Tuesday, August 30, 2011

September Approaches

Good Morning, Kittens.
There is one thing about this time of year that I really, really like: The evenings have begun to cool, so I can sleep with my windows open and a fan blowing.  I *heart* sleeping in a cold room.
Of course, there is one thing about this time of year that I really, really dislike: Getting out of bed in a cold room when it is DARK outside.  *ugh*  So hard to get out of the bed.  So very, very hard.
This morning, I sat down and made a list of Personal Goals for September.  Several of the goals are to help position myself for obtaining a better, more-fulfilling, less clusterfuckery-filled job.  And, the others are simply home improvement, life-improving, life-simplifying goals ...
They are:
1. ISO 150001 (Energy Management Systems): research, write white paper, investigate certification
2. LEED Green Associate: prepare for and pass exam
3. Writing: take time (at least 30 minutes to 1 each day) to be creative
4. Reboot (ha! pun! sort of!) Army 10-Miler Training: follow this plan
5. Kitchen: Move forward on remodeling
6. House: declutter
And, there you have it.  Now all I have to do is make a plan and organize my time.  That shouldn't be too difficult, right?  Right?
Have a great day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Update: Family Reunion Edition

Good morning, kittens!
I hope everyone managed to survive the torrential downpour and destructive winds of Hurricane Irene.  My building fared well, only losing power for a couple of hours.  Fortunately, I had evacuated to Staunton, VA for a small family reunion.
I left early on Saturday morning, picking up the rental car around 9:30 and driving the approximately three hours to Staunton.  And, may I just say that driving is friggin' boooooorrrrring?  OMG.  I thought I might die.  I made a couple of stops along the way.  Once to pick up some coffee in Front Royal ... where the dress code at the local Starbucks is either (a) Prostitute or (b) Bible-reader.  Interesting dichotomy.
Once safely in Staunton, I tried to check into the hotel, but the rooms weren't ready.  So, I drove to my uncle and aunt's house.  We chatted.  Ate a bit.  Drank a bit.  And, members of the extended family gradually wandered in.
Around 3PM, we decided to play a round of Death Croquet.  Here is my cousin trying the Jump Shot.  After the game (which El Ganio won ... somehow), we had snacks, lots of talking, and were planning to eat on the deck.  Except the Drenching Rains of Irene began.  So, the dinner moved inside.  It was yummy.
We also had a family quiz.  I did very badly, but I did learn that my family could have been very wealthy ... too bad my Great Grandfather gambled and drank all the money and property away.  Oh, well ... Is it better to have been rich and lost than never to have been rich at all?
Later that night, my brother, his girlfriend, two cousins and I went out for drinks in downtown (Historic!) Staunton.  Good times!  I was surprised that they allowed smoking in one of the bars we went to.  *ugh*  But, we still managed to have a good time ... and eat some delicious potato wedges (served on 100% Authentic Glass).
I did not sleep very well Saturday night.  Booze + Drunk Wedding Guests + Super Soft Mattress = Not Very Rested VUBOQ.  Bah.
That morning, we (Parents, Brother, His Girlfriend, and two of Dad's Cousin) went to a local eatery for breakfast.  It was organic and yummy.  The other relatives joined us later and we all went to a park to watch the young'uns play for a bit.  Then, I drove home.
Once safely ensconced in my abode, I took a nap.  Yay!  And I went to Trader Joes.  I forget how much cheaper TJ's is than Whole Foods.  Later, C came over and went had breakfast for dinner at Eggspecations. 
And, that was pretty much my weekend.  Good times, for sure.
Have a happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Well. Wasn't That Special?

