Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With ... Tape?

Getting packages ready to mail is a Thing That Makes Me Happy ...
Especially when what's inside those packages are prizes which should've been mailed months ago. Dorothee and Marve, these are yours. Torn, I didn't have a box the right size. I should be able to get one at the post office when I mail these tomorrow. Thanks for your patience :-)

Also, giving away my pottery makes me happy. Stay tuned for more Great Pottery Giveaways. I've been productive this session!
*smooches*

Special Sense of Humor

"Aren't you going to wish me a happy holiday," Y IM'ed me as soon as I logged in yesterday morning.
"Um. No," I thought. "Is it inappropriate to wish people a Happy Jew Year?" I asked.
"Not if they aren't accustomed to your uh.. special sense of humor, as I painfully am," he responded.

Special sense of humor? What on earth does that mean?
Doesn't everyone think I am wickedly funny?

I usuallly find my life funny. Even now, amidst the drama, the unemployment angst, the relationship crumbled around my feet, things make me laugh. Almost every day.

Like the guy who initiated a brief message exchange while I was cruising for sex looking for dates, who wrote, "You look great."
And I wrote back, "Thank you very much. I credit botox and plastic surgery. ;-) [oh, and good lighting and camera angles]."

And that was the end of that little exchange.

To be honest, I probably wouldn't have written that if he didn't have "I'm looking for a white guy who is in shape, under 35, and drug and disease free" written in big letters on his profile. Because, honey, 5s and 8s look nothing alike. And, if you're gonna be all ageist and "I don't bother with guys over a certain age," don't hit up people over that age. Srsly. You aren't that cute. And, I'm not that desperate ... (yet). *sheesh*

But, enough about that! Good Morning, Kittens!

Pottery class was good last night. I made a rather large casserole (no lid) and a mug. I seem to be in some sort of mug-rut.

I need to churn out a few applications today. And, then, I'll be heading to the grocery store and the Office Depot. Fun times.

More later. *smooches*

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Toast!


Slightly burnt cheesy toast with mustard is a Thing That Makes Me Happy.

*smooches*

Weekend Update: Sofa Edition

Good Morning, Kittens.

I am certainly glad I have a comfy sofa, because I don't think I left it for most of the weekend.

Friday, my trip to the pottery studio was rather successful. I made two mini-casserole dishes. And placed the mug trio on the shelf to be bisque-fired. See:

Mug Trio

Then, I came home and made black bean chili. I watched the first two episodes of Brideshead Revisited. Young Jeremy Irons. Yum.

Saturday, there was lots of sofa-blobbing. I watched a few more BR episodes. I started some red shiso-infused vodka (which, btw, ended up a total FAIL). Then, the neighbors gathered at Tomokito's for wine, cheese, and Sex and the City Movie on DVD.

Tomokito called earlier, saying she was going to the store. I asked her to stop by the likker store to pick up a bottle of wine for me. Only later did I realize that I had asked a 5 months pregnant woman to buy wine. I laughed for a good five minutes over the mental picture of her walking around the shop, wine in hand.

Sunday, there was more sofa surfing. Then, I helped DUN move more of her stuff out of the apartment. She's relocating to NJ to be with her boyfriend. Fortunately, SCGB is still around and he has a SuperCuteNew(Unfortunately Straight)Roommate [SCNR?], who moved in yesterday evening.

In the afternoon, I started feeling queasy, so I took a nap. On the sofa. Then, I watched the final three episodes of BR. I have to say the ending was a bit disappointing. Alas.

And that was my weekend. I don't think I left the house more than a few times. Yay!

Today, I need to send out a few job applications. And I have pottery class this evening. Guess that's about it.

More later. *smooches*

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Things That Make You Go Hmm.

Have you ever read a book which you thought was really interesting/thought-provoking, but then come across a line which made you question all of that?

Well, it happened to me this weekend.

I was reading Power to the People: How the Coming Energy Revolution Will Transform an Industry, Change Our Lives, and Maybe Even Save the Planet by Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran. It's an older book (published in 2004), but some of the ideas presented are still relevant: fuel-cell technology, energy deregulation, etc. I thought a lot of what the author was arguing made a lot of sense ... until, towards the end of the book, I read this:

"And while none of this fancy technology will change the locations on the planet where God put petroleum, it should certainly debunk the claims of those that insist that the world is about to start running out of oil."

Um. What?

And, now, for me at least, the book is ruined. *sigh*

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ball of Kitteh *hearts* Mushy Peas

A Photo Essay for Your Saturday!

