How hard is that?

I haven't taken any photos of pottery this session. I was planning to take only Finished Object photos. However, with the classes being supersmall this session, it's taking a long time to get any FOs. Plus, plates and lids take extra time ... *sigh*

*Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities - essay questions for government applications.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Just a Few Photos from NYC!

Waiting for the Fireworks
Waiting for the Fireworks

Fireworks
Booom!  Bang!

ZOMG! Cutest. Bloggers. EVER!
David and Me

Mmmmm...
2nd Best Bloody Mary Ever

Good-bye, NYC!
Verrazano Bridge

The rest of the photos are here!

Weekend Update: Fireworks Spectacular!

... except, well, my fireworks pictures were full of teh Suck, and I haven't even uploaded them yet ... so, you'll just have to settle for a boring, unillustrated version of my

SuperFantastic Fireworks Spectacular Weekend in New York City! *w00t!*

*ahem*

So, Thursday, after work, I met Jerry for dinner at Thai Tanic. I scheduled the dinner because Y said we would not be leaving for NYC until either "late" or "Friday morning." I interpreted "late" to mean "after 10PM" (especially considering that this is the guy who normally goes to be around 2 or 3AM).

Unfortunately, as I was on my way to dinner (around 6), Y called and was all "Do you think you'll be ready to go around 7?"

And I was all, "Um. No, because I'm meeting Jerry for dinner. You said we weren't leaving until 'late'."

Thus, it was decided that we would leave Friday morning. Which we did.

About an hour outside of NYC, Y's friend called and said, "Um. Yeah. Oops. You can't stay with me. Sorry."

Great. We were going to be spending the night in the gutter. Fantastic.

We drove into the Meat-Packing District and had a late lunch at Spice Market [excellent ginger margarita. crappy over-priced food]. Then, we drove up to the Cloisters to meet Y's friends, R & T. We wandered around the Cloisters for a bit, and then headed to the New Leaf Cafe (in Fort Tryon Park) for blackberry margaritas! Yum!

Then, R&T went home, and Y and I drove into Mid-Town to go to a fireworks viewing party. It was fun. The fireworks were beautiful. The weather was a bit crapola. We left the party around 10:30. I was v. tired (I know, I'm boring). So, Y and I, with no place to rest our weary heads, wandered the streets of Manhattan all night.

Ha. I kid. I kid. We actually drove 1.5 hours into upstate NY to stay with R&T. The next morning, we left to meet Jake (who, YAY!, let us crash on his floor Saturday night) and David at Prospect Park in teh Brooklyn.

We were a little late.

You can read all about our exciting Saturday adventures on David's blog. Here. SuperFun times, kittens. David is even more fabulous in person. Srsly. And he knows good restaurants! YAY!

Picking up where David left off, Jake, Y, and I headed back to Jake's condo, with a stop over at a tiny little neighborhood gay bar. It was totes cute. But, the drinks were tres bad. I ordered a rum and coke, which was more like a RUM!!! and coke. *cough* I couldn't even drink it all. And, if VUBOQ can't finish a drink, you know it must have been bad.

The next morning, the three of us headed to an Italian(?) restaurant for brunch. I had a frittata with aspargus and mushrooms and the 2nd most delicious Bloody Mary EVER. Then, we ordered a fantastic dessert, citrus sponge cake with plum vanilla marmalade. OMG. Delicious.

After dropping Jake off back at his condo, we hit the road, with a pitstop in Princeton to visit a couple Y knows who are moving to Israel in the next few months.

We finally got back to my place around 9PM.

The End.

I hope everyone had a Safe and Happy 4th. Now, I'm off to catch up on the 8 Gabillion Blog Posts I didn't read over the holiday.

More later. *smooches*

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Don't Trust the Previews

VUBOQ is highly upset. The Shear Genius previews last week made us believe that this week's episode would be all about teh Angels of Charlie. However, when we tuned in, what was it?

The Housewives of Orange County.

*le ew*

VUBOQ wanted to see the truly gorgeous Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson interact and have witty repartee and share fabulous hair tips and tell us what it was really like to work with Farrah. Alas, it was not to be and VUBOQ returned home at the end of the show to cry bittersweet tears into his pillow.

So. Sad. So disappointed with the misleading Shear Genius previews. VUBOQ shall never believe them again.

In addition, VUBOQ has this weird patch of dry skin near his elbow. What up with that?

OK. Enough with the third person.

It's time to break down the weekend plans, even though I still don't quite know what they are. This is the last time I leave the planning up to Y. I mean, srsly, how hard is it to determine what freakin' time we are leaving? Or returning? Or where we are staying? Or any other minor little detail like that?

All I know is that at some point tonight or tomorrow, we will be driving to NYC. We will be attending a Fireworks Viewing Party somewhere in Brooklyn and, at some point, we will be returning home. That's all I know. Even after trying to get us to come to some sort of decision last night.

Hopefully, I'll be able to hang out with my friend, Alison (if she's in town). And, I'd like to deliver David's prize to him. We'll see. As gawd as mah witness, we will have plans set by this afternoon.

I guess that's it. Have a safe and happy Independence Day Weekend, Kittens.

*red white and blue smooches*

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Quick Reminder

Don't forget to watch Shear Genius tonight at 10PM on Bravo!
It's the Charlie's Angels hair challenge with special guest judge, OMFG, Kate Jackson!

