Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Monday, January 31, 2005

@#%^@#% snow

The weather in DC, to be blunt, sucks. It's a dank swamp in the summer and a frozen wasteland in the winter. EVERY winter, I might add. So you'd think that the District would be somewhat prepared for this thing known as "snow" and have a snowplow or two, maybe some salt trucks, on hand. But nope. Every time it's like we're living directly on the equator and never in a jillion years could anyone have anticipated that this wet cold stuff would fall on us from the sky.

The only good consequence of this refusal to face reality is that it takes very little snow to shut down the city. And I mean, *very* little. We're talking a quarter of an inch. So in the winter, we very often get snow days at the drop of a hat. I live near enough my job that I can (and do) walk to work, but I figure that if god wants me to have a snow day, who am I to risk incurring his wrath? Some of my fondest memories here in DC have been the day after a snowfall, where I and my federally-employed friends treated ourselves to long, luxurious lunches, followed by cup after cup of coffee as we mocked the few private sector employees of our acquaintance.

So why am I being toyed with? For the second weekend in a row, we've gotten three inches of snow... on a Saturday. This does me no good - the snow is always dissipated by Monday, granting no kind of reprieve from a five-day work week. Additionally, the cold weather has been wreaking havoc with my skin. My lips are all sorts of cracked. I went into a meeting on Friday unaware that I was trailing blood down my chin from an overzealous yawn. I tried to rectify matters by putting gloss on the affected areas, but it was a colored lip gloss, which is good for looking sassy but not so good for healing chapped lips. I bought some more appropriate balm yesterday - let the healing begin.

It is only February - wait, almost February - so we have some time left for a real solid snowfall. The latest one in the calendar year that I remember occurred on March 8, 1999. Two years ago we got dumped with snow over President's Day weekend. That turned out to be excellent timing because it was right after they'd jacked up the threat level and you couldn't watch the news without seeing a story about how to use duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal yourself into a nice little tomb. The snow proved to be a much-needed distraction, since it was something tangible that you could do something about, as opposed to just blindly waiting and hoping that we wouldn't be the test bioterror case for the emergency response system.

So, I plead: come on Mother Nature - do your best. Bring 'em on!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Is it happy hour yet?

I have had three meetings today, with each one running shorter than the one before it (2 hours, 30 minutes, 20 minutes). It was the last meeting, though, that was the most painful. Or at least the one I was most dreading. I decided last night that enough was enough and it was high time I had a come-to-jesus meeting with my interns. So I did. I tried to soften them up first with some Red Vines, but none of them are California kids and thus are unaware of that candy's innate perfection. Despite that, it went better than anticipated and I think (hope, pray, sacrifice animals to the gods) that things will be running more smoothly around here.

Now I have to dread scooping my long-deceased fish out of the tank. I may need another Red Vine to build up my courage.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Land of the sloths

(Anyone, besides my sister, remember the Kroft Superstars show, "Land of the Lost"? Chaka, this post is for you)

Back in the saddle again. I was under the weather earlier this week - got really rundown, between the cold temps and stress at work - so I went home early on Tuesday, judiciously stocking up on DVDs and a few work projects in case I stayed home from work on Wednesday. Which I did. I did a little editing, a lot of laundry, and got caught up on my naps.

I also finally got to see, in addition to Sex and the City's season 6 and Curb your Enthusiasm's season 2, the documentary "Control Room." I realize I'm a day late and a dollar short on this one, since it's so 2004, but I still need to ruminate about it.

"Control Room" is about al-Jazeera. It was filmed, fortuitously enough, in the spring of 2003. It was fascinating to watch them going about their business and trying to show the other side of the story. Of course you have some anti-American sentiment - one particularly telling part was when an American journalist was interviewing someone from al-Jazeera and got them to admit that their employees came into stories with a bias. But then again, one of their employees asked if there were any Americans who weren't coming into the war with a bias either. Touche.