Good Morning, Kittens!
As you probably have noticed, I survived the Great East Coast (*cough* DC - the Rest of You Are Just Earthquake Wannabes *cough*) Earthquake.  So. Much. Fun.
It all started around 1:50PM.  I heard all this rumbling and my first thought was "What are those clowns upstairs doing now?"  Then, there was shaking.  And, my co-worker ran to the doorframe between our offices (totally bogarting it, btw).  And, she's all "Earthquake!"  And, I was all "EARTHQUAKE?!?!"  And, my Geico Gecko Pez Dispenser crashed to the floor. And, then, the shaking stopped (it lasted about 20 seconds, I guess), and we were both like "We're grabbing our shit and getting the hell out of here."
We were halfway down the hall when the evacuation alarm sounded.
So, we got to hang out in the sunshine for about an hour while our maintenance guys checked out the building.  No damage. This happened in June. And this happened sometime in the Spring.  Have mentioned that I think that one day the building where I work is going to implode like the house at the end of the Poltergeist movie.
We were eventually allowed back in, where we proceeded to accomplish nothing else for the rest of the day.
After work (at 5PM!  What?  No early release?), we boarded the Metro.  Which moved very. very. very. very. slowly (15mph).  A co-worker and I were all "Fuck this shit," got off the train at Eastern Market and had Happy Hour.  Yay!
A friend of my co-worker met us for drinks and then drove us to Union Station.  That took a good 45 minutes off our travel time.  Yay! 
Once home, I stopped by Whole Foods, bought some pizza, went home, ate, drank some wine, and went to bed.  Good. Times.
And, here's hoping today will be not quite as exciting!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Update: Flexible Edition

Good morning, Kittens!
My weekend plans certainly went all gang aft a'gley'ed, but -in the end- everything worked out OK.
Friday, my hair appointment took longer than I thought, so -even though I looked SuperCute (see?)- I was unable to meet up with C.  So, I ate a very late dinner, blobbed for a bit and went to bed.
Saturday, I was totally uninspired to do anything.  I did do a little house-cleaning and organizing, but not nearly enough to make a dent in the Official Disaster Area which is Casa de VUBOQ.  Around 5:30PM, Eric from Baltimore came down.  Along with Tomokito, the three of us had dinner at El Golfo.  Spinach Enchiladas!  Sangria!  Nomz.
Then, we took Tomokito back home and headed to SCGB's Birthday BBQ.  C was supposed to come, but he had forgotten that he promised to help a friend move.  And that took longer than he thought.  Oh, well.  The BBQ was fun.  I was able to hang out with a bunch of friends.  We left around 10:30 or so.  I was a little tipsy.  Not drinking (much) for three weeks really does some damage to a carefully cultivated alcohol tolerance.
Sunday morning, very overhung.
But, I did manage to be productive.  I walked to the Whole Foods and dropped a shit-ton of money (btw, shit-ton is an official metric measure ... in case you didn't know) on the delicious foods.  Then, I had boozy lunch (Hair o' the Dog!) at Adega.
On the way home, I *almost* got caught in a torrential downpour.  I made it inside just in the nick of time.  Yay!
Then, I made habenero chili sauce, using habeneros I grew in my "garden" and a recipe for Garlicky Red Hot Chili Sauce from the New York Times.  While that was cooling to room temperature, I took a wonderful nap.  Mmm.  Naps.
When I awoke, I ironed a whole bunch of shirts.  And applied for a very interesting new job.  *fingers crossed*
Once that was all completed, I put together an Heirloom Tomato Salad with Cilantro Puree (why, yes, I did grow the cilantro in my "garden").
As I was sitting there wondering what to do next, I realized that I hadn't gone for a run since my surgery.  So I went for a run.  I only ran about a mile and a half.  It was difficult, but not superpainful.  Huzzah.  I can't believe I am supposed to run the Army 10-Miler in about 7 weeks.  Gah.  Must become more motivated to run!
When I got back from my run, I had a text from C saying that he was on his way over.  Gah!  I quickly showered and dressed.  He pulled up just as I finished getting ready.  We had dinner at Baja Fresh and walked around downtown Silver Spring for awhile.  Once back at my place, we put in a DVD and had a little Quality Nekkid Time on the sofa. 
So, a very good end to a rather fun weekend, I think.
Hope you have a great day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Crazy Life

