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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Done!

I've been working on this huge project for work. Huge! It was supposed to be done about a week and a half ago, but the more realistic deadline was last Wednesday. And I just couldn't finish it. I kept getting interrupted. And then I started obsessing over getting it perfect, which was ridiculously unproductive.

I lay in bed at night fretting over the fact that the report was overdue and worrying that I wasn’t doing it right. I wrote and rewrote sections and rearranged the order of the copy way too many times. I got behind on other projects and emails and phone calls to friends. And I wasn’t getting any closer to being done.

So yesterday I issued myself an ultimatum: Finish the report and get it in today...no matter what. And I did it! I had to stay at work until 8:45, and I'll probably have to do a second draft, but it is finished. And I am so happy I could do an "I'm done" can-can.

Now on to the 21 other items on my priorities list for this week...but not until tomorrow. :)

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Monday, November 29, 2004

Not so fast...

So, on Thursday, I declared my Thanksgiving to be "better than I thought it would be." That was a little optimistic, considering I still had two Thanksgivings to go. On Friday we had a disastrous lunch with my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my nephew and my sister-in-law's husband (who shall henceforth be known as President and CEO of The Jerk Store, Inc.) They were 25 minutes late and it all went downhill from there, ending in a fight about some random topic and with my pregnant sister in law in tears.

On to dinner with my dad. He was late, too, and the dinner was just awkward. If I hadn't tried to make conversation, I think the four of us would have just sat there in silence the whole time. Oh, except for the creepy part where my dad talked about how he knows where my mom lives even though he isn't supposed to and tried to get me and my brother to confirm her address. Fun. And then John and I took my brother home and went in to hang out with my mom, who had pretty much insisted that we come by, even though we saw her for hours on Thursday. And John didn't want to be there, and he embarrassed me by showing my mom that he didn't want to be there, so we had a huge screaming fight on the way home. When we arrived at home, I classily called John an asshole at the top of my lungs for all the neighborhood to hear and tried to storm off all dramatic-like to walk the dog. Except that I was still wearing the shoes I had worn to dinner (not suited to dog walking) and Seamus was unnerved by the yelling and pulled really hard, so I fell flat on my face in the street instead. I scraped my knee and my palm, twisted my ankle and bruised my hip. It was a sucky cap to a crappy day. John and I rarely fight, so when we do, it makes us both miserable. Finally at about 2 am we made up and all was right with the world again.

I spent Saturday afternoon in Georgetown shopping with my friend Laila. It is so awesome to have her back in DC and to get to see her on a weekly basis. And Sunday was laze around the house and do laundry day, so I did get some "recover from the family" time in. Even so, I was exhausted today and couldn't focus or get anything done at work today. Thank goodness Christmas is a month away.

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Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

I considered going for the ironic, hipster William S. Burroughs-type post “Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.” Because, as you all know, I’ve got some problems with the way this country is going.

I considered putting together a list of all the reasons I have to be thankful…and there are many.

I considered a list of facts from my day: number of delicious apple pies made by me (1)… number of disputes with my mom about my vegetarianism (1, but minor)…amount of stuffing consumed by me (truly massive)…my dislike for my sister-in-law’s husband (growing)…my enjoyment of my adorable nephew (also growing)…number of ignorant and racist comments uttered by southern Maryland step-relatives (0! For once!)…and so on.

I considered a straightforward summary of my day –- lots of family, lots of driving, but in the end, actually better than I thought it would be. Although, we’re only done with half of the family at this point. We’ve still got John’s mom and my dad to deal with tomorrow, and my dad is quite the wild card.

But in the end, I decided just to say:

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope your day was filled with the people you love and good food just like mine.

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Monday, November 22, 2004

Random Monday Thoughts

I'm tired. Too tired to be clever really. So instead, I've got a random collection of ideas for your enjoyment.

• It's really bothering me that I can't remember the name of this kid I was friends with in college. He was really sweet, and had dreadlocks and worked in the library at MassArt. He would let me check books out for my art history papers when I waited until the last minute and all of the books I needed had been checked out of the Wellesley art library. And I always waited until the last minute. I was thinking his name was Bobby, but then I remembered that was a different guy. Also nice and also with dreadlocks, but he wasn't an art student. He was in a band called Seven League Boots, and was originally from DC like me. In DC he was in a band called Soulside. Or maybe it was Kingface. He was in one and his brother, whose name I have also forgotten, was in the other. Anyway, not-Bobby's nickname was something like Drake. But that's not quite it.

