Sooo tired! Busy weekends are fun though!

On Sunday, Jess and Tara and I went into DC. First we had the fun adventure of navigating the shuttles because metro was doing track maintenance on a big chunk of the line. The shuttle was supposed to take us to ballston, which has tons of ticket machines, but instead they took us to the stop after (virginia square, i think?) which had 3 ticket machines for the entire busload of people. Not cool. And then figuring out how much a ticket actually costs is always fun too!

But eventually we got on a train. We had a fun conductor who was warning people not to make him blind with their flash cameras and to not stick their crutches in front of the train.

Our first stop was the Botanic Garden. I had never seen it so full! I'm used to a fairly intimate experience because the place is normally so empty. But we were still able to enjoy it and see all the pretty flowers. I liked the super tiny flowers and the one that smelled like cinnamon chewing gum. Jess took over 100 pictures! Sooooo many flowers!

After that, we had lunch at the native american museum because fry bread. All the fry bread.

When lunch was over, we stopped at one of the hands-on exhibit tables to make hawaiian ti leaf bracelets. The lady at the table taught us how to twist the leaves into a cute little spiral. The leaves gushed water everywhere as you twisted them and made everything super sticky! But once the stickiness dried, the bracelet had a smooth, shiny hard coat to it. I think mine looks really nice. I'm going to wear it for as long as it lasts. Then it goes in the compost because the lady made us promise we would return it back to the earth once we were done with it.

From there we went to the natural history museum which was super packed. We bought tickets to the butterfly exhibit, but it wasn't as nice as it usually was. They didn't have any staff inside, so people were manhandling the poor butterflies. Poking them, picking them up, just generally abusing them. Finally a guy came in to bring people in line. The place cleared out pretty quickly after that, as tourists were annoyed they couldn't abuse the poor butterflies anymore. They really need to keep that room fully staffed on busy holidays. For the sake of the animals!

But other than that, the museum was good. We only looked at a few exhibits, but it was free so we can't complain. We saw rocks, mummies, dinosaurs, and human origins. It looks like they have started removing things from the dinosaur exhibit in preparation for the upcoming renovation. I look forward to that. The exhibit is really showing its age.

We were eventually kicked out of the museum for closing time, so we headed home. All went well until we had to catch the shuttle again. Despite waiting on the express line, a local bus pulled up to our stop. It was a looooong ride.

We picked up ben and had dinner at silver diner. Of course we managed to get the worst service the one night we have guests!

The next day, everyone slept late and then we had lunch at ghengis grill. They changed the set up so people can't pig out on all the meat now. They now have 3 bowl sizes and no unlimited option. Plus they have someone that handles the meat and sauces. I do like that the sauce person can keep people from double dipping their tasting spoons. I don't know how I feel about the other changes yet.

After that, jess and tara got on the road for their long drive home. I'm glad they were able to visit. It was a lot of fun. :)
On Tuesday I went into the city to see my friend Allicia, who is moving to Indonesia in about a week (and neglected to tell any of her friends).

Getting there was a challenge. I had decided to park at the bus station, which has free parking. Plus I'd get the bonus of the bus lanes which get to bypass rush hour traffic. But there wasn't a single spot left in the entire parking garage. Instead I had to drive out to the metro station and park there.

Of course my luck, the first 2 garages were full.But the 3rd one was still letting people in. I circled and circled the garage, quickly realizing this one was full too, and metro incompetence had struck again. In order to leave the garage, I would have had to pay the daily parking fee. Even though I didn't park! I refused to reward metro for their bad behavior so I circled around and around (for 20 minutes!) until someone left and I was able to take their spot. Madness.

Once I got on the train, it wasn't bad at all. No delays.

Allicia and I met up at a mexican place where we ate too many churros. It was fun and I'm sad she is leaving and didn't think to tell anyone. Hopefully it won't be forever!

After lunch, we walked back to the metro station. We took a slight detour to see the washpo peep dioramas.They were very cute.

The ride home was uneventful and there was minimal traffic. I was super tired though. I'm not used to getting out of the house!
Yesterday Ben and I went into DC to play ingress. There aren't a lot of portals around our house and they're all high level, so we have been having a hard time leveling up. We walked 8 miles yesterday grinding up to level 3.

First we hit Ford's Theater because there was a waffle shop nearby I wanted to go to. Unfortunately the place was packed. I was super hungry and Ben had to find me another place to eat nearby before I had a meltdown. We found a sushi place. Once I had food, I was in a much better mood.