Ball of KittehKittyBall *hearts* Mush 1KittyBall *hearts* Mush 2KittyBall *hearts* Mush 3

Have a Happy Rainy Day! *smooches*

ps. Mushy Peas = Mush EPs

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mums the Word

It's time for our daily installment of ...
Things That Make Me Happy!
*yay*

Last Fall, I bought 5 chrysanthemum plants to put in the yard. After learning that they were perennials, I cut them back before the first frost and buried them in compost. This Spring, 4 of the 5 survived. And, now ... They are getting ready to bloom!

Total savings from not having to buy new chrysanthemums: $12. *w00t!*

Happy weekend! *smooches*

TGIF: Because Not Working Is *SO* Hard

Good Green Tea Morning, Kittens!

First a little blog-pimping, ShallowGal [love her!] is having a little contest. Go here, tell her your favorite charity, and she *might* give them $100. [Extra bonus *smooches* to anyone who says VUBOQ is your favorite charity!]

Meanwhile, pottery studio was very successful yesterday. There was trimming! There was handle-pulling! There was the throwing of a large urn-like thing! Fun times. So much fun, in fact, that I will be going back today. Huzzah.

Once home, I knitted. I'm making a Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban scarf for a friend. It was actually supposed to be a birthday present for him last year (then a Christmas present, then a birthday present again). Now, maybe it will be a Thanksgiving present?

Then, I watched the first episode of the mini-series, Brideshead Revisited. Young Jeremy Irons. Total teh Yumminess.

And, that's about it. No real plans for the weekend yet ... even though I've been trying to schedule things for DAYZ. What up with some of my slackass noncommittal friends? I believe there is a Debate Gathering at a neighbor's tonight (although I'd rather be doing happy hour somewhere). And, at some point, a SATC movie viewing at Tomokito's (btw, mom and babeh are doing fine so far). I want to do brunch on Sunday ... I wonder if it will happen.

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

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why VUBOQ is Gaining 400lbs During His Unfortunate Unemployment

A picture. It is worth 2000 calories. Probably more.

Splurge

*smooches*

Completion

Good afternoon, kittens. It's time for the next installment of Things That Make Me Happy.

Turning approximately 140 yards of NC handspun wool:
Into a cute ribbed scarf:
That makes me happy! And will help keep me warm this winter.

*smooches*

Whachutalkin'bout?

Good morning, kittens!

Wasn't Project Runway a total crock last night? Gah. So annoyed. However, the show only reaffirmed my total lust for LL Cool J. OMG. Delicious. LL, call me!

I've decided to treat myself to some extra time in the pottery studio this week. I'm heading over there this afternoon to do a little trimming, a little handle pulling, and maybe a little throwing. I may go there tomorrow too. I *heart* pottery class.

I still haven't heard about the job. I'm supposed to hear something this week. Keep those fingers crossed.

More later. *smooches*

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

After choosing between several things, like eating fudge and discovering that Open Office can directly export documents into pdf files, today's Thing That Makes Me Happy is ...




My Neighbors! Especially the ones of the Upstairs Variety. They rock! And, tonight, we are gathering to watch Project Runway, eat apple crisp with vanilla ice cream and drink Prosecco. Huzzah! Don't you wish you lived in my building?

*smooches*

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Good morning, kittens.

Woo. Last night sure was fun. And that previous entry? Someone was DEEEpressed. Can we blame the combination of booze, IM conversation with another sad friend, and general malaise?

Now, someone is slightly overhung, drinking herbal tea, and trying to motivate: There is a resume to finish re-formating. Jobs to be applied to. And ... um ... a shitload of dishes in the sink waiting to be washed (let them wait!).

On a brighter note, I should be getting the Brideshead Revisited mini-series on DVD today. 4 DVDs of delicious drama and a young Jeremy Irons (yum). I promise not to watch it all in one day and to leave the house at some point. Honest.

And Project Runway is tonight. Yayz. *smooches*

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How I Feel

Right now, I feel like my life is collapsing around me, like the house at the end of that horror movie (Amityville? Poltergeist?). Constricting. Squeezing. Crumpling like a piece of typing paper. Every breath is harder to take. I'm trapped.

I feel like I've had my crisis and now my friends have moved on: He's better now. He doesn't need our support, our calls, our invitations for weekend fun. Except I don't feel better. I feel like I could stay on my sofa forever ... or, at least, until my savings run out. I feel like a product of my WASP upbringing. Look perfect on the outside, while your insides crumble.

My tears taste sweet.

An Exciting New Unemployment Afternoon Feature

as inspired by this cork, which was from the bottle of Prosecco I drank on Sunday afternoon:

Yes. It's Things That Make Me Happy! Woo Hoo.

Every afternoon, during these difficult times (aka my unemployment), I will post a picture of something that makes me happy. Today's photo:

Booze and kitty. What could be better than that?

*smooches*

Snubbed

Good Morning, Kittens.