• Other nicknames that I can remember from that era are: Goose, Annubay, Moon, Topher, Ram, Teeth and Buzz. If you'd like to play match the nickname, their real names were Alan, Sebastian, Lucy, Keith, Ann, Ramadan and Christopher. I also had many friends with normal names, if you're wondering.

• Finding Neverland is a really good movie. I highly recommend it. Johnny Depp is amazing as J. M. Barrie, and the kid who plays Peter is wonderful. I must warn you though, I sobbed and sobbed at the end of this movie. 'Course, I am a well-known cry-baby.

• I think people should give Van Morrison more credit as a musician. You don't hear that much about him, but he has many fine songs. Including Tupelo Honey, which I particularly enjoy.

• Also underrated? The Rolling Stones song Moonlight Mile.

And with that, I think it is time for bed.

P.S. the nickname match up answers: Goose/Lucy, Annubay/Ann, Moon/Sebastian, Topher/Christopher (that one is actually a guess), Ram/Ramadan, Teeth/Keith and Buzz/Alan.

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Thursday, November 18, 2004

Memo to my body

Listen, body. We need to talk.

There is a 59 year old woman in Georgia who is pregnant with twins. A 59 year old woman who had her tubes tied 33 years ago. Is pregnant. And not after lots of fuss and expensive fertility treatments either. Do you know what her body did? Well, first it staved off menopause. Then her fallopian tubes actually grew back. Grew back! And then, well...sex...and poof! twins.

Now, let's take a look at your behavior, shall we?

I'm healthy. Only 33 years old. Well nourished. I've certainly had plenty of sex. I've been doing all sorts of temperature taking and charting and I've spent a fortune on ovulation predictor kits. I think I've done my part here. And yet, I am not pregnant.

It seems to me that you're not really trying very hard. So here's the deal: You've got about 15 days. I want you to use that time to think about your participation in this project so far, and come back ready to take care of business.

Got it? Good.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My own personal soundtrack

Last night I stopped to get groceries on the way home. I have new love, by the way. Apple Pecan pound cake. Curse you Whole Foods and your clever marketing ploy of putting out samples of your baked goods. This time, you got me with the pound cake and Tuscan bread.

Anyway, as I was leaving there was a man in the parking lot in a big old Cadillac, playing Over the Rainbow on some sort of horn. The notes soared out over the parking lot, lifting my mood and transforming my mundane loading of groceries into the car into a perfect moment. I've decided I'd like to have live musicians follow me around playing music where ever I go. It would be like my own personal life soundtrack.

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Monday, November 15, 2004

Uh-oh

When I was young and impressionable, I read this Stephen King short story where a guy drinks a beer that had gone bad and turns into a dead-cat-eating monster. It totally freaked me out and only exacerbated (damn, that's a hard word to spell) my existing picky girl tendency to worry about whether or not food had spoiled. Milk? I absolutely cannot keep it past the expiration date. Leftovers? They can stay in the fridge for three or four days max.

And now, I just realized my Sprite has an expiration date of 10/25/04. I already drank half of it! Am I doomed to get some horrible expired Sprite sickness?

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

I am a suburban cliché

Tonight I went to Best Buy to buy a new keyboard. Unfortunately for me, Best Buy decided that the only keyboards they were going to have in stock were the wireless ones that cost something like $62 to $79. I was not interested in paying that much for a keyboard, so Best Buy and I had a little parting of the ways.

There is an Office Depot in the same complex. I walked over there and quickly found a decent keyboard (don’t it type nice?) that wasn’t insanely expensive. And then realized I was feeling virtuous for walking the two minutes across the parking lot instead of driving, and I just had to laugh. Only a totally spoiled suburban brat like me would congratulate themselves for not driving across a parking lot.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Big new office

I just moved into a great new office at work. It is close to twice the size of my old office, and has three (three!) windows. My old office only had two, and a big ol’ pillar in the middle. I don’t know how I got so lucky. So anyway, I’ve been busy with packing and unpacking, missing bookcases and floor plans the movers didn’t bother to follow and an inability to connect to the network. I seem to have some sort of network-connection-destroying magnetic field, as I go through network cards and cables with an alarming frequency. I’m starting to get a rep with IT.

But I’m all settled in now, and super-organized since my new, bigger office came with a new, bigger filing cabinet. And I managed to swipe a new guest chair to replace my old, mismatched, broken wheel guest chair with a matching, fully-operational chair.

Yep, "appropriating" office furniture abandoned in the move is what I do for kicks these days. Can you stand the excitement that is my life?

