Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Very DC Day

Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Things actually fell into place last week and I got to attend the White House meeting I was lamenting about.

It was in the beautiful old building pictured above, formerly known as OEOB (Old Executive Office Building) and now the EEOB. It's part of the White House complex and when the meeting started they did say "Welcome to the White House" so I guess it counts.

Indian Treaty Room. (thanks for the
photo Google!)
The building was seriously gorgeous - especially the room we met in, the Indian Treaty Room. Amazing tiled floors, gorgeous light fixtures and a really cool flower shaped skylight. According to the all knowing internet, it's the only room in the building with the original light fixtures.

As we were leaving I was taking note of the various offices we were walking by and when I noticed the White House Counsel's office I turned to my boss and said "Look, Oliver Babish's office!" Thankfully she's a West Wing aficionado as well so the comment was appreciated. :-)

After leaving the White House I hopped in a cab and headed up to Capitol Hill to attend two meetings with Congressmen.



By no means was that a normal day in my world, but I have to say, it was a pretty cool day to have.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Arts, Crafts and Birthday Fun

I had a belated birthday celebration with two of my favorite kiddos and their parents last weekend. It was great.

We had cupcakes. They were obviously very yummy!
Bug likes to get in on the present giving action, usually with some sort of craft project. Last year I got a paper plate/cardboard/construction paper dog sculpture that looked remarkably like a pig, but was most definitely a dog, so I was told. It still lives on my filing cabinet at work.

This year it was decided we'd work on the craft project together.

We made Pinterest-inspired melted crayon 'paintings' (minus the paint).

Before & after the magical hairdryer did it's job. 

All three finished products. The kiddos both had their initials, laid out by their mommy. Mine had an "obstacle S" designed by Bug. I do believe she meant abstract, which is absolutely what it is!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another Missed Oppotunity

As I think I've mentioned before, I work for an organization that does a fair amount of public policy work but about 90% of the time that has absolutely nothing to do with me and my job.

I can recall shortly after I started working there overhearing one of my colleagues on the phone, saying "I just got a call from the White House and they want to know..... "

My thought: I work in a place that gets calls from the White House!?!?!?!

Well, that wonder has not ceased to be present over the years and this week an email brought it on full force.

A few nights ago I was checking work email on my Blackberry and saw a new message that had just come in, the subject line I could see said "INVITE: White House Discussion on..."


Not only do I work at a place where people get calls from the White House, I've now become a person who gets invited to discussions at the White House!

The meeting is a forum/summit/bring a lot of people together to get them fired up about a topic kinda thing. And it's technically not even being held in the White House, it's in the Executive Office Building next door, but still. It was quite an exciting email to get, especially because it came right to me - not via my boss or our CEO or someone else.

Now for the bummer part - I can't go.

I know, right? So not cool.

But I'm already committed to participate in another work meeting that morning, one that is uber important and people are counting on me for. I've tried to find a sub for that but it doesn't look like it's going to work out.

Oh well. If I stick around DC long enough an opportunity like this is bound to come up again, right? Right??

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The one where I read too much

I manged to surprise myself tonight when I was updating my GoodReads list and realized that at 10 days in to July I've already finished seven books this month.

Wow, that's kinda a lot.

Granted, I'm into my summer fluff phase so that does help explain it, though two of the books were heavy memoirs. At the opposite end of the spectrum, one was the new Jodi Picoult book which she wrote with her teenage daughter and is technically a Young Adult book. But it was still like 300 pages, and, ya know, a book, so it counts.

I'm up to 63 books read so far this year, which means I'm averaging a book every three days. Or, 7 in 10 days if you just want to look at July.

Love'em or hate'em, I've got a compulsive desire to read lately. Sometimes I can't put the book down because I just want to know what happens next and I'm too absorbed in the people and the places and the story and other times I just won't put it down because even though I don't love it, I have to keep reading, I have to know how it ends.

I picked up five more books from the library tonight that were on reserve. Two of them are new releases which means I only have them for 2 weeks. The librarian warned me to 'keep and eye on those' and not forget their due date. I guess she thinks it will be hard for me to get through them in such a short time frame.

Little does she know I'll probably have them both finished by Friday.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Last weekend I completely missed the horrendous storm that hit the DC area. And, my apartment did too as I never lost power.

Tonight I guess the karma gods decided I had enough of the good and they needed to throw some trouble my way.

When I got home from work it seemed a little warmer than usual, but not horribly hot. I just figured the triple digit heat was too much for our A/C to handle effectively. I settled in to an exciting evening of reading/tv watching/internet surfing when around 7:45 my tv made a crackly, staticy noise and then the audio cut out. Cable still worked, channels still moved but no sound, at all. I turned it off and back on, I double checked the mute button and I turned the volume all the way up. I got a little static when I got to the max volume, but nothing else. I decided to turn it off for a bit and then try again. At 8:15 I tried again and... no luck.

Now, my dad has been eager to buy me a new tv for ages. Buying tvs is like a hobby for him. He loves to replace a perfectly good one with an even better one. In the past year he's upgraded at least 5 tvs. I kept telling him that mine tvs were fine and I didn't need a new one. But, that when one of them died, he'd be my first call. Coincidentally enough my parents had been asking what I wanted for my birthday and I had no suggestions to offer.