One of the stars of the documentary was a very earnest, very sweet Lt. Rushing from CENTCOM. He was so anxious to provide information and to explain that the United States' intentions were honorable, he was just adorable. In fact, one of al-Jazeera's journalists said that it was a good thing he wasn't a woman or else he'd fall in love with the lieutenant. People like Rushing restore my faith in the U.S. military, that there are solid and good people involved in it. Then you read follow-up stories where Rushing is getting reprimanded for having been too accessible and open. Doesn't the Pentagon realize that the more information is out there, the less misinformation there is to have to combat?

Another aspect I found interesting and that Rushing touched upon was that practically no Americans link the Palestinian conflict with the situation in Iraq, while in the Arab world the two might as well be the same thing. That's something that our people have to keep in mind when dealing with foreign media. And, pretty apropos, given how watching the news these days you're likely to see black-hooded faces throwing rocks at tanks which could be American or Israeli.

Finally, one part which I'd forgotten was April 8, 2003, when U.S. aircraft targeted al-Jazeera's building, Abu Dhabi TV's building, and the hotel where a bunch of reporters were staying in Baghdad. Three journalists were killed, one of whom worked for al-Jazeera and in fact had been on their roof shortly before the aircraft launched its attack. I vaguely remember hearing about this at the time but it was so quickly overshadowed by Baghdad falling the next day that it didn't stick. Reminiscent of the time in Serbia where China's embassy got hit, TWICE, in two mistaken incidents by U.S. bombs. Not getting all conspiracy theory on y'all, and I fully understand that mistakes happen in the fog of war, but damn. Not good at all.

I wish they'd focused a bit more on how Arab governments also condemn al-Jazeera for being a mouthpiece of the Americans. They did mention that slightly but I think that it proves a point: if both sides are unhappy with you, you must be doing something right. The darling Lt. Rushing made a good point, one which I've long believed, in that al-Jazeera plays up to Arab nationalism, just as Fox News plays up to American jingoism. That reminded me of, of course, the Simpsons, where there's a media circus and the Fox News truck comes in as a huge semi-trailer, blaring Queen's "We are the champions" and emblazoned with a huge "Bush-Cheney 2004" poster on its side. Doesn't it always come back to the Simpsons?

Monday, January 24, 2005

Hi, kettle? This is the pot

I need to learn to keep my pie-hole closed:

1) Yesterday, I was lecturing my brother, mom, and dad about the need to get my new brother-in-law spectacular gifts for his birthday, which is this week. After hearing me go on for about ten minutes about how generous he was over xmas and we needed to act accordingly, my mom finally shut my yap by asking when MY gift was arriving. For it is written in the Book of Her Ladyship that my presents shall never, not even by accident, arrive in the same lunar cycle of someone's birthday, much less on time or (gasp!) before. Ahem. Sorry to say that this will be no different. I have his gift AND card in my office - I even bought them ahead of time, while I was in Alaska - but I always seem to have a lag between getting stuff ready to mail and actually mailing them. It's a nice gift, though, and I'm sure he'll get just as much enjoyment out of it when it arrives sometime next summer.

2) I was emailing back and forth with some friends about office etiquette and how some people can't follow basic rules about keeping the kitchen looking respectable. I think I'd just typed, "Where were these people raised, in a barn?" when an email came out over my work account. Someone had left a bottle in the freezer too long, causing it to explode all over everyone's food, and our VP urged the guilty party to fess up. I realized that sometime around New Year's Eve I'd bought on a whim some Diet Cricket Cola and stuffed in the freezer because it was room temperature and obviously undrinkable. I also realized that while I remembered putting it INTO the freezer, I didn't remember taking it OUT of the freezer, and that it very likely was my fault. So I spent a good chunk of this morning scrubbing out the freezer. On the bright side, defrosting a freezer is no longer a mystery to me and I'm willing to share my newfound knowledge for a small fee. On the bad side, I got multiple derisive emails from my colleagues mocking me for my "cricket" cola.