Once again, those MacArthur Genius Grant people overlooked the fabulousness that is VUBOQ. To compensate for this horrible omission, I'm going to spend the day drinking. It's never too early for Martini Time.

As promised, here are some fun pictures of my gorgeous friend, Barbara. She may kill me for posting these, but sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do:

In other news, pottery class was fun. I made a large bowl and a large lidded urn (with lots of help from the instructor). Photos to be taken after they have been trimmed in a week or so, I think. I may actually put a spout on the urn to make it into a water jug like thing.

Have a great day! *smooches*

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cake

Here is a picture of the birthday cake from Saturday:



Stay tuned for several SuperFun pictures of my friend, Barbara, which I took during our lunch and shopping adventure.

Now, I must get ready for pottery class. YAY. Pottery class!

*smooches*

Weekend Update: Cake Edition

Good Morning, Kittens!

Hope you are all happy to back at the Cube Farm churning out widgets and excel spreadsheets while slowly recovering from a booze-filled partyfest weekend.

My weekend was pretty good. On Saturday evening, I headed over to Mike's house for a small birthday gathering. Mike made cake. Huzzah. It was fun. I have a picture or two, but my camera batteries are recharging, so you'll just have to wait. A weird thing happened on the way to his house, though. My throat started closing up and I was having some difficulty swallowing. It bothered me for most of the time I was at his house. By the time I left, it felt better.

Sunday, I did lots of blobbing around the house. I blobbed on the sofa. I blobbed on the bed. I blobbed on the sofa some more. I knitted. I watched DVDs. I somehow managed to drink an entire bottle of Prosecco on my own. I had my own little Depressing Foreign Filmfest. Then, I went to bed.

Fun times.

This afternoon, I'm heading into the District. My friend (and former classmate), Barbara, is in town. I'm meeting her for lunch and possibly some late afternoon shopping.

I must start getting ready to go. Have a great day!
*smooches*

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Walkabout

I had to get out of the house for a bit today, so I walked up to Downtown Silver Spring.

This is where "it" happened:
Where IT Happened [about halfway down the shaded side of the fence]

The rest of the photos from my walk are here: Walkabout.

Coffee for One

Good Morning, Kittens.

Old habits die hard, y'know? For the past couple of weeks, I've been wondering why I have had so much coffee leftover (and, thus, a freezer full of coffee ice cubes. What? No one else freezes their leftover coffee?). Then, it hit me: For over a year, I've been making coffee for two. 8-10 cups (b/c one cup is really only about half a mug). Every time. This morning, I caught myself as I was scooping out the beans.

"Only make coffee for one," I said to no one in particular. And it felt a little sad.

Yesterday, the interview went well. 2.5 hours well. In fact, my friend who works there called to apologize about the length. Seriously, by the time I left (at a little after 3:30), I was a little woozy and a lot headachy from hunger. I came home, scarfed down some two-bite cupcakes, and made a martini with the last of my gin. ACK! No more gin! So. Sad.

Guess who's off to the likker store today?

Anyway, I made dinner and watched the entire season of So NoTORIous ... which, if you haven't watched, you really should. Self-deprecating humor at its best, IMHO. And the guys are cute.

I knitted a ribbed scarf using the wool I bought in NC last Christmas. But, it's too short. So, now, I can't decide if I should just knit a narrower ribbed scarf or do something else. *sigh*

Plans for today: likker store, knit, DVDs, and write thank you for the interview letters (no idea how I'm going to print them out, since I don't have a printer. hopefully, i can sweet talk a neighbor into doing it for me).

Oh, the date guy doesn't seem all that interested in going out again. whatevs.

Have a happy Saturday. I hope it's as beautiful there as it is here!
*smooches*

Friday, September 19, 2008

This is it!

Yarrrrr! Good morning, Scurvy Wenches!

My interview is today (*w00t*!). I finished my writing sample, but have no idea where to email it. The Admin.Asst. was supposed to send me a confirmation email, but I never got it. I called yesterday afternoon, but she didn't call back. I shall try again this morning.

I'll be heading out around noon, looking all spiffy in my suit. After the interview, I plan on coming home, having a drink, and watching the entire season of So NoTORIous on DVD. Tell me I don't know how to have a rockin' Friday night. Go on. Try it.

Now, for your reading pleasure, here is the final draft of my writing sample (slightly edited). Enjoy!


