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"Ok Nappien, do your stuff."

Sep. 22nd, 2016 | 11:12 pm

As long as I don't end up sleeping under my desk.

I've had just about enough of the madness that is Big Project plus trying to get the remainder of my work done, but the end of the tunnel is visible. Next week I'm there two days, then off to California for the Frances-Matt wedding! And I'm back from that next Saturday night, but I'm also taking the following Monday and Tuesday off for general recuperation and to do stuff around the house.

Then I'm also off October 14th, because I can, and I have reserved three days around B's birthday as days off if we decide to do something.

Bless this four weeks of annual vacation.

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Meting out justice is hard.

Sep. 17th, 2016 | 09:23 pm

At least the courthouse smells nice.

My tour of jury duty ended up being a bit rough. The jury service machine is well-oiled and the Superior Court staff were sufficiently able to keep the jury lounge of ~300 or so people summoned from becoming a melee, but it certainly was not just one day. I should have listed more reasons why I was biased/unfit to be a responsible citizen/a hologram. After checking in and receiving my nine-digit number on Monday morning, I sat around in the lounge with my laptop soaking up the wifi, until I was called into a courtroom after about two hours. And there (plus the adjacent jury deliberation room) I remained through the rest of Monday as I was chosen for a trial, as well as all day Tuesday and half of Wednesday. The rough part was that there was little indication how long it would go on, so I had to keep telling my Boss day by day of my status. I did miss a lot of meetings where I never wanted to be a participant in the first place, at least?

The courthouse building itself has been renovated and is spacious and lovely, which is a nice change of pace. I spent some of high school in a Teen Court* club, and my home courthouse was cramped and old and smelled like moldy paper. DC's was blasting the air conditioning way too high, though, so I specifically donned warm clothing and thick socks after the first day.

The only exception to the loveliness is the Firehook Bakery in the courthouse basement. It's the only eatery in this enormous building that must have 1,000+ people inside every weekday, and is the most depressing place I've seen in a while. Why go out and enjoy the many lunch options of downtown DC when you can stay in a windowless room and eat your pre-wrapped sandwich next to multiple people crying? Needless to say, I only went there once and didn't stick around after my purchase.

Anyhow, major kudos to the people that work in this building because I don't think I could handle keeping the wheels of justice turning every day.

In other news, I re-upped my paid account once again after skating by with the free account for a few months. All of my nutty icons are back!

*I don't know if this exists outside the States, but basically Teen Court allows young offenders to get minor offenses scrubbed from permanent records if they agree to be tried by their peers and successfully complete the community service or whatever other "sentence" results.

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If I ever do a Friday Five on time, will it lead to more comments?

Sep. 17th, 2016 | 02:16 pm

The LJ Zen Question of the Day.

1. What are five good health habits for one to have?
Exercise vigorously at least three times a week. Move more in general, especially by walking. Eat more vegetables. Drink more water (I'm at 72 ounces a day on weekdays; my Brita pitcher is very tired). Let go of stress whenever possible.

2. Name any four things that you want to do before you die?
Marry B. Live in a post-fossil fuel economy. My coastlines of Europe trip; see Item #3 in that entry. Buy my Dreamy House; Item #2 in the same entry.

3. Name three songs to which you know all the lyrics?
Maps by YYY. Mud by Peaches. If by Janet Jackson, which is really hard! I could name 3,000 more, probably.

4. What were you doing two hours ago?
Deleting multiple texts about traffic alerts. I know the damn H Street Festival is today and there's