3) This isn't really hypocritical but I have nowhere else to put this: I think my long love-hate relationship with my fish has come to an end. When my friend EnviroGrrl left DC, she had three tetras that needed a home. I hate fish - I've had a running series of nightmares about them jumping out at me (yes lame I know) - but I didn't want her to have to kill her pets and I figured, how long could fish live? As it turns out, a pretty long fucking time. One of them died almost instantly, the second held out for a year, and the third has been pissing me off for three years now. I was perplexed by its long lifespan because I did pretty much nothing other than toss food in the tank once a day or so and occasionally replenish its water. I guess benign neglect pays off. But this fall, when I had the exterminator over for repeat visits thanks to the Great Moth Incident, I decided it would be safer to bring the fish to my office instead of burdening any of my friends with him. And then I kept him here, because I'm lazy and why not. Well, looks like my office's water didn't agree with him so much because I came in the office this morning to see him floating sideways at the top of the tank. I'll give him until tomorrow to recover but I'm thinking it's time he went to visit the big Fish Tank in the Sky. The office cleaning lady will be devastated. I've been working late recently so we chat and she's expressed to me, in her bad English and my bad Spanish, that she checks up on him every day to make sure (insert fish swimming motions).

Friday, January 21, 2005

Inaugural madness

How I should have spent Jan. 20: Go to www.left.org and click on the link for the video "Left Up to Us: The CounterInaugural on 1/20/05." A protest of roughly 10,000 people ended up there after having met up in Malcolm X park, which is one block from my house (seriously, there's no excuse for me to not have gone). I caught a bit of the anti-war part of the protest, as I was walking back from the gym: they were remarkably tight in message and had a lot of nifty coffin-looking boxes covered with black fabric or American flags. The CounterInaugural protest in MacPherson Square ended up with people coming up to the mike and saying how they would change various Cabinet positions. I won't say who my friend was who was there, but let me just say that I have a VERY high-ranking connection in the make-believe alternate Cabinet. Don't piss me off.

How I actually spent Jan. 20:
* Slept in.
* Moseyed on to the gym, where I watched the opening episode of the second series of "The Surreal Life" and assiduously avoided watching any of the inaugural ceremonies. I specifically timed my trip so I'd leave right before Bush spoke and thus wouldn't have to see any of it.
* Went to the store, came back and made the most god-awful brownies in the history of baking. How can anyone fuck up brownies from a mix? And yet I did. Good thing G&T and AnimalStyle's baking went better. For some reason, the three of us independently decided we wanted to bake yesterday. Either it's the snowy weather or the RNC is pumping recidivist homemaker mindcontrol drugs into DC's tap water.
* Napped/read/watched TV.
* Went to meet up with friends for a drink or four.
* Came home again for sleep of the wicked.

I feel like I've failed my civics test for not having participated in the inaugural festivities, one way or the other. But I think I'm suffering from outrage fatigue. There's too much to be angry about these days, and I do a lot of this sort of thing at my job anyways. I'd prefer to spend my day off relaxing and not doing any heavy-lifting in the brain department. Does this mean that I've lost my youthful idealism, or can you lose something you never had?

I tell you what *really* stung was that one of the clubs was having some anti-Bush party last night. They had two pricing levels: $30 if you were under 30, and $60 if you were over. OUCH. Guess which side I fall on?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


I can't believe I forgot this, what with all the talk of La Dona's parents. La Dona had her second baby yesterday - a little girl! The newest arrival is 21 inches, 8 lb 12 oz, and is welcomed with open arms by a loving circle of friends and family. Congrats La Dona and to your whole organization (hee). I can't wait to meet her.

It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better

Last night, I was out with La Dona's parents who are in town for the inauguration. La Dona's dad is the mayor of our fair home town and, since term limits are rearing their ugly head, will be swearing off politics after this spring (at least for a while). So he and La Dona's mom wanted to take full advantage of their last trip to DC as part of the national mayoral convention. Wow am I boring everyone else as much as I am myself? Jesus. So didn't need that backstory. Anyhoo, I am out to dinner at McCormick and Schmick's, which in case you didn't know is a chain seafood restaurant. It's a nice place, usually serves decent food, I got nothing against them.