Good morning, Kittens!
How was everyone's Thursday evening?  Mine was chock full of fun and excitement.  I finished knitting this sock.  Of course, now I have to knit another one.  *sigh*  Does it ever end?
And, I got a totally weird voicemail from A (remember him?  from last summer?).  If I could figure out how to put a recording on here, I would post it.  Although that might violate some privacy issues or something?  Anyway, it wasn't *technically* from him.  It was from one of his co-workers.  I think they were drunk.  She was all like "I'm calling to recommend A.  He's a fucking awesome person.  And you're fucking awesome.  And you two need to fucking get together."
Um.  Srsly?  What?
I think, if I were in my early 20s, I *might* have thought that was kind of sweet/cute/romantic.  But, now, I'm all like, well, srsly?  What?  If you want to date me, grow a pair and ask me the fuck out. 
And, right now, it may not be likely that i'll agree to a romantic relationship.  I can be a friend.  We can be drinking buddies.  But, with C in the picture.  And with M in Las Vegas.  And with my possible impending re-surgery in a few months.  Plus, all the work shit that is going on, I really don't have the time/energy for anything else.
In other news, after work today, I'm going to get my hair cut.  Yay!
And, I am hoping to meet up with C at some point this evening.  Not sure if that will happen.  I told him I would be free last night and tonight, and he said he was busy last night.  So maybe he is not busy tonight?  Who knows?  Even though I like him, I don't think he is quite meeting my communication needs.  If you remember, I'm a planner.  I like to have plans.  Not having plans stresses me out.  So, right now?  I'm a bit stressed.
Tomorrow, is SCGB's Birthday BBQ at his place.  Eric from Baltimore is coming down.  Tomokito probably can't go.  So, I think Eric and I will do dinner with her first.  And then meet the BBQ-ers later for drinking and merry-making.  I invited C to this event as well.  and got a definite maybe.  After the BBQ, everyone is going to Town for crazy all-night dancing.  I may have to pass on that part.  I'm still not 100% sure I'm healed enough to do that.  We'll see how I feel.
Also, I need to start training again for the Army 10-Miler. It's on October 9th.  I am so not ready for it.  My plan is to do a short (maybe 2-3 miles) run on Sunday morning and see how I feel afterwards. 
And, that's my weekend.  In a nutshell.  We'll see how much of this actually happens on Monday, right?
Have a great one!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Good, the Bad, the Potentially Painful

Guten Morgen, Mein Katzchen.
Here in Vutopia, we have received a passel of good news and bad news recently.  Let's start off with the good news, shall we?
First, I do not have to make the 2+ hour commute to my company's corporate HQ in Franconia-fucking-Springfield.  Apparently, the contractual issues are being worked out and my company decided I could continue to work at the client site.  Huzzah!
Second, I had my follow-up appointment with the surgeon yesterday.  And, there is no cancer!  Yay!  However ...  (and this brings us to the bad news) ...
I seem to be extraordinarily blessed in that I am the 1 in the 1 in 10 people who need a second surgery.  Joy.  I go back to the surgeon in 3 months to determine if a second surgery is necessary.  He seems to think it will be.  Oh, whoopee. 
On the plus side (good news?), he said the second surgery will not be as intensive/excruciatingly painful as the first one.  Yay?  There is also a small chance that my immune system will kick in and the surgery won't be necessary.
Also, I have totally maxed out my deductible and out of pocket maximum for my health insurance for the year (that's what happens when you get beaten/mugged and have surgery within the same 12 month period), so this second surgery will be "free."  Woo hoo.  It's like "Buy One Extremely Painful Ass Surgery, Get One Free."  And, you know I can't resist a sale!  (I wonder if they will throw in a cute pair of black wingtips).
And, I guess that's about it.  Hope you have a groovilicious day!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Weekend Update: Tar Heel Edition