After that, we claimed a portal at the National Portrait Gallery. It was in a very nice courtyard with magic flat fountains.

Then we got really serious and hit a ton of monuments on the National Mall. The Washington Monument, the WW2 Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial. We had hoped to hit the Korean Memorial and the Sculpture Garden too, but it was dark and late and we were very tired.

Today we both woke up so sore, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get out of bed! But it was a really good day and we made a lot of progress so it was worth it!
I suspect I work with Pinkie Pie. Last week, we had three parties in the office. Next week, there are 3 more. Parties are nice and all, but I have WORK to do!

Friday's party was a lunch paid for by one of our mail shops. Many of my coworkers got shockingly drunk. Very different from defenders.

At one point our table had laughed at something and the table next to us laughed a tiny bit louder at something else immediately after us. This caused extremely drunk coworker to announce, "We have to laugh louder! Ok, go! HAHAHAHA!" It was actually pretty funny and we did all laugh very loud (at her) and all the tables in the room looked at us.

Later during dessert, the restaurant had a mishap in the kitchen and knocked over all our table's churros. They came in to apologize and offered us any desserts off the menu. (I got cheesecake.) My supervisor was a little sad and mentioned she really did want churros (her sorrow may have been increased by the number of drinks she had had) so drunk coworker crawled across the floor, reached her hand up onto another table, and stole several churros off someone's plate. Then she ran back and threw them at my supervisor.

A couple minutes after that, the waiter brought out some churros that managed to survive the kitchen disaster. In addition, word got around that we didn't get any churros so all the other tables gave us plates of churros they couldn't finish. When it was all done, our table had a mountain of the things. We had the restaurant box them up and we sent them home with drunk coworker, who promised to find them a good home in her stomach.

I thought about going back to work after that, being sober and capable of getting stuff done, but my supervisor told me I was not allowed because it makes her look bad when her subordinates go back to work after big party days. Maybe she should give me less to do then?

I killed a small bit of time at the Downtown Holiday Fair before heading home. There were actually a lot of nice stuff there. Too bad I didn't have any more gifts to buy for anyone.

When I got home, I took a nap until the dogs annoyed me back into consciousness. I woke up to a bed completely covered in toys.

In the evening, I started playing a computer game ben bought me. It's a turn based strategy game, so it had the horrible ability to make time fly very fast. I went to bed far too late.

Today I want to go to the library to pick up a book and return my current one. I also want to stop by the post office and try to get a few boxes mailed out. And if I have time after that, I am going to attempt to make squash puree for horrible horrible squash soup.
A couple photos from the botanic garden:

Garden court

More below cut )

Plus bonus: Engineers inspecting the Washington Monument for earthquake damage

Engineers inspecting the Washington Monument for earthquake damage
I must have had earthquakes on the brain last night because I dreamed an aftershock. I woke up thinking the whole room had vibrated. In the morning, a quick search of usgs told me it was just my overactive imagination.

Which is just as well since one should only have to worry about one natural disaster at a time. Right now there's the hurricane to worry about.

Actually, I'm not that worried. I'm pretty far inland and on high ground. Plus it looks like the main body of the storm isn't going to approach anywhere near me. My biggest concern is loss of power. That would be super inconvenient.

Everyone else in the area is totally panicking though. Good luck finding bottled water in any store at this point. (Why do people buy bottled water anyway? What's wrong with a couple pitchers or tupperware of tap water set aside before the storm?) And everyone is driving like maniacs. At least half a dozen drivers tried to kill us today while we drove around.

And then there were the crazy people on the street. Were they let out in honor of the storm?
1. Wheelchair guy - Purposely rammed his wheelchair into people on the sidewalk. Tried to knock a man off his bike. Stole a man's cigarette.
2. Homeless guy - Sat on the corner throwing rotten food at people passing by. When he ran out of food, he started spitting on people.
3. Chest guy - The man sitting next to me on the bus was rubbing his chest in a bizarre manner for nearly the entire ride. When we finally approached our stop, he started humming and slapping his legs.

I feel like people totally lose their minds around here whenever a big storm is mentioned.

I hope at least the storm waits until the afternoon to start. Maggie has her last vaccinations tomorrow morning. I really don't want that appointment canceled.