*squeeee*

Meat-Free Tuesday: Because for the First Time Ever (and Last Time) VUBOQ Posted a Recipe Using Meat on Meat-Free Monday

Wow. That's a long-ass title...

Anyway, good Wednesday morning, Kittens! I hope everyone is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning.

Yesterday evening was absolutely gorgeous, even though I had to suffer through a Co-op Board Meeting. Fortunately, the meeting started and ended with cocktails. That's how all board meetings should work. Srsly.

I discovered that if I opened up my bedroom window I could get a nice cool cross-breeze going. Plus, with the fan running, the traffic noise was mostly bearable ... until the buses started roaring by at a little before 5.

Prior to the Board Meeting (and after my martini), I decided to make a recipe I found on epicurious, Quinoa and Bulgur Salad with Feta. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you probably have already realized that I made a few modifications in the recipe ...

1/3 cup 1/2 cup quinoa
4 cups 1 cup water [I cooked the quinoa in my rice cooker, so there would be no need to cook it in all that extra water. I mean, really, what's the point?]
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup medium bulgur [I have no idea if I used "medium" bulgur or not. I used whatever I had in my cabinet. It could have been large bulgur. Who knows?]
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon dried mint, crumbled dried oregano [The only mint I have is chocolate mint, and I thought that would taste weird ... and it's not dried.]
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 brine-cured black olives, such as Kalamata, pitted and cut into slivers
2 radishes, quartered and thinly sliced [Radishes? Just ... just, ew.]
2-3 spring onions, thinly sliced [This is what I used instead of icky radishes.]
2 oz feta, coarsely crumbled (1/2 cup)
1 head Bibb lettuce, cut into 1/4-inch strips (4 cups) 2 leaves of red leaf lettuce, torn into pieces [I don't even know what Bibb lettuce is.]

I followed the instructions almost exactly as written. The only thing was that the bulgur wheat wasn't softening by soaking in warm water, so I heated it up in a pan for a few minutes.

And, voila!

More later. *smooches*

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Free Stuff. Just for You!

Well, kittens, we're down to the final month of employment and I'm going through my desk. Here are a few things I'd rather not throw away, so leave a comment if you want them:

Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC) Final Report: Volumes I & II (August 1998)

Here's a gem from Volume II (which contains summarized public comments, like this one):
K--- L---, a citizen from Channelview, Texas, outlined personal health problems since moving to Houston in 1975. She expressed anger and frustration at the deleterious* effects chemical exposure has had on her health, and urged the Committee to help others in similar situations.

VUBOQ can only imagine what she said ... and wishes he could read it in its entirety, but is way too lazy to get the transcript from those meetings (even though he knows how).

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Parts 700-789 (2002-2005)
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Parts 790 to End (2002-2006)
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Parts 300 to 399 (2005) [I'm not really sure why I have this one, other than our PO is an idiot and sent it to us by mistake.]

Why would anyone want Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations for the past 5 years?

So you can look up fun little tidbits of information like this, of course:
Each local education agency shall: Ensure that workers and building occupants, or their legal guardians, are informed at least once each school year about inspections, repsonse actions, and post-response action activities, including periodic reinspection and surveillance activities that are planned or in progress. [40 CFR 763.84(c)] [This section refers to asbestos in schools.]

And, finally (well, finally for today ... there could be more fun things given away all month long),

Toxics Watch 1995

With this fun tome, you can learn all sorts of neato information about the production and release of chemicals from 1991-1993 (with projected data for 1994). Did you know that in 1991, Pennsylvania was ranked 9th for Total Chemical Releases and Transfers? Yep. Ninth. 268,932,059 pounds. Texas was #1! Go Texas!

I also have a staple remover I might be willing to part with ... if the price is right.

Try to contain your excitement, please. *smooches*

*VUBOQ can not read the word deleterious without immediately thinking of Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain: "It would be detrimental and deleterious to my career. I could sue you for the whole studio."

Winnarz and Other Stuff

Good Morning, Kittens.

The voting for the winners of the VUBOQ-inspired contest closed a few moments ago. I'm sure you are all breathlessly waiting to learn which wonderful entry took the prize in the Battle of the Beltway Babes...

May I have a drum roll, please?

[drum roll]

Congratulations, Shallow Gal! You are the first place winner. And, here's your prize:

[Yes, I'm assuming you want the Prize Package which includes the jelly bean pooping reindeer. ]

The second prize goes to Ellen:


Both entries were seriously fabulous. Srsly. I don't know how those of you who voted could make a decision. Beltway Babes, maybe we can get together for a Happy Hour soon and I can personally deliver your prize packages? Email me: environy (at) gmail (dot) com and we can coordinate!

In other exciting news, pottery class was an exercise in non-productivity. All I did was trimming. And two things I've made weren't even ready to trim. So, I trimmed a vase, which I've turned into a flower pot (meaning I carved a small hole in the bottom), and I trimmed the canister. The lid actually fits! Sort of ... It's a little loose, but the instructor says that once it is glazed it will be a tighter fit. YAYZ. I forgot to take photos, so you'll have to wait until everything is glazed in a few weeks.

So far, I have made: 2 mugs (waiting for bisque firing), one vase (waiting for bisque firing), one flower pot (waiting for bisque firing), one canister (waiting for bisque firing), and two serving dishes (waiting to be trimmed).

I need to get busy and start cranking out some more stuff ... with lids!

More later. *smooches*