What I did have a problem with was that since the restaurant is on DC's vaunted K Street (where all the lobbyists live) and two blocks from the White House, it was chock-a-block with Texans there to "celebrate" the inauguration. You could not walk two steps without tripping over Bouffant Betty and her floor-length fur. Not to mention men with big hats and bigger buckles. Too much red, white, and blue going on.

Also, we happened to get seated outside a private room where Tom Ridge was giving a talk. So we had a Secret Serviceman posted right outside our table the whole time. It really thrilled La Dona's parents, who kept making jokes about the guy's presence. It was kind of funny, especially when you figure in about two weeks Tom Ridge will be striding the world solo as a private citizen. I was happy that these out-of-towners got a taste of life in DC, complete with psycho wannabe van-bombers, Secret Service, and soon-to-be B-list politicos.

In 2000, I had tickets to the inauguration, so G&T and I trudged down in the rain and mud and watched. Even though I was pissed about the election and not happy about W coming into office, I figured it was a historic event and I should take advantage of being in the right place at the right time. Well, this year it's much different. The whole thought of Bush being in office for four more years truly makes me ill and even if it wasn't freezing outside I wouldn't go to the inauguration/any of the attending festivities. I don't even want to go to counter-protest, not even to Turn My Back on Bush. I just want to pretend the whole thing isn't happening.

We get tomorrow off from work - it's a federal holiday in DC, and we follow the feds - so I'll be in my happy place and in denial. It's fun - come join me! Plus, a small saving grace is that this is a three-day work week. Monday we had off because, as the Onion put it, I got to let freedom ring instead of my alarm clock. So this short week makes the whole thing seem more unrealistic and dreamlike and thus marginally more palatable.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Best. Headline. EVER

From the Jan. 15, 2005, edition of the London Times: "US Developed A 'Love Bomb' And No, It Wasn't Barry White." Cheeky Brits.

(musical accompaniment for this post: Tom Jones' "Sex Bomb." now I'll be singing this song all day.)

The article talks about recently declassified information about proposals a U.S. Air Force research laboratory received in its attempt to establish what they call "non-lethal weapons." The specifics here are pretty funny - the idea was that they could spray "chemicals that affect human behaviour so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely affected," with the added benefit of possibly causing "homosexual behaviour." Unlike other wacky DoD projects during the height of the Cold War which have recently come to light (my favorite was the one about the cat that was rigged to be a microphone. The poor kitty got run over by a van during its first and last reconnaissance mission), this one came in during 1994. Not too long ago.

Looking past the whole homophobic aspect of this proposal - dear GOD, attracted to another MAN! the HORROR! - this news story is interesting because it looks at something we don't hear that much about. Nonlethal weapons are a bit of a misnomer, because the lack of killing is more of a goal than an actual end result. See the Moscow theater siege in the fall of 2002, where the Russians sprayed opiates at the Chechen guerrillas and ended up killing a good chunk of the hostages by mistake. Nonlethal weapons are tested against healthy young males - it's unclear as to how they will affect women/children/elderly. Plus, there aren't any established codes of conduct for when to use nonlethal weapons, and there's always the fear that spraying chemicals, even nonlethal weapons, may prod the enemy into using chemical weapons of their own. And theirs probably will not be the nonlethal kind.

Still makes for good reading though.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Sad face

In the midst of paying bills - an already unpleasant task - I got some bad news. My gyno is no longer accepting Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Goddammit. My stupid insurance is getting me blackballed all over the health care industry. I already got dropped from my regular GP because of it. And the thing is, I canNOT switch gynos. I love my doctor and her office. Everyone there is incredibly sweet (even the billing people. I shit you not) and so understanding. So it looks like I'm going to have to pay out of pocket for treatment and hope that BC/BS is feeling generous. Which, given how doctors' offices are dropping them like hotcakes, I'm thinking that they are not. Very sad face indeed.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Oh, and SEATAC blows

It's not a travel trip without a comment on the airport. So here goes: my god, what a sad, sad little airport Seattle has. You know, I kind of expected New Orleans (which I flew through over xmas) to be a bit dumpy and greasy, and it was. But Seattle? You've got Microsoft and at one point had all that internet money! You have no excuse! I spent five hours toodling around the airport yesterday and feel I have sufficient background to comment on it.