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Monday, November 08, 2004

Perception vs. reality

In my head, I am the worst housekeeper ever, a horrible wife, practically even a bad person because it has been so long since I vacuumed the apartment.

When I pull out the vacuum cleaner, John says to me “Are you going to vacuum again? Already?!”

Perhaps I’ve been a little too hard on myself.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Stranger in a strange land

Well, suddenly I feel like I don’t belong in my own country. 58 million Americans looked at George W. Bush and the Republicans and said, “Yes, I’m happy with the state of this country. I want to continue going down this path. Here, have some more power.” I’ve been reading all day that people knew in their hearts that Kerry would lose. Or that another four years won’t be that bad. Well, I was dumb enough to think Kerry would win. And I am afraid for the future of this country. And even more bothered by the fact that so many of my fellow Americans think we’re going in the right direction.

Apparently, people voted for George W. Bush because they are concerned about terrorism and morality. Yes, George W. Bush will keep us safe from terrorists. Because…um, who was president on 9/11? Oh right, George W. Bush. But he caught Osama bin Laden, so we’re safe. Oh, wait. No, he didn’t. But we are safe because he invaded Iraq and captured Saddam Hussein. Except that Saddam Hussein didn’t have anything to do with 9/11. Nor did he have any weapons of mass destruction to attack us with. But you know who does want to attack us now? All of the people al Queda was able to recruit after our “pre-emptive” war in Iraq. As far as I can tell, George W. Bush doesn’t have a plan to stop them. He’s too busy getting John Ashcroft to look at which library books I’ve checked out recently.

And then morality. You’d think the good people of this country would be concerned about the fact that the economy sucks. The job losses. How difficult and expensive it is to get insurance. The environment and global warming. Skyrocketing energy costs. The vast deficit we now have as a direct result of George W. Bush’s policies. Or perhaps their immoral government which went to war on false pretenses and got thousands of soldiers wounded or killed. And then gave no-bid sweetheart deals to their own cronies.

But no, what they apparently chose to focus on is gay marriage. 11 states were so worried about gay marriage that they passed “defense of marriage” referendums. I really, really want to know how the average straight person in, let’s say Kansas, or Oklahoma, how they are affected, threatened or harmed in any way by gay marriage. Seriously, I want to know. Even if you think homosexuality is wrong, how does it hurt you or make your own marriage any less valid? Why is that your issue, and not something that directly affects you like losing your job, not having access to healthcare, or the fact that your President and the people in his administration lied to you, over and over?

So now it begins. George W. Bush acted like he had a mandate when all he had was a stolen election. Now that he’s actually won the popular vote I shudder to think what lies ahead. The Ten Commandments in every courthouse? School prayer? The end of Roe V. Wade? An endless stream of pre-emptive wars? The return of the draft? An ever-widening gap between rich and poor, I’m sure. Continued efforts to undercut all environmental protections. So long, ANWR. Hello, drilling and clear cutting and arsenic in our water and polluted air to breathe.

God, I’m depressed. Am going to go eat vast quantities of cheese fries and watch Lost.

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Monday, November 01, 2004

Vote Kerry. Here's Why.

Many other people have said it way more eloquently than I have, and I'm damn tired tonight. But here goes.

I'm voting for John Kerry tomorrow. I think you should too.

He won't be able to solve all of this country's problems, but I don't think anyone can. I do think he will do a better job than George W. Bush.

Just take a minute to look at the state of our country today. George Bush's reckless economic policies have left the economy in shambles. His administration has systematically undermined environmental protections, chipped away at civil liberties, and consistently favored big business over the needs of US citizens. His No Child Left Beind Act actually leaves the poorest children more vulnerable to being left behind. The rich get enormous tax cuts while the poor and middle classes get $300 and see their social and community services steadily eroded. American healthcare is a joke, and the Medicare reform bill Bush passed was not what they promised it would be.

But the worst offense of all is the Iraq war. Bush lied to get the American people to go along with his war. The people in his administration lied. They continue to lie. All of their evidence for going to war was FALSE. Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. He did not have anything to do with 9/11. And as of today, 1,120 soldiers have died because of those lies. Lies that Bush told. Lies that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, and Rice told. The troops in Iraq are not properly equipped, lacking such basics as bullets, body armor, and properly armored transportation, putting their lives at even greater risk. And the ones who come home injured face a VA that is totally unprepared to help them. That is the biggest disgrace -- to send soldiers off to war and then cut the funding for their healthcare and disability benefits.

I want a leader who will do better than that -- for me and for my country. And I think John Kerry is that man.

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