Short Discussion of the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act [73 FR 44353]

On July 30, 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act in response to the 2007 United States' Supreme Court ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA that greenhouse gases (GHG) meet the definition of “air pollutant” under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This ruling gives EPA the regulatory authority to determine whether tailpipe GHG emissions from new motor vehicles endanger public health or welfare. EPA has extrapolated upon this ruling by announcing its intention to regulate all GHG emissions from both stationary and mobile sources under the CAA. EPA's decision demonstrates two over-arching and related points. For the conspiracy-minded, the intention of the EPA in publishing this massive Advance Notice of Public Rulemaking (ANPR) is to bog down the GHG regulatory process in red tape. Second, this recent ANPR serves as an example of how top-down command-and-control regulatory action is not always the most efficient way to reduce GHG emissions. However, the focus of this short discussion is not conspiracy theories nor the inefficiencies of the command-and-control regulatory process, but rather on a more practical question: How could this proposed rulemaking benefit the members of the [organization where I'm interviewing]?

As the [organization] consists of companies which manufacture air pollution and control equipment for stationary sources, this regulation could translate into increased opportunities for business growth and development. One pathway through which this may be achieved is the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program, which requires some stationary sources of regulated air pollutants to apply for PSD permits and reduce their emissions of those pollutants using the best available control technology (BACT). BACT is defined as “the maximum achievable degree of emissions reduction for a given pollutant (determined by the permitting authority on a case-by-case basis), taking into account energy, environmental, and economic impacts. BACT may include add-on controls, but also includes application of inherently lower-polluting production processes and other available methods and techniques for control” (73 FR 44497). Furthermore, the program contains a mechanism to stimulate development and innovation by requiring stationary sources to consider the latest best available control technologies.

According to the ANPR, GHG emissions are not currently subject to the provisions of the PSD program. However, EPA states in this ruling that controlling any GHGs, such as carbon dioxide, under other parts of the CAA would also make parts of the PSD program applicable (73 FR 44420). The ANPR goes on to state that “because CO2 is typically emitted in much larger quantities relative to traditional air pollutants, CAA regulation of CO2 would potentially extend PSD requirements to many stationary sources not previously subject to the PSD program, including large buildings heated by natural gas or oil, and add new PSD requirements to sources already subject to the program” (73 FR 44399).

If this regulation is ever promulgated as a final rule, an increase in regulated stationary sources, combined with the opportunity to continue developing innovative control technologies translates into greater growth opportunities for the member companies of the [organization]. Thus, it would be in the best interests of the members of [the organization] to provide EPA with constructive comments and relevant data in support of this ANPR.

OK! HIRE ME! Considering I read the 200 page Federal Register notice and wrote the sample in about 2 days, I think it's pretty good.

*smooches*

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Don't Mind Me, My Head Just Exploded

Good morning, Kittens!

How's work? Finished that PowerPoint presentation on growth possibilities in the financial sector after the meltdown of major institutions yet? Well ... get crackin'.

Last night, the Board Meeting was long and tedious, but we managed to find a few areas of savings and will continue to work on ways to (a) generate revenue and (b) cut costs. Fun. Afterwards, I went upstairs to SCGB's apartment to watch the last half of Project Runway. Ah, Joe. So happy you are gone.

This morning, I've been working on the writing sample to take to my interview tomorrow. It is very difficult. *ugh* I'm taking a break, now. I'll probably get back to it in a few minutes (or hours).

More later. *smooches*

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dates, Not Just a Delicious Fruit

The date went well.

He was a little late, which was actually good because it gave me time to read a few chapters in the new Thomas Friedman book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution -- and How It Can Renew America. And, while I admit I didn't thoroughly read the book, I have to say I was unimpressed. It didn't seem like it added anything new to the conversation. I felt like Friedman was simply recycling old arguments and ideas. Of course, a more intense reading might change my opinion, but that won't happen anytime soon. I was thinking about buying the book, but won't now. I'll wait until someone else buys it, then I'll borrow it from him/her.

Anywayz, the guy was very cute. Former lawyer. Former teacher. Now working on his doctorate. Great smile. Nice eyes. We went to Thai at Silver Spring. I had green papaya salad. He had red curry chicken. Good conversation. Laughs. He paid. We parted with a handshake and a hug. And a promise that I'll let him know how my interview goes on Friday. I would happily go out with him again sometime. We shall see ...

I've spent the rest of the afternoon trying to read the 507-page EPA Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Oh. Em. Geeeeeeeeeeeee. I think my brain exploded. I was planning to use the ANPR to create a writing sample to take to the interview, but right now the only topic that is coming to my shattered brain is "the EPA's recent ANPR as an example of why top-down command-and-control regulatory action will be ineffective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Maybe that will work. I'm going to sketch out some ideas after our Board Meeting tonight (with our management company, regarding our 2009 budget) ... unless my brain has totally stopped working by then.

Send me good vibes, kittens. *smooches*

Dish

Good Morning, Kittens.