To begin: There are terminals A, B, C, D, N, and S. Each one radiates out from an overall form that is not unlike the figure eight. So what I'm saying is, this airport covers a *huge* amount of turf. Guess how many places you can have a burger AND a beer at the same time? One. Solamente uno. Since I had that five-hour layover, I was prepared to sniff it out. And it took me the better part of an hour of traipsing around, following false leads. You know you're bad off when you're bargaining with fate, saying, "All I need is one TGI Friday's. Just one!" Because if you have to kill that amount of time in an airport, you're going to do it accompanied with calories, cholesterol, and plenty of hops.

After sloooooowly eating my dinner, I tracked down the ONE PLACE that they sell stamps. Seriously? Seattle? People in airports tend to be traveling, and travelers often - not always, not every time, but often - have postcards. Until USPS gives up the pretense of making a profit and starts sending our mail for free, postcards will require stamps. You, SEATAC, can provide a much-needed service and sell the goddamn stamps in more than one location. [Although I'm running a social experiment: six of you will be getting a postcard, theoretically. I stamped my postcards and gave them to an employee of the ONE STAMP STORE to post. Let's see if she stuffed them down the nearest garbage can as soon as my back was turned or actually mailed them.]

By that point, I still had three hours to kill. So I got to know the airport's monorail. It's quite speedy - I'm thinking that DC's metro could learn from it. I zipped all over the airport in it, until I finally gave in to the ennui and found an outlet to recharge my iPod.

So 4.5 hours have gone by during my layover. Half an hour before my flight, SEATAC gets one last shot in and changes my departure gate to one that's a terminal away. Well-done, SEATAC. But this is not over yet. I'm petty and I have a long memory. I will enact revenge. See if I schedule a trip through you ever again!

Oh, and one more airport comment and I'll shut the hell up: Nervous fliers, take a ferry into Juneau. Juneau is nestled in a mountainous valley and the way you land at the airport goes as follows. Descent. Descent. Descent. (for ten minutes). Landing gear comes out. HOLY SHIT THAT'S A MOUNTAIN! SAVE ME JEBUS! Touch down. Heartbeat goes back to normal.


Sna? Wha?

Oh, hey there. Back from Juneau, Alaska (or, as I like to pronounce it, "Wah-NO". That's my SoCal Latina heritage asserting itself there). Juneau is a gorgeous little town on an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. It clings to the side of mountains - literally, in one spot, where they had a giant avalanche in the early 70s - as they drop into the water. Snowy trees abound, as it's situated in the middle of the Tongass National Forest (the only temperate rainforest in the world).

Normally, it would be quite pleasant to visit, as its January average is about 30 degrees. Of course, my trip was atypical, as everyone kept telling me. The temperature stayed in the single digits and the windchill factor brought it to -25 degrees. I don't care where you're from, but that's effing cold. I did get to see some bald eagles, glaciers, and overall natural splendor. It doesn't take long to see that - Juneau has no roads leading to it, even though it's the state capital - so ten minutes' drive out of town takes you into the heart of the woods.

At one point while driving around yesterday, we had to go to the bathroom, so my host stopped at this unheated outhouse by a boat dock. He was able to do his business just fine, but there was no way I was going to attempt it. My feet were engulfed in (borrowed) wool-lined boots and they were going numb; I didn't even want to consider what effect complete exposure to the cold would have on sensitive body parts.

And the work part of the visit was fine too. My host was gracious and all things considered, it was a good trip. I just wish I hadn't been so cold the whole time. I now am sick. Wah. I did manage to doze a bit on the flight back to DC, but I still think I'll be ducking out early today so I can work in a nap.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Feelin kinda woozy

Doorprize to anyone, outside of G&T, who can tell me what movie that quote comes from.