So I had an exciting afternoon. We had an earthquake!

When it started, it felt like a big truck was driving by. A REALLY big truck. So everyone got up and started to look around. After a couple seconds, someone said, "Is this an earthquake?"

As if in response, the shaking got MUCH STRONGER. The floor was now visibly bouncing and the building was swaying a little.

As soon as that happened, the woman from california jumped up, ran to her door, and yelled, "I'm from California! Get under your desk or in a doorway!" So we did what she said because she knows more about earthquakes than any of us did.

The shaking stopped a little bit after that. I suspect the whole thing was only a few seconds but it felt much longer.

Once it was over, Jamie (vp of the organization) ran from floor to floor telling us all to evacuate. I didn't want to out of fear an aftershock would send the building tumbling into the street, but I didn't have a choice in the matter. Thankfully there were no aftershocks while we stood out there. Facilities staff inspected the whole building for any structural damage and then let us back inside.

After that, no work was done. How do you focus on work after an earthquake!? I ended up leaving early. Which was good because the metro was running at reduced speeds. The commute was surprisingly painless considering everything. Yes, it was slow, but for once metro did a really good job of responding to the situation and making sure there were enough trains out there.

The woman from CA said this was actually her scariest earthquake. She said the buildings in CA are designed to handle quakes so she never felt worried. Here, the buildings are big blocks of concrete. So she was genuinely scared it would collapse.

So yeah, that was my first earthquake. Hopefully my last. I had wanted to experience one so badly, but now that I have I don't want to ever do it ever again! There was definitely a moment where I thought if the shaking didn't stop soon, I might die.
Saturday was Maggie's 12 week trip to the vet. She didn't like the car ride. She kept trying to squeeze to the front seats, getting herself stuck between the chair and the door. Poor puppy. But she was super excited when she got to the vet. As soon as she saw the woman at the desk, she exploded with excitement. I can't believe Maggie was able to remember her after two weeks! She jumped out of my arms, ran across the desk, and leaped into the arms of the woman at the desk to furiously lick her face. It was unbelievable cute.

Once she calmed down a bit, we were taken to the examination room. Maggie gained about 2.5 lbs since last time. She's getting so big! And then she was given another booster shot. She didn't cry this time. She's such a good girl.

After that, Maggie was a little tired so I let her sleep in the front seat. I brought her inside and she slept the rest of the afternoon.

Sunday was the night we had ticked to see Wicked. It was an extremely good evening. I got dressed up and everything. We had no trouble finding parking at the metro and we only had to wait about 5-10 minutes for a train.

We had an early dinner at Tonic, which was very tasty. I had an heirloom tomato salad and stole some of ben's tater tots. The restaurant was also a short walk away from the shuttle to the theater, so it was really perfect.

The shuttle was waiting for us after we finished dinner. It was a nice short ride. Everyone else was also there for Wicked and were also very excited. We arrived at the Kennedy Center just as the doors were about to open. Very good timing.

I thought our seats were perfect until an extremely tall woman sat in front of me. Tall people should be forced to slouch in theaters.

The show itself was very good. The first act was fairly similar to the first half of the book. A few changes to simplify the plot. They made Elphaba a bit more innocent and Galinda a bit less intelligent. I thought the actress for Elphaba was very very good. She made my inner teenage nerd cry out for her. If I had seen this show in grade school, I would have OBSESSED over it. Galinda was the understudy. I thought she did a good job of being ditsy.

My only major complaint is that act 1 ended so epically that act 2 felt weak and lost. Defying Gravity was just incredibly emotionally climatic. How could anything compare with that?

Act 2 is nothing like the book at all. Nearly everything was changed. I'm ok with that though because it had a happy ending! I hated the sad ending in the book. I like believing that Elphaba lived happily ever after.

One other small thing I noticed and really liked was the glasses at the emerald city. Most people forget that in the original Wonderful Wizard of Oz, all visitors were required to wear sunglasses in the emerald city supposedly to protect their eyes from all the glitter and glimmer, but in actuality to make the city LOOK green. Since the wizard was a humbug, he couldn't actually build an emerald city. So when Elphaba had the glasses on and was saying how wonderful it was that no one was looking at her oddly, I had a little giggle to myself.

It really was a very good evening. Good company, good dinner, and a good show. I went to sleep very happy that evening.