Pull up a chair. We need to dish. Because, OMG, I have so much to do ... and what am I doing? Blogging. Surfing the 'netz. Someone smack me with the Motivation Stick, plz.

I have a handful of good news: (1) I have a second interview on Friday and (2) I have a lunch date today.

The interview is with the organization which phone interviewed me last week. Huzzah. They love me! Of course, how could they not? The bad news is that they need a recent (within a year) writing sample. Guess who doesn't have a recent (within a year) writing sample?

Everything I've written recently was either for work (and proprietary) or something I would not want a future employer to read (unless maybe that employer wants to read about teh buttsecks). A friend told me that the EPA published an Announced Notice of Proposed Ruling (ANPR) on greenhouse gases yesterday. I need to find that (which won't be hard), read it (which may be hard), and write something about it (which will be hard) ... by tomorrow. Gah.

I also need to:

-do laundry
-prep for the interview (I am almost 100% certain I have a suit ... somewhere)
-apply to two more jobs this week
-go over the proposed co-op budget, since we're meeting with the management company tonight.

Not to mention (even though I already did) that I have a Lunch Date. Today. With a guy. Who seems nice. And smart. I'm not even sure I'm ready to start dating again. It's not very often that I get asked to lunch with a guy who seems nice and smart. I figured "what the hell. just do it." So, I'm doing it. But, I can say with almost 100% surety that we won't do *it*. VUBOQ has learned that doing *it* with a guy on the first date usually turns out bad ... unless he doesn't want a 2nd date ;-)

OK. I have to motivate.

More later. *smooches*

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blame the Bluestocking

Good morning, Kittens!

Yesterday, as I was reading my regular blogs, I noticed that Ms. Bluestocking had a new (to me) link on her sidebar: Clio Bluestocking Shirts at Zazzle.

So, what's an unemployed VUBOQ with too much time on his hands supposed to do? Well ... um ... Vutopia.

Perhaps, go a little silly on Zazzle. And there will be more. Unless I get bored. Then, there won't be.

ANYWAY,

Meeting up with Y before pottery class was fine, if a little uncomfortable. He had a cocktail waiting for me when I got there. Very sweet. But about 2 weeks too late. We talked for a bit. I picked up my unglazed bisqueware and headed to class.

Class was fun. I threw a couple of warm-up things - 2 mugs and a vase (or something TBD). The goal this session is to make at least a teapot and a lidded casserole dish.

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

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Office, It Is Open

Good Afternoon, Kittens.

I'm taking a break from updating my resume (does anyone know how to put those little doohickies about the e's?). This morning, I downloaded the Open Office Suite, because (a) I don't have the money to purchase the rights to MS Office (and my trial subscription has expired) and (b) a friend said that Open Office and MS Office are compatible.

Au. Contraire. Mon. Frere.

My MS Word resume (just imagine the doohickies above the e's) opened fine in Open Office. I made major changes to the format/content and resaved as an MS Word doc. Then, when I went to open it in MS Word, the formatting was forked. GAH! Not majorly forked, mind you, but forked just enough to annoy me and to make the resume look not-so-pretty anymore.

*le sigh*

Another friend has suggested resaving it in rtf or html first. I will try that later. Now, I'm too annoyed to think about it. Instead, let's think about pottery class.

Yay! Pottery Class! It starts tonight at 7:45. The goal for this session is to make a teapot (or two). Before class I have to stop by Y's to pick up some unglazed pottery from last session. That will be fun, I'm sure.

And, finally, a question:

On Friday, I received a phone call from an organization about an interview (hurray!). However, I missed the call and didn't get the message until Saturday (stupid wacky cellphone). The job is located in Herndon, VA.

Now, when I applied for the job, I had no idea where Herndon was located. After listening to the message on Saturday, I googled the company, looked up the address, and -HOLY WTFork- it is *so* not metro accessible. And by "not metro accessible" I mean "a two-hour trip: red line to orange line to a bus to another bus."

So, here's the thing: Do I call the guy back, thanking him for his interest, but explaining that I won't be able to go for an interview because it's so forking far away? Or, do I call back, listen to his spiel, hope the salary is high enough, take the job, buy a car, and DRIVE everyday, in traffic for 1.5 hours ... both ways?

OR, do I just not bother calling back?

What would you do? What would Jesus do?

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

The unfortunate event, like my bruises, is fading. Gradually. From a terrifying, slow-motion few minutes to a fuzzy, hazy dream, only revealed in moments of sharp clarity: the way someone looks at me; when I take off my shirt and my collar catches around my neck; the sound of footsteps behind me. If not for those memories, it would be like it hadn't happened.

It's best not to linger, but it's starting to not feel real. And, that's what I was thinking about on my ride home last night.

The rest of my weekend unfolded as follows ...