Good morning, kittens!
Well, I am back from my weekend excursion to the Tar Heel State.  It was chock full of good times.
My flight on Friday was uneventful.  I arrived in Greensboro around 930PM, I guess.  My family picked me up and we drove back to my brother's house. We talked for a bit and I went to bed.
Saturday morning, I discovered that my mother's birthday gift had broken en route.  Gah.  Plan B was put into place.
Around noon, my friend, Isa, drove up from Durham.  We met another college friend for lunch at the Village Tavern.  $5 Martinis.  'nuff said.
Once home, my parents invited Isa to stay for dinner.  So we blobbed around the house.  And then had my mom's birthday dinner - scallops and shrimps and corn on the cob and assorted other vegetables.  After dessert, grilled peaches with ice cream, Isa left.  The rest of us played cards until after midnight.
Sunday?  Very tired.  I blobbed most of the day.  Sunday evening, we went to my brother's girlfriend's house for dinner.  She cooked.  It was good.
And, then, on Monday, I flew back to DC.  My flight was a little delayed, but not too bad.  I got back to Silver Spring around 1.  I had boozy lunch at Adega.  Then, I went home and took a nap.
There was a thunderstorm!  Scary!
Then, I ironed a few shirts. 
At some point, my company called.  There is an issue with my contract.  Joy.  For the next couple of days, I may have to report to company HQ instead of to the worksite.  This is full of the suck because company HQ is in Franconia-fucking-Springfield.  About a 2-hour commute from my house.  Kill me.  Now. 
Later in the evening, I went to Whole Foods and, then, met C for dinner at Thai at Silver Spring.  I am really liking him.  *sigh*  He wasn't able to come in afterwards though so we had to act like teenagers and have a little fun in his car *wink wink*.
And, that was my weekend.
Have a great day!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Leaving On a Jet Plane

Good Afternoon, Kittens.
And, it's Friday.  Friday.  Yesterday was Thursday.  And I didn't do much of anything.  I did manage to pack for my trip to NC.  The entire family (all 4 of us) is gathering in Greensboro to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday.
I can't say I am all that excited about it.  I mean, it will be good to see the family; however, I am still kind of tired and achy and gross from the surgery.  I don't know how much fun I will be.  I guess we will find out.  Fingers crossed that the parents are chill in the mornings, because that is when I feel the worst.  I probably should warn them.
On the plus side, I will be having lunch on Saturday with a couple of college friends.  That will be cool.  AND, I will have some new Ralph Lauren shirts waiting for me.  Yay for having a brother in his employ. 
And, that's about it.  My flight is at 745 tonight.  Everyone send Clear Skies thoughts around that time. 
Have a great weekend!  I'll be back home on Monday!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Good morning, Kittens.
I think I may have overdone it yesterday, because today is Super Owie.  I was awake from about midnight to 4AM this morning (and decided to sleep in and be late to work).
Yesterday, one of my co-workers brought in his 3-year-old.  Ugh.  I could only take so much of the Wiggles.  So, I got some stuff together and did some walk through inspections throughout the building.  Lots of walking.  Lots of stairs.  Possibly a mistake.  On the plus side, I did find this sign.
I actually started to feel bad towards the end of the day and left work around 4.
Went home.  Took a nap.  Did some laundry.  Cancelled my "The Help" date with C. Went to bed.
Tonight, when I get home, I have to pack for my weekend trip to NC.  Fun.
and, that's about it.
Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bits. Bobs.

Good morning, kittens.

Yesterday I received a call at work from the Brooklyn DA's office.
Apparently (1) there is a new ADA handling my assault & robbery case
and (2) the Grand Jury indicted the kid who I testified against (way
back in, what?, April? Early May?). Thanks for letting me know ... Of
course, I suppose I could have called. So, now they want to subpoena
my phone records (again) and needed to verify the phone number of the
phone which was stolen. My guess is that there will be some sort of
plea bargain. I really don't want to go back up there for the sole
purpose of testifying in another trial.