Too bad it's Monday now. Work always gets in the way of my fun!
I decided earlier in the week that summer is far to short to waste in an office. So I took a half day on Friday to go out and enjoy my life. Unfortunately Friday was also one of the peak days for this heat wave we are going through.

So on friday I went to the National Archives to see their latest exhibit, What's Cooking, Uncle Sam? There was a terribly huge line to get into the building, but once I survived that I ran into very few people. I think everyone else was there to see the declaration of independence. (Which had a line longer than disney world.)

I was mostly interested in the victory garden part of the exhibit, but I learned a lot of other neat stuff. It was certainly a good way to spend the afternoon.
A few notable things from the exhibit )

Saturday was the hottest day of the heat wave. And of course, the day I'd get sick. Probably all those filthy tourists. Anyway, I spent the day relaxing and chilling. As did the dogs. Maggie spent most of the day sleeping in front of our bedroom ac vent.
Maggie's favorite spot on a hot day

In the evening when I was feeling better, ben and I watched Megamind together. It was surprisingly enjoyable.

Today I felt much better, so ben and I did a bit of shopping and then returned home to escape the heat. We have discovered that maggie enjoys water, so I have been spraying her down with the hose. Noname has made a point to stay far far away from the hose despite the heat.

And now, fresh Maggie pictures. Because she grows up so fast and won't be this tiny forever!
Puppy! )
Adventure! Of sorts...

I was bored at work and my lunch had been insufficient (most of the peanut butter had squeezed out from between the bread), so I took a walk down to the local park which is always lined with food trucks around lunch time. There was a popsicle truck! And it had a very short line. (The crab truck's line was insanely long.)

I bought myself a strawberry ginger lemonade popsicle. It was surprisingly tasty. And definitely refreshing.

As I started to walk back to the office, a group of interns from ABC stopped me and asked if they could interview me about the DC heat. They reassured me that it was highly unlikely that anything they filmed would be used on tv. So I agreed on the condition that it was a short interview because my popsicle was melting. I told them I liked the hot weather and that it was perfect for ice cream. My rapidly melting popsicle made a good prop.

Once they were satisfied, I returned to the office. It was good to get away and refresh my brain. It also killed about half an hour. Yay!
Yesterday I went to georgetown to get my second laser treatment on my bikini line. I was pleasantly surprised to learn it didn't hurt as much the second time. Probably because half the hairs were burned out the first time.

Then I met up for lunch with allicia. I don't think I've seen her since her wedding. That's a very long time! We met at a place called Leopold's Kafe. I got a $10 waffle. DC prices always shock me. At least it was a very good waffle, so I felt a little better. I also got elderberry soda. It wasn't bad, but I don't think I would get it again.

After lunch, we walked through georgetown and over a bridge and were suddenly in rosslyn! It was like magic! We hung out in front of the rosslyn metro station for a bit until her husband arrived to take her kayaking. I hope she had fun. It seemed like a good day for it.

I then headed to the airport to pick ben up! YAY! I was so happy to see him! I wanted to hug him forever, but first he needed food. He hadn't eaten all day! Crazy boy! And then once he had food, he fell asleep. :P No cuddle time for me.

Instead I did laundry and mopped the floors. Woooo. Exciting times.

This morning, I went to a different place to get my underarms lasered. I liked this place better. They put an ice pack on the area first to numb the pain away. And then gave me some lotion to reduce the redness.

When I got home, I played with my adorable little dog until ben was ready to go shopping. First we stopped at the comic book store. Then grabbed lunch. Then went to lowes for a whole bunch of things.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing yardwork. I cut down one of the trees growing around my mailbox. Who plants a tree next to a mailbox!? It already looks better. And there was a random azalea growing under the first tree. I was too tired to tackle the second tree.

Instead, I went out back and did some gardening. I bought some full grown tomato plants since it was clear it was too late to grow from seed. I also have some ordered. Today I bought a replacement for the roma and yellow cherry tomatoes. I also put tomato cages up around them. And I added some trellises for the zucchini to climb up.

I'm not sure what I will do for the rest of the evening. We ate a late lunch, so I probably will skip dinner. Maybe I'll just wash up and go to bed early.
Yesterday was Endangered Species Act Day. I spent the day at the US Botanic Garden, manning a table at their ESA Day event. They very generously gave us a free table. All we had to do was provide the educational materials. The two assistants were there with me. The naive one picked everything up really fast and wasn't much of a problem at all. The stupid one was....very slow. And tended to scare people off.