Friday evening, no one seemed interested in going to happy hour, and, I must admit, that, as the afternoon wore on, my interest also flagged. In the end, I stayed home and watched High School Musical ... which was surprisingly entertaining (fine. I watched it twice. in a row. and a third time Saturday morning. so sue me).

Saturday, I blobbed around. a lot. In the afternoon, Tomokito (and babeh!) came down to watch Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 on DVD. Honestly, I'm not a huge Tarantino fan, but I luv those two movies. Later that evening, Tomokito, SCGB and I went to Adega for dinner (mmm. $35 special - 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, 1 bottle of wine). Then, we returned to SCGB's apartment for ice cream and cheesy movies on TNT (or TBS or something). Pretty Woman! My Cousin Vinny! Fun!

Sunday, there was lots more blobbing. Then, around 4:30, I left the house to meet Jerry at Nellie's. Of course, I missed the bus by like 45 seconds, meaning I had to walk to the metro station.

I managed to make it to the station in one piece (yay!). At Columbia Heights Station, the most amazing thing happened: I had a brush with the Bloggerati. A gentleman, who looked kind of familiar, boarded the train and sat behind me. I thought for a moment, and then it hit me. I turned and said, "I'm sorry, but are you Jimbo?"

It was. Like, OMG, he's so nice. If I didn't have a major blogcrush on ShallowGal still, I'd totally be crushing on him!

We parted at Nellie's. I met Jerry. We had a drink. Then, we went to the U Street Alero for margs and mexican food. Mmm. Spinach Enchiladas.

I came home (by bus and metro. no walking after dark!) and watched 300.

Fun times, kittens. Fun times.

More later. *smooches*

Friday, September 12, 2008

September 12 of 12: Didn't Leave the House Edition

The day isn't done, but since I haven't really left the house all day, I don't think my 12 of 12 photos will be getting more interesting ... so here goes:

I slept in this morning ('til 9:45!)
After Shower Self-Portrait
I don't think I hopped in the shower until nearly noon.

I took a moment after my shower to stare at the ceiling.
Ceiling Fan 4
No, the light bulbs aren't burnt out. When all three are on, it's too bright.

I couldn't even motivate to do the dishes this morning.
Dirty Dishes

Microwaving leftovers for lunch.
Lunch

I did actually accomplish something.
Drinking Scarf 1
Scarf made from wool and recycled sari yarn.

How about a mid-afternoon snack?
Faith Pop
Scripture Candy, anyone?

Nature. Red in claw and tooth.
Stinkbug

A brief excursion outside, en route to the laundry room.
Pretty Flower

My three shirts that I don't like to put in the dryer.
Drying Laundry
Yes, that is a Secretworm t-shirt. You can buy one for yourself here. OR, you can buy me this one (size small. yes, in pink).

Because Earl Cootie asked for a close-up view:
Egg and Guardians

Mmm. Martini.
Martini 2

It's not 12 of 12 unless there's a picture of my pussy.
Isabella 1

Additional photos are here.

*smooches*

No Exit

Good (Good Lord, How did it get to be) Afternoon, Kittens!

Yesterday, after my Super Hot Lunchdate with ShallowGal (and Spawn #3), I enjoyed boozy milkshakes with a couple of neighbors. Then, around 8:30PM, I met three more neighbors at McGinty's, the "Irish" pub in hip, happenin' downtown Silver Spring. I had a super yummy salad (spinach and chickpea, with goat cheese and a roasted red pepper dressing) and too many Boddingtons (a creamy ale) for my own good.

Fun times, but I'm not so sure I'm even going to leave the house today. Good times overload, methinks.

Of course, not leaving the house means that my 12 of 12 for today is going to be SuperExciting. Mmhm. That's right.

To give you a taste, here's a video I took earlier of me in the shower:

video

I can't figure out how to rotate the damn thing so you'll have to tilt your heads. Sorry.

If I get motivated, I may try to organize a happy hour (or invite myself to someone else's).

Happy Friday, Kittens. Stay tuned for my 12 of 12 post tonight.

*smooches*

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Very Shallow Lunch Date

Good (Practically) Evening, Kittens!

I had a totally fabulous lunch at Sette with the even more fabulous ShallowGal:


And the youngest of her spawn:

Who, while cute as the dickens, did nothing to awaken any sort of latent Parental Yearning on my part. Srsly. Kids are great ... when they are someone else's.

After stuffing ourselves silly on super yummy pizza, we went swimming!

OK. No, we didn't. But, when you have a photo of ShallowGal in goggles at a restaurant, the Laws of Blogging require you to post it.

Thanks for a SuperFun time, ShallowGal! *smooches*

I'm headed out for a happy hour later tonight with some of my neighbors. Good times, yo!