So I called them, while surfing the Best Buy site and broke the news. They were immediately on board with the plan, though I think my dad was a little disappointed he wasn't going to get the tv shopping experience this time. As he chatted about extended warranties and his favorite brand I located a 32' LCD on sale at Best Buy for a really good price, checked that they had it in stock, checked their hours and quickly realized I had to wrap up the call to go pick up my birthday present!

I left my apartment at 8:40 and was walking back in the door new tv (and new fan) in hand a few minutes after 9. My old tv was a huge, bulky monster. Both heavy and awkward. I brought one of my dining room chairs into my room, carefully maneuvered it forward and lifted it onto the chair to scoot out of the way. I'll deal with getting it out of my 2nd story apartment at some point in the future.

By 10 pm I had everything hooked up and in place and was watching tv. At 10:44, as I hung up from assuring my mother that I was home safe (because leaving the house at 8:30 is scandalous and something to be worried about. eye roll) and enjoying my new tv, the audio on the new tv cut out.

Um, what. the. hell.

Guess the problem wasn't the tv afterall. Again with the turning on and off, restarting the cable box, etc and nothing. Oh, well, nothing except the cable went out then too. And did I mention the internet has been spotty all night? And that as all of this was going on the temperature in my apartment was most definitely rising?

Not happy.

My roommate got home in the meantime and discovered that while it was set for cool and the fuses were fine the A/C unit was not running. GRRRR!

Luckily, during a similar outage many moons ago (long before I lived here) she invested in two window units for the bedrooms and deducted the cost from the rent. She rocks. I would have never had the balls to do that. Anyway, we dug them out of the storage closest, cut up the cardboard box from my new tv to cover the gaps they leave in the window frame and got them installed.

Between the necessary furniture moving, dusting, cutting, taping the whole process took about an hour. A hot, sweaty, gross hour.

But now, things are cooling off. My new fan is blowing cool air at me as opposed to the hot air I was getting earlier tonight and we'll be able to survive tomorrow's insane temperatures. I was brave and just tried the tv again and...cable and sound are back!

Despite the rocky evening it seems all signs point to my birthday being off to a good start!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Good Day!

I've been so grumpers lately I feel compelled to document a day that was filled with positives.

The work bestie took me out for a yummy birthday lunch which was the first win of the day. During lunch I caught a glimpse of a text from my mom. My dad has had some health challenges lately and he had a surprisingly good doctor's visit today. The news went from grim and no good at all to really positive. Really really positive. This was of course the highlight. 

But then, things continued on a high note! My replacement debit card and license arrived in only 3 business days, not the 5-15 respectively as predicted by by the various companies. Oh, why did I need a new license and debit card you ask? Cause when you accidentally throw your wallet in the trash at the beach you have to go through the big hassle of replacing it all. (sigh)

I also got my first birthday card of the year in the mail, complete with a Starbucks card. :-)

Then I capped things off with Skype with Wiggles who was sporting her very first pigtails and munching away on corn on the cob. Adorable!

So I'm focusing on the positive right now. No complaining about the fact that the forecast is calling for 106 degrees on said birthday. Or that I'm annoyed by people who try and impose their feelings on others.

Nope, no complaints here, just a happy girl who had a good day!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy, Busy... Not.

The past six weeks have been hectic.

The past week two weeks were insane.

We had my annual neighborhood music festival/music week, a great week of events that I happen to be the volunteer coordinator for. And when volunteers are in short supply, I filled in, going straight from work to the events several nights in a row. Then there was the festival.

Then it was the day after, when it hurt to move. My grand plan had been to get a mani/pedi that day but I hurt too much - especially my feet/ankle that I knew it would end up being more painful than pleasing so I skipped it.

Then I got up last Monday morning and went to work. And when I should have been heading home for the day I got on a plane. Then rented a car. Then drove to my work trip destination. Insert three days of meetings, schmoozing, meeting, meeting, sleep, repeat and then back to the airport to head home.

The airport we got to way early and ended up being in for waayyyy too long due to flight delays. I finally got home at 10:30 pm last Thursday night. And promptly left again at 9 am the next morning.

This time it was for a long weekend at the beach. I spent a bit of time with my parents, then my friends arrived for a fun filled weekend with their kiddos. We walked the boardwalk, played on the beach, in the ocean, in the pool and at the direction of a very imaginative almost four year old. (More on that weekend to come...).

I got home Sunday night around 8 and started back to work Monday morning, digging out from the travel, catching up on what I missed.

Today was a nice treat, a mid-week holiday and a day where I had no plans.

I slept in until 9:30. Read a book til 1. Ran a few quick errands and then returned home to clean my room (bye bye tote bags, suitcases and piles of books everywhere hello wood floors I can actually see!).

But then, the unthinkable happened.

By 7 pm I was bored. Completely, totally bored out of my mind. None of the books from my library stack seemed interesting. Facebook and twitter had nothing new to offer. It was my opponent's turn in WWF, Scramble and DrawSomething. I was so bored I ended up watching the Kardashians. (I know.)

So really, this doesn't bode well for the upcoming weekend. Saturday is my birthday and I've been relishing in the fact that I have no plans. It's been ideal that I could just take a break and enjoy some quiet time. Not drive for hours upon hours, get to do things on my schedule. 

But now, meh. 

I think I better come up with a plan.