You know something is wrong when people REFUSE free stuff.

The event was packed in the morning. About five schools came cruising through. The high schoolers were all snobby teenagers who made a point of ignoring me and talking to their friends as I discussed endangered wildlife. They were blocking my table! Of course they all took free temporary tattoos as they left.

The ghetto school was awful. They tried to take everything we had. We were afraid we'd run out before noon. They took ALL our re-usable grocery bags. They took STACKS of our coloring book pages. After the first person took ALL our otter coloring pages, I had to stay alert and go, "Sorry, please only take one each. We need to share these with everyone." I got stink eye from the teachers for that. Sorry, but my job is not to subsidize the crumbling dc school systems. And then the kids kept running off with our display plush animals. I'd have to chase them down and go, "Sorry! That's for display only!" When the teachers gave me a hard time, I told them they could have the toys for $25 each. I got more stink eye for that, but I got my displays back.

By the afternoon, it slowed down significantly. Turns out I didn't need to worry about running out of materials. Most of the people who visited my table in the afternoon were foreign tourists (had some fun trying to remember my spanish and japanese) and other non-profits at the other tables.

Overall, the day was stressful and tiring, but it was really good to be out of the office. The US Botanic Garden is amazingly beautiful. I wish I had taken a picture of the Garden Court. It's the first room you enter. It totally made me gasp.

After the event ended, I spent some time walking around the garden, taking pictures. Of course my camera died about 15 minutes in. *Sigh* Guess I will need to go back. The place isn't very large though, only took me an hour to see everything, so I am sure next time I am in DC, I can set aside a little bit of time to take pictures of everything I missed.

Here are a few of the pictures I was able to capture.

Fountain with Flowers Fountain Flowers

More pictures )

There were a lot of other neat exhibits. My pictures cover maybe 25% at most. It was weird walking from the desert exhibit to the Hawaii exhibit. The desert was so hot, Hawaii felt positively chilly! And then I went into the primeval forest exhibit and was hot all over again.

The center of the large greenhouse was the jungle exhibit. It was pretty neat because you could also walk along the canopy. All the flowers were up at the top!

Then I went outside to the National Garden. They had a butterfly garden, but I guess it's not that time of year because it was mostly filled with bees. From there, the path went to the First Ladies Water Garden which was a fancy fountain. It was hot and I was tempted to splash in it, but there were people around who would have looked at me funny. After that was a long winding Regional Garden filled with plants that are native to the area. Some of them had signs indicating how native americans and early colonists used those plants. I thought that was neat.

The end of the path led to the Rose Garden, which is not what I imagined rose gardens to look like at all. I had in my head perfectly manicured rose bushes, without a single petal out of place. This garden allowed the roses to grow about as wild as the ones in front of my house. (I only trim them back when they start grabbing me along the walkway.) Not that there was anything wrong with that, but it was just very different from my expectations.

I liked how none of the roses looked like the sad, fragrance-less, tulip-like things that pass for roses at florists. And they all smelled quite nice. I did stop to smell the roses. And I managed to grab a picture with my phone. My phone seems to only be able to handle good photos in super bright light.

I decided to skip the final section, Bartholdi Park, because it looked like there was a lot of construction going on. I am uncomfortable around cranes and other large construction vehicles.

I still had time to kill before ben could leave work, so I decided to head over to a local yarn store and pick up some gifts for people. I walked all the way over only to discover they were closed! Their blog says they were closing early for their child's graduation. Pooo! Maybe next time I am in the area, I guess...

After that, I went home. While I was waiting at the bus stop for ben, the Witch of the Wasteland hobbled over, wheezing and coughing with every step. She made the most awful breathing sounds once she sat down in my bus shelter. And then SHE PULLED OUT A PACK OF CIGARETTES and started to chain smoke. I don't know what is going to kill her first - heart disease or lung cancer.

I abandoned the bus shelter at that point because I like oxygen. I was annoyed because the shelter had stickers all over the place saying, "no smoking!"

Ben showed up not too long after. I was starving and tired, so we decided to go out to eat for dinner instead of making something at home. We tried out a place called Thai Tada, which is like the sister restaurant of another thai place we like. Some of the chefs at the original place wanted to try out their own recipes, so they split up and formed the new restaurant. The food did taste very familiar, but presentation was far more modern.