Pictures of My Pussy

Good Morning, Kittens.

It seems like it's been awhile since I've shared with you some pictures of the kitty ... so, here are a few recent pix. Feel free to "ooh" and "aah" and make cute kitty noises while viewing.

I swear sometimes she is awake. Honest.

Stay tuned for another exciting post this afternoon: I have a Super Hot Lunch Date with ShallowGal (and Spawn)!

*smooches*

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

*whew*

The phone interview is over. I think it went well.
I'll probably get the breakdown from my friend who works there tonight...

Plans for today include:

1. Laundry.
2. Boozy Milkshakes.

Maybe some other stuff...

More later. *smooches*

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Scooby Snacks!

Good Evening, Kittens!

Everyone finished with your workday? Hope it was productive and that the Man didn't get you down. Never let the Man get you down, kittens. You are too good for that! Srsly ...

I realized a few minutes ago that I hadn't posted today, and I know that a day without a VUBOQ post is like a day without sunshine ... so let the sun shine in ... here are my not entirely random thoughts for Tuesday.

First, I learned in Day 2 of the Most Useless Seminar Ever that not every unemployed person in MoCo has to take it. Rather, it's a random draw, like jury duty ... only more tedious.

I had been making notes throughout the two days, because I *knew* we'd get to do an evaluation! YAY! After rating the instructors very highly (they were actually very good) and saying that in general I would be taking "very little" out of the sessions. I got to the good stuff: the Comments section! Huzzah!

These were my comments:

1. I felt that time was used ineffieciently, and that if the time were used better, the seminar could probably be a 1 day 8-hr session, rather than 2 6-hr sessions.

2. Although the presenters did an excellent job, there should have been more group/pair work. I think most of the people in the seminar know the information being presented. What we would benefit from is practice using it. Resume critiques were good. Practice interviews would have been great. One of the excuses given for this was that there wasn't enough time (see above time management issue).

3. Presentations were geared towards auditory learners, not visual and tactile-kinetic (those who learn from doing) learners . This should be improved upon.

I forgot to mention that sometimes poor facilitation on the part of the instructors led to the discussion being carried off on (nearly) unrelated topics.

la la la.

ANYWAY, I have a bit of a mystery on my hands. Yesterday, I received a book in the mail, The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. There was no indication who it was from, other than it came from a bookstore in Maine. I checked with one Maine resident, and he said it wasn't from him.

So, I'm all like *hmmm* and *errrr* and *head-scratching thinkiness* ... If anyone would like to 'fess up, please email me or comment. Or, just know that I'm like totally thanking you. Love the book. I read the first few pages last night before bed and they are amazing. It seems like one of those books in which you want to savor every delicious word before moving on to the next one.

Lessee... in other exciting news,

I walked home from the Metro station this afternoon. Totally scary. I mean, srsly, my heart was pounding for most of the walk. I. am. such. a. wuss. Next time will be better. :-)

AND,

I have a phone interview in the morning. Yay. I must read over the job description, make a few notes, and review the organization's website again. Excitement. Fingers crossed!

Have a great night. It's Martini Time!
*smooches*

Monday, September 08, 2008

Hello, My Name Is Huge Waste of Time

Good afternoon, kittens.

VUBOQ has had a day. I attended the first day of a required two-day "Coping with Unemployment" Early Intervention Seminar. AND, ZOMGzZ!, wtFork? I hate things like that.

First, blah blah blah blah blah.
Second, the room was FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEZING. I had to go to Target to buy a jacket during lunch break.
Third, blah blah blah. Blah. Blah.

I kept waiting for the presenters to get to a point, or to do something that was useful, or to even answer questions that people were asking ... but that never happened.

To entertain myself, I began to write suggestions for improvement on my notepad. I think they could cut out about half the boring blather and make it a one-day seminar.

On the plus side, they are going to critique our resumes. I'm not sure how beneficial it will be because during the presentation, the guy gave useful resume tidbits like "No one put 'References Available on Request' or 'Computer Literate' on their resumes anymore."

Um? No kidding?

And, here's something you may not have known: Tailor your resume for each individual position to which you apply!

Ground. Breaking.

I hope I will get more out of tomorrow's session. *crosses fingers*

And, how was your day?
*smooches*

PS. The Straight Guy has updated!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Night and Day


Night and day, you are the one
Only you beneath the moon or under the sun

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Rain in Spain (or, um, Silver Spring)

Two accidents at the intersection in front of my building, the second of which seems to be a bit serious.

Sligo Creek Parkway is closed (for potential flooding, methinks).

Here's what the creek looks like now:


video

Falling on My Head Like a New Emotion

Rain.
Stress.
Change.
Trauma.