And actually, I'm not feeling so bad any more. It's amazing how restorative an everything bagel with cream cheese can be. Some days, it's all about the carb therapy.

Last night, I made the tactical error of going to a club where a friend was bartending. That was a mistake. A big, big, BIG mistake. Ugh. I slept in and rolled into work just in time for a meeting about revamping our website. Nothing like sitting hunched over in your chair and wishing you were dead while others bicker about the website for 2.5 hours. God. Someone had kindly brought donuts, though, and my co-workers for some reason were being gracious and not hogging all of them (as is my wont), so I was able to eat my fill.

While I was slowly making my way to work today, I overheard a conversation between two women behind me. One was pointing out El Tamarindo, a mediocre El Salvadoran restaurant whose only redeeming quality is that it's open late and thus provides a chips-and-salsa alternative to Pizza Mart, as a place that she thought was good. I'm always one to mock other people's taste, and since the lack of good Mexican food in DC has always bugged me (and no, Tex-Mex is not Mexican, nor is El Salvadoran. And do NOT get me started on Lauriol Plaza, where food goes to die), my ears perked up. The other mentioned a place that she'd been to, "Mix-Mick" as she called it, which she thought was expensive and not very good. It took all my reserve not to holler, "That's MIXTEC you moron!" and slap her upside the head for taking Mixtec's name in vain. But then again, people like her deserve Lauriol Plaza and this way I have less competition for a seat at the only good Mexican restaurant in town.

You'd think, reading over this post, that I was hungry. I wasn't when I started, but now I'm thinking that crappy vegan lentil soup I had for lunch isn't going to cut it. This calls for the last of my chocolate coins.

Do you think I can get moose while in Alaska? Or maybe bear. I've been told that there are some good seafood restaurants near my hotel, but I don't do seafood. As a Pisces, it just hits a little too close to home. Plus all seafood tastes, strangely enough, like the sea, which doesn't go down too well with me. Anyways, I leave Monday at oh-dark-thirty and will be rolling back on the red-eye Thursday morning. Try and survive without me.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

In today's news

Every time I open up Washingtonpost.com, I'm greeted with Albert Gonzales' shit-eating grin. Goddamn, I cannot believe that he's going to be promoted after that torture memo debacle. Apparently when the administration said that there would be consequences for the people involved in the prisoner scandal, they meant only the slugs making minimum wage, not those who crafted the directives and set the tone for acceptable behavior. What makes it worse is that all the conservative news sources (Washington Times, I'm looking at you) who support Gonzales say first that he's an American success story, then they go on to his supposed qualifications. As if the former is more important than the latter. I'm all about upward mobility, but I think that making a Cabinet official of the man behind the policies which have done more harm to the U.S. image than any other step we've taken lately, including launching the war against Saddam Hussein, is perhaps not the best decision.

And Nelson Mandela's son has died of AIDS-related complications. I really hope that this sad news gets Thabo Mbeki's head out of his ass and allow him to start enacting real programs to combat AIDS in South Africa. None of this "HIV doesn't cause AIDS, I know this because I read it on the InterWeb, therefore I'm canceling funding for programs to treat HIV+ women who are pregnant" bullshit.

All I can say is, thank god for the Reliable Source's online chat. Otherwise I'd have blown a gasket by now.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What have I done to deserve this?

(Hum the Pet Shop Boys song of that tune while reading this post.)

So I haven't been able to get into Hotmail for two business days now. It is making me frantic, knowing that PEOPLE are TALKING to me and I CAN'T RESPOND. (Shut up, I am too getting messages.) (No really, I am. I have friends! I swear! Besides my cat! Who can't type for shit anyways!) I've been reduced to sending out pathetic messages to friends that they will have to email me at work. Because clearly the planet will go off its axis should someone email me and not get a response within milliseconds. In the meantime, I've been checking Hotmail roughly every ten minutes or so and am trying hard not to think of all the emails building up in my in-box. They're probably all forlorn and wondering why I've forsaken them. Babies, hold on...Mama's coming!