I ended up going to bed very early when we finally got home. It was a long day!

We're supposed to go to ikea today and get a bed for the guest room, but ben is still sleeping so who knows now if that's going to happen. It's already after noon!
Yesterday was supposed to be my laser hair appointment. I was super nervous all morning about getting to georgetown safely. Then, while on the train, I got a call from the laser people saying my appointment was canceled!

At first I was extremely upset because I really hate when things don't go according to plan. But I was able to calm down after a bit. I then took a slight detour and spent the day at the zoo instead. Yay animals!

My first stop was the baby lions. They are so cute! They were running around playing and being adorable. I would have wanted to hug them if they didn't have the power to rip my head off.

After that, I leisurely toured the zoo. It was super crowded because of spring break, so I was only able to get into one of the animal houses. After the first one, the lines were too long to bother. But that was ok because I have been to the zoo before and knew what kind of stuff was inside each building. Plus, it's not like I paid to get in. Can't complain too much when the entertainment is free.

For the first time since I moved to the area, I saw the orangutans on their rope walk thing. That was pretty cool. For the longest time, I felt like the zoo lied about the apes actually using the rope bridge to get around.

I laughed while walking around because one kid at the zoo was totally stoked about the komodo dragon in the reptile house. He was like, "OH MY GOD! They have a DRAGON! A real, live DRAGON! Mom! We HAVE to SEE the DRAGON!" He was totally losing it over the dragon. I felt a little bad for him cause he was going to be really disappointed when he actually saw it.

I also laughed at the pandas cause one was sitting there WITH A BUCKET ON ITS HEAD. Pandas can be so awesomely ridiculous. I took lots of pictures. I hope I got at least one good one. Cause panda! With a bucket! On its head!

At the end of the day, I was tired and thirsty so I decided to buy a shaved ice. Unfortunately the one person selling them was a shaved ice artist. Every cup had to be perfect. From the shape of the ice to the way the colored syrup was poured. She would even dump it out and start over if she messed up. It took a very long time to get my snack...

I sat on a bench to enjoy my long waited shaved ice, when this weird little girl walked right into me. I wasn't even in the way. She totally went out of her way to stumbled into me. I gave her a look like, "What are you doing!?" and she SMILED back before wandering off again. So then I frantically went through all my bags to make sure she didn't steal anything. What a weirdo.

Getting home took significantly less time than expected, so I was stuck waiting at the bus stop for an hour until ben could get out of work. I did some reading, but was really sore from all the walking so it was hard to concentrate.

I ended up going to bed just after 8. I was really tired. But then I woke up again around 1:30! Awful! And couldn't fall back asleep again until 5, when ben got back from his midnight work shift and was able to cuddle me. I'm normally a good sleeper so this all left me very baffled. Especially after such an exhausting day!
Yesterday was the first day of my target benchmarking thing. Before I left for the day, I gave boss' assistant (what I thought were) very clear directions on what she needed to handle. I thought she understood.

Then I ran off to my thing. It went well. I learned a lot of stuff and networked hard.

Had a bit of culture shock when it came to food. I was told there would be a veggie option. They really did mean A veggie option. One sandwich. Good thing I was the only one that wanted it. Also, there was no salad. I was like, "no salad? what do the vegans eat?" But of course there were no vegans at this event. I really like salad though....

I felt a bit like the baby-eating atheist in the room. There were three catholic charities out of the seven groups there. The other groups were a veterans group, a wildlife group, an animal welfare group, and me (another wildlife group).

I personally found the catholic charity stuff a little creepy. All sorts of magic candles and other nonsense.

After the first day's session, we all went out to eat at a local restaurant called Founding Farmers which was all local and eco-friendly. I was surprised by the amount of bacon dishes they served. I had three cheese ravioli, which was pretty good. It was in a caramelized butter sauce so it was sweet. The sweetness went well with the cranberry cucumber cooler I got to drink. It was a bit more cucumber than I expected though.

I have to admit that the highlight of the dinner was the trip to the bathroom where I got to experience the dyson airblade. I have never seen an air hand dryer that actually works before. Normally I spend 10 minutes under the stupid thing trying to get my hands dry. This thing, it was one WOOOOSH and my hands were dry. Awesome!

I think everyone must have gone out to have fun that night, because the next day, the group was much more mellow. Maybe it was just morning, but no one really had the energy to talk. The whole thing ended at noon on the dot.