I think a day of knitting, DVDs, and sofa-lounging is in order.

Hello, Melrose Place Season 1. I luv you.

*smooches*

Late Night Sober Blogging

Because it's so much more fun to enumerate how your life is going to shit when not nearly durnk enough ...

So, let's see ...

Besides all the stuff I've been whinging about all week (y'know, unemployment, vicious attack, unsupportive ex-boyfriend) ...

1. I'm not durnk.
2. I should be durnk. But, I'm not.
3. I'm out of mixer and don't feel like drinking gin from the cat bowl.
4. I made a mistake on the scarf I'm knitting and don't feel like tinking it.
5. I'm sure all my friends are out having fun without me (the bastards! Don't they know I'm in pain?*).
6. Y sent me the following text message: "I miss you."
7. After debating several responses**, I sent: "I miss you too, but it's something we'll have to get over."

On the bright side, I had a lovely boozy lunch (at least, boozy on my part) with the elegant Ms. Clio Bluestocking:
[OMG. Don't you just totally *heart* the new 'do?]

I got home, I had a package! A book! From the talented songstress, Mush. Yay! Knitting! Happy!

Then, I met Christal, who is in town for work this weekend, and friends for happy hour/dinner.

Back home, I watched National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, which -although I'm sure a load of historical nonsense- was a fun little romp of a movie (if you didn't think too hard). And, hey, was that Helen Mirren? OMG! It was! This must've been before teh Oscar. Either that or somebody (looking at you, Helen) got paid some very big bucks for that role.

So, it's not *all* bad in Vutopia.

Plus, I may have some *slightly* exciting news next week. We shall see.

I guess I should go to bed. Or have another drink.
*smooches*

*Probably not. I haven't got around to filling them all in on the details. Perhaps a mass "Dear Friends" email is called for?
**(1) "I don't" (2) "More or less than when you were in NYC and I was attacked" and I don't remember (3), but there was a (3) and I'm sure it was vicious and cold and mean. Just like me.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Flowers You Sent Me Are Just About to Die ...

... ok ... I admit they died several days ago. And, the cat was eating them. Which was making her vomit all over the place.

But, while they were here, they were beautiful. And they were from my fabulous neighbors, DUN and SCGB, who brought them to me after the attack. I am very lucky to have the wonderful neighbors that I do. Especially, when one had a schmuck for a boyfriend.

Here's another picture. I like this one because it shows some of my favorite things ...

The plate was a Christmas gift from my brother and his girlfriend. It was made by (designed by?) a famous NC artist, Bob Timberlake.

The table runner was a gift to my parents when they visited Japan. A fitting top to the stereo cabinet on which it rests - the first piece of furniture my parents bought as a married couple (way back in 1964).

In the lower left hand corner is a glass egg from China, a gift from one of my favorite students. On my last night in Beijing, I went to his family's house for dinner (his mom is an *amazing* cook). He gave me this present and said, "This is my heart. Whenever you look at it, please remember me and my parents." And my heart broke a little.

But, I guess broken hearts can be a good thing. If they don't break, how do we know they are still there? And, when they heal, they become stronger.

*smooches*

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's What's for Dinner

Good Morning, Kittens!

A few thoughts before we get into the nittygritty ...

-I upgraded my blog template (finally) and some of my formatting disappeared. I figured out how to get my visitor tracking stuff added, but where did my flickr badge go? And, when I try to put it back, I get an error. WTF?

-If we're broken up, why is he still here?

-Apparently, he was unresponsive to my trauma because (a) he didn't think it was serious [I wonder what about the incoherent babbling message and the statement "I thought I might die" meant "not serious"], (b) he was mad because I didn't want to come to NYC [which would explain the callous "well, if you'd come to NY, it wouldn't have happened" remark], and (c) he was (and still is) mad that I don't enjoy/want children. Yeah. Whatevs. VUBOQ is over it [but will probably continue to bitch about it for several days/weeks. Apologies in advance].

BUT, now, on to the *meat* of this post: My Delicious Dinner Last Night - Polenta and Heirloom Tomatoes with Roasted Red Pepper Puree.

This is how we roast red peppers at Casa de VUBOQ:

After it's completely blackened, shove it in a paper bag for about 5 minutes. Then, scrape all the black off.

Deseed, slice, put in food processer with garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, a chili pepper, and a couple of basil leaves. Process until smooth. Set aside.

Next, place a couple of slices of tomato and mozzarella cheese on top of about 5 slices of polenta. Place in toaster oven and broil until cheese is good and melty.

Remove from toaster oven, and serve on bed of couscous with side of salad greens. Drizzle with roasted red pepper puree:

Eat. Smile. Say "Yum!"

*smooches*