Archive for February, 2010

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and, like any good procrastinator, I’ve yet to decide what I’m giving up this year.

Last year I asked for your suggestions and finally settled on giving up swearing and M&Ms. And failed miserably on the swearing. Who knew I had such a potty mouth? (Don’t answer that.)

While talking to my mom about it yesterday, I mentioned trying to give up Diet Coke and she immediately looked worried. “But, won’t you get a headache without your caffeine in the morning? What will you have instead?” And it’s true. I don’t like coffee; I get bored with tea. Diet Coke is what gets me going. (In fact, I have one on my desk at the moment. So, I guess I won’t be giving that up…)

The problem is, along with anything I think of to give up (TV, Facebook, Diet Coke, etc.), I immediately think of the reasons why it’s just not possible (Lost, certain communications, withdrawal). Maybe I should just give up rationalizing for 40 days instead?

In any case, unless anyone has another inspired suggestion (which I’m completely open to), I think I’m going to try this whole (non) swearing thing again.

  1. At this point in my life, my vocabulary should be big enough to avoid curse words for at least 40 days.
  2. I really don’t like failing, and after my poor performance last year, I feel the need to redeem myself.

So here we go. Wish me luck.

(Oh, and of course I’ll be giving up the office M&Ms again this year. It’s kind of tradition now.)

Oh someecards...it's like you know me.

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So, as I’m sure you’re aware of by now, I’ve been a bad little blogger. I suppose you could say that I took snow days to mean no work and no blogging. But we’ll remedy that this week.

To get back into the swing of things, as much as I hate starting off the week with complaints, that’s what I have. Rather, it’s not so much of a complaint as it is a holy-shit-did-that-really-just-happen? kind of thing. This past Friday night I was fast asleep in my cozy bed, dreaming of…well, that’s not important. What is important is the waterfall-esque noise that woke me with a start at 3:00 in the morning.

To be honest, it took me several minutes to register where the noise was coming from. And then several more minutes to rouse myself enough to investigate. And what I found looked like this:

There is some sort of silt/sand/gross stuff leaking from my water heater. Awesome.

That’s right. A busted water heater in my closet.

It took me about another ten minutes to move all the crap that I store in that closet into the tub, to keep it from getting any wetter – or destroyed.

And then another ten minutes to find somebody who works in the building to help me. When I found him, he informed me that not only was the water heater flooding my apartment, but that it had spread the wealth by dripping into every apartment below mine, down to the first floor.

I live on the seventh.

Finally, the maintenance guy got up to my room to assess the situation and determined 1) that he’d need the wet vac, since the water had soaked the carpet, pooled in the closet, and was quickly spreading throughout the studio.

It might look like shadows, but it's not. Unfortunately.

And 2) that he’d be replacing that water heater the same night.

I determined that I wouldn’t be getting much more, if any, sleep that night.

Before he started with the wet vac or replacement

By the time he was done, it was about 5:30 in the morning. He left me with a new water heater (plus), but not before telling me that the carpet was soaked through so badly that it would have to be entirely replaced…but that it couldn’t be done until sometime the following week (huge HUGE minus). So, not only is my tub still full and my carpet still soaked, but, frankly, the apartment is starting to smell from all the dampness. Not good.

Thankfully, I’ve been able to stay with a friend my boyfriend while I await news of when this will all be taken care of. And, as much as I want it all fixed, I don’t relish the idea of having to box up all my things and move out my furniture while new carpet is laid down.

I know I just recently wrote about how I always try to look on the bright side, but I’m having a hard time here. Does anyone else see a silver lining?

Please. Enlighten me.

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Thanks to [enter clever name for this next DC snowstorm here], I will be leaving work around noon. I think that calls for a little happy dance.

(Start at the 18 second mark.)

What do you mean excessive celebration? It’s a snow (half) day!

And if we get as much as we’re supposed to, tomorrow’s snowball fight will be fantastic.

Hope you have as much fun frolicking as I intend to. Happy weekend!

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So, I’m just playing catch-up today after being out for jury duty, but, on the whole, the experience? Not so bad.

Think about it:

  • I got there at 10:30. I was out by 3:00.
  • I still had an hour lunch break.
  • I had my books with me, but they were showing movies in the lounge! I ended up watching most of We Are Marshall (I’m a sucker for sports movies based on true stories) and part of Secret Life of Bees.
  • And the biggest plus? I didn’t get picked! Never even called out of the jurors lounge. I don’t know what the selection process is, but I like to think that when people see my last name, they just skip over it because it looks too hard. I’m sure that’s the way the courthouse runs.

The only downside was that I didn’t bring my laptop. I mean, the BlackBerry was great, and I enjoyed We Are Marshall, but just think of how many Lost episodes I could have gotten through if left to my own devices!

Lesson learned.

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After tomorrow, I’ll be able to check something else off of my “things that make me a real adult” list. It’s the kind of list that includes things like doing my own taxes, handling my own health insurance, paying my bills, etc. Except, this time it’s something I’ve never done before.

Tomorrow I have my first ever Jury Duty.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever been summoned before. If I have, it would have been while I was a student in another state, so I never went. But now, I don’t really have an excuse. And, call me naive, but I don’t really want one. I’m actually kind of excited.

The Pros:

  • I don’t have to be at the courthouse until 10:30! I get to sleep in!
  • I still get paid, so it’s not like I’m losing out on a day’s worth of work.
  • It’ll be a change of scenery. Frankly, I’m tired of staring at excel spreadsheets day after day.
  • In the same change-of-scenery vein, I imagine that it’ll be excellent people-watching.

The Cons:

  • I could potentially get chosen, in which case, the novelty of jury duty will probably wear off.
  • I could get bored? I find this unlikely, especially if I bring a book (am I allowed to do that?), but I’ll throw it out there anyway.

But that’s about it. Logically, it seems as though the pros outweigh the cons. Then again, I’ve never done this before, so I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Enlighten me, please. Anyone who’s been summoned, either here in the District or anywhere, really, how was your jury duty experience? And what should I be expecting?

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I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been having hip pain while running. I’ve also briefly mentioned the miracle that is physical therapy – something that, in the beginning,  I honestly didn’t think would be worth my time. After a few sessions, I was able to run 4-5 miles on the treadmill, albeit slowly. Then, last week, my therapist gave me the go-ahead to get back into my regular routine.

Best news I’d heard all day.

However, my “regular routine” these past few weeks should have included weekend long runs of anywhere from 13-17 miles, as per my marathon training guide. And even I’m not foolish enough to jump right back into training that quickly.

So I did 10.

It wasn’t easy on the snow, and yes, my hip did act up at times, but I made it. And as I was finishing up with a few laps around the park near my apartment – exhausted, cold, and ready to be done – I saw these works of art:

These two remind me of Gumby for some reason.

Simple? Sure. But there’s something contagious about a smile, whether it’s real or not. And the fact that someone took the time to make a smiling grove of trees? Well, it made my last couple miles that much more enjoyable.

It’s all about the little things.

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