Not much else going on. C came over last night for a quick minute. We
have been taking it slow since my surgery, so it was good to see him.
I think we are going to see "The Help" tonight after work. I am
wondering if I should invite him to go away for the Labor Day weekend
or not. I want to. But maybe it's too soon for a mini-break, because
as Bridget Jones always says, "A mini-break means true love."

I seem to gradually be recovering from the surgery. The PWS has
become more like PWFeelingStabbyButBriefPains ... I still do not look
forward to my morning constitutional. But, as they say, "s**t

And, on that note, have a great day!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

My Life is Kinda Boring

Good morning, kittens.
Not much going on here, I'm afraid.  Yesterday at work was productive and relatively uneventful.  After work, I metro'ed to Cheverly, where I picked up M's car.  I then drove to the pottery studio where I picked up 4 pieces of bisqueware (I will glaze them next session) and a glazed, lidded casserole.  I am mostly pleased with how it's turned out.  The lid is a little concave (because I didn't wait long enough to trim it) and there are some minor glaze issues.  But, overall, it is chock full of Yayz!
I got home around 7.  Made dinner.   Had some pink champagne.  Knitted for a little while.  And, then, went to bed.
Good times.
Have a great day!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Weekend Update: Writhing in Pain (well, not really) Edition

Good morning, Kittens!

Well, this weekend was certainly an interesting one. After receiving the shock of the Great Sunflower Massacre of 2011, I spent most of the weekend either on the sofa or in the bed.

Two of my favorite places to be, actually.

On Saturday, I watched Harry Potter 1-4 on DVD. I finished the body of my seamless sweater, but lack the proper needles to begin the sleeves. I think, because of the number of stitches required, knitting on circular needles will be difficult. So, I need to purchase some #11 dpns. Yay.

Instead of working on the sleeves, I decided to turn the heel on my first tweedy brown sock. I used the Zimmerman German Heel. It was actually easy (once I figured out that "knit up" = "pick up and knit"). This is where I am so far:

Saturday evening, I showered (!) and ventured upstairs for a little going away party for my neighbors who are moving to Washington state in the Fall. So sad. I really liketh them. They are so pure and good and I have totally been unable to corrupt their angelic goodness. Oh, well.

However, after about two hours, I felt sort of twinge-y pain and realized that I should probably go home to bed. So I did.

Speaking of twinge-y pain, that's what I've been feeling lately. Twinges and ITCHES. OMG. The itching! I am going to assume that this is a sign of healing. The PWS is not nearly as bad (Thank FSM). But the itching is keeping me up at night. Gah. Mornings are still the worst. And usually by 12 or 1PM, I feel not quite fine, but OK.

On Sunday, I got up and took the bus to the Whole Foods. I bought supplies for the week. It was kind of a mistake, because -as I just stated- mornings are not fun. AND, I totally missed the bus home and had to walk. Owz.

Once home, I rested, took another pain pill (yay!), and eventually felt better.

Whilst watching Harry Potter 5 & 6, I did a little Hipstamatic Photo Session with Isabella (See first photo on this page and several on flickr).

I called my parents and made a yummy couscous salad for dinner.

And, I guess that's about all the excitement of the weekend.

Good times for sure.

Have a Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Great Sunflower Massacre of 2011

Good Morning, Kittens.

If you're friends with me on facebook, you may have already seen this, but I'm going to share it again anyway.

Yesterday, after working (nearly) a full day (!) and deciding to walk home from the metro station (mistake!), this is what I saw (or didn't see, actually):

Sunflower SlaughterWhere have all the sunflowers gone?

Apparently, our yardguy got a little carried away and -in addition to trimming all our hedges (which look very nice now)- he mistook my over 6-foot tall just-starting-to-bud sunflower plants as some sort of vicious weed.