This is all due to my stupid work server, which has been wonky for the past month. At the risk of sounding like a prima donna, I can't work under these conditions. Truly. Every time I come into work early to get caught up, the internet and/or email is down. I guess the moral of this story is, roll in around 10 or risk halting all work in the office. Right? Say right.

And to make matters worse, we can't access some other sites too. Granted, you may question the need to get on Nordstrom's site during the work day, but surely you can see that I need to get on Orbitz to make travel arrangements.

Because I am northern-bound. Next week, I will be going to the Big White Yonder; that is to say, I'm going to Alaska for work. I'm really excited about it, and not because I'm going to be surrounded by buff, burly men. Well, not only because of that. But I've never been, and I hear it's gorgeous. I'm hoping to take a helicopter ride over a famous glacier near where I'll be. If I can, I can check two things off the list of "Things I want to do before I die."

In the meantime, I guess I should do some prep work for my trip. They aren't paying me for my good looks alone (although that would be a bargain at twice the price. haw haw). And I still have to do some major edits to the Big Work Project that is now officially three weeks late. I sent a draft off to my boss yesterday, thinking that he would have some minor tweaks but I could still fix it and get it out of my hair ASAP. I got back his email today, which had a lot of helpful suggestions, but as for getting it done any time in the near future? Not so much.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Hi, my name is Her Ladyship, and I have a problem. After weeks of unsubtle hints, Santa brought me an iPod. A 20 GB iPod that I am now compelled to upload all my music onto. I can. NOT. STOP.

At first, I had to cool my heels and wait, since I got the iPod while in LA, and my computer was back in DC. But lemme tell you, once the wheels of my plane hit the ground at DCA, I was all over the job. I came into the office on the 30th, ostensibly to work but really to get the iPod up and running.

Then I came in on the 31st, even though our office was closed for the federal holiday (and lo, there was much whining on the part of our president about that. "Why is the 31st off? The holiday isn't until nighttime." Clearly, he has never held a party or done anything festive that would require preparation) and spent four hours converting my music over.

And then, even though I was paralyzed with a painful salt headache on the 2nd, I still came and spent another three hours putting music onto my iPod. All that work and I still only have about 300 songs on there. I need to get cracking.

This is fun, though, since I'm getting to play CDs I'd listened to years ago. I'm still trying to figure out how I want to handle CDs that people made for me. On one hand, it's a pain in the arse to have to type in the song name/album title manually. On the other hand, I have a lot of really cool mix CDs that I don't want to be lost to the ages. Also, I'm cheap and unwilling to cough up 99 cents for a song off of ITunes if I already have it. Dilemma. Oh well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Now, if you'll excuse me, Buddha Bar IV is calling my name.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Water chesnuts, red onions, and balsamic vinegar are not your friend

Not when combined in one big salad, that is. Good gravy that was a nasty combination. Didn't help that I accidentally coughed some dressing up my nose. Ouch. I blame the cafeteria next door for this turn of events. They revamped their salad bar and cut out some old stand-by ingredients. I've been trying to shake things up and use this opportunity to get out of my rut, but I forget I have terrible food preparation instincts. I wish I was one of those people who can blithely just toss things together to make an edible meal, but I clearly am not. My grad school roommates still tease me about my vinegar and oil pasta sauce, which, like communism, should have worked in theory but, also like communism, failed rather spectacularly.

And this has been a harried day thus far too. I spent all morning dealing with annoying personnel issues, having to have not one, not two, not three, but four blessed meetings to try and rectify a situation in a manner that would leave all parties satisfied (do I have work-speak down pat or what).

I've been trying to drown my sorrows in chocolate coins but people keep coming into my office right when I'm going to pop one in my mouth. I feel it's rather selfish to eat one in front of someone and not offer them one, but then again, HELL NO are people getting their hands on my rapidly-decreasing stash of coins. So I keep having to quickly palm one every time a shadow comes down the hallway. 2005 is off to a great start.