I returned to work to learn that my boss' assistant totally ignored all my careful instructions on what she needed to do while I was out. I ran around scrambling to repair disasters.

She neglected to send edits to sca for the really urgent package, so I rushed those edits to them.

She forgot to collect edits for a semi-urgent package, so I am not harassing people to get me their edits asap.

And she ended up collecting and send to sca edits for a non-urgent package, so I had to tell them to ignore everything she sent over because I was still cleaning everything up and had some questions about some of the changes she listed.

Now I am impatiently waiting for her to return to the office, because I learned she went on a half-day retreat with the database team today. Why did she agree to cover for me when she was going to be out half the day!? I need her in the office now so I can ask her why her edits say to change the premium on a package when it's not listed in the mailplan to have a different premium.

When she does eventually get here and answer my question, I am going home early. I have had enough of this day.
I finally got around to uploading some of the pictures from the American History Museum trip with ben's mom.

Kermit the Frog
They also had a proto-kermit puppet, which I didn't take a picture of because he looked kinda freaky. I prefer to think of kermit this way, in all his lovable green familiarity.

LJ cut! Saving your finger from having to scroll by all my pictures! )
My commute took two and a half hours this morning. (Normal commuting time is one and a half.) First there was heavy traffic on the way to the station. Even the special bus lane was totally backed up.

I thought I was really lucky when I got to the metro station because there was a train WITH SEATS pulling up just as I got to the platform. I got comfortable and then...the message... "Attention passengers. We have been directed to hold here. There is a fire at metro center."

*sigh* At least I had a seat...

We slowly slowly made our way into dc, holding at each stop for easily 15-20 minutes. I'm so glad for video games.

At one of the stations, a woman fell off the platform! I didn't see it happen, but the guy looking in that direction said she looked wobbly and then fell right over. People jumped down onto the tracks to lift her back up. It was good that all the trains were stopped or that could have been very tragic. And then, a bunch of people tried to call 911, but that station didn't have phone service! I think she had a seizure or something similar. Eventually she got up and was ok.

Eventually I got to work. And got charged peak of the peak fare for that lovely service! Metro makes me crazy.
The tour of the White House was pretty neat!

We got there a bit before 5 and they let us in early. White House security was real security, unlike airline security. After an ID check and a walk through a metal detector, we were good to go. No groping or naked scanners or even taking off our shoes or coats. And the guards were all so nice! Ben lost his ring and they dropped everything to help him look. TSA could learn a few things from White House security.

Anyway, the tour! It was a self guided tour so we were allowed to take our time looking through the rooms and taking pictures. So I took plenty. Below are some of my favorites.

Many many pictures )

White House

After the tour, ben and I went to a brazilian bbq place where they served copious amounts of meat. On swords. It was a bit awesome in a horrible "how many animals did they kill for all this?" kind of way.

Meat on a Sword

I couldn't get a very good picture of it, but basically men walk around with meat on swords. And interrupt you every 5 minutes to ask you if you'd like some. If you say yes, they use the sharpest knives I've ever seen to carve a piece. The knives went through the meat like soft butter. It was amazing.

I opted out of the meat. They had a well stocked salad bar that kept me well fed. Plus they brought out side dishes like potatoes and plantains and rolls filled with cheese. And then I had molten chocolate cake, which was probably too much food but it was really good.

So it was a pretty good evening. Almost makes up for my terrible interview. And now it's the weekend! Yay!
I got tickets to the White House Holiday Tour! :D

The East Wing is supposed to be all fancy and decorated for the holidays. I can bring a camera (and practically nothing else), so I'll take lots and lots of pictures!

They didn't give me much warning though. The tour is this Friday. I had to scramble to cancel plans I already had. And ben had to arrange to leave work early. The White House tour people should realize that busy people need more warning than that! Especially since I had to give them something like a month's warning ahead of time so they could look up my SS# and stuff.

But tour! Yay!
Yesterday was the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. Based on my experiences, I'd say neither side won, as it was totally insane but not scary at all.

Read more... )
There is a campaign to get colbert to host a rally in DC. I think that would be awesome.

I think I am going to send him a plush bald eagle. (Right now I am very happy to have an employee discount.) I know that other people are sending geese, but why would colbert want a sign from canadian jesus? Everyone knows that american jesus sends signs to believers via bald eagle.

I will include the following note:



January 2015

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