A vicious weed that had been planted from seed in a very, neat (well, neat-ish) line and carefully tended to (well, sort of carefully tended to) all Summer long.

Needless to say, I was very upset. I was really looking forward to seeing them bloom. I had almost given up hope that they would, but a few days ago, I noticed they were starting to bud.

Well, as they say, no use crying over slaughtered sunflowers. At least I got a photo of one of them, which (oddly enough) bloomed a couple of months ago ...


Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 05, 2011


Good Afternoon, Kittens!
It's Over-sharing Day in Vutopia ...
As you may recall, I recently (last Friday!) had outpatient surgery in which there was lots of scraping, cauterizing, soldering, slicing, dicing, and pulverizing in and around my Nether Regions.  Since that time, I participate every morning (and sometimes in the evening) in a fun activity that I like to call "Pooping While Screaming (PWS)."
Think Gollum ... It burnsssss.  It burnssss us.
So, this morning, I got up for my Morning Constitutional (PWS) and afterwards thought, "Hey.  That wasn't too bad.  Maybe I'm healing."
But about 15-20 minutes later, I felt a familiar urge. And the second time around?  Not really all that pleasant.  However, a soothing little sitz bath (look!  You're learning a new term!) later and all was well.  Yay!
Until about 15 minutes later, when someone had to go again.  AND, OMFG THE MOTHERFUCKING PAIN!  OW OW OW OW OW OW OW!
and OW.
Did I mention OW?
I realize that pooping 3 times in one morning might seem weird.  It certainly is unusual for me.  I assume it is some weird side effect from the surgery.  And, really, I am starting to hate mornings even more than usual.
So, yet again this weekend, I shall be eating lots of fiber and lounging on the sofa, knitting, reading, watching DVDs, not drinking, and PWS.  Good. Times.
(I do have a neighbor's Going Away Party to attend on Saturday Evening, though, so it's not all bad.)
And, there you have it.  Anyone else care to over-share?
Have a great day and weekend!
(Here's your Happy Thought of the Day:  You are not me.)

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Pain in the Ass

"Good" Morning, Kittens!

I am still in Recuperationville from my outpatient surgical experience on Friday. And, like, ow. At least the Percocet Happy Pills seem to be working ...

Although I really don't want to go into the whys and wheres and howtos and whatfors and whatevers about the procedure, the surgeon spent a good 30-45 minutes (I'm guessing) scraping, cutting, slicing, dicing, pulverizing, and then cauterizing my nether region. Yep. I had ass-tic surgery. Joy. I should have asked for a butt-lift while he was down there (hindsight. It is 20/20, yo!).

Anyway, the recovery process is tedious. And painful. And messy. And long, like 3 weeks long. Ugh.

Today is my last day of not working though. I am going to try to straggle into the office tomorrow.

So, what does a VUBOQ do when he is at home, on drugs, and not whimpering from painful pooping sessions?

He shops.

My brother notified my of an extra 25% off sale at Ralph Lauren Dot Com. With his employee discount, I snagged a short sleeved polo, a long sleeved polo, and a cotton v-neck sweater all for less than the original price of the sweater. Sweet.

Then, I found two UberCute knitting kits ... a Dragon Scarf and a Panda Scarf! My BFF from College totes luvz pandas. I thought it would be a fun Xmas gift for her.

Speaking of knitting, I've also restarted my cotton seamless sweater ...

And, look, mugs:

Black Blue MugsI am giving these to C. If you dated me, you, too, could get pretty pottery.

I picked up a few more completed pieces from the studio last Thursday. You can see all the photos in this set: Pottery Summer 2011

In other news, because the surgery was a lot more intense than I was expecting, I wasn't able to meet with M whilst he was here. Boo. I also haven't seen C. Boo. So, I am still in limbo as far as that is concerned. Oh, well.

I need to walk to the grocery store today, but I'm not sure if I'm able. Ugh.

Guess that's about it for now.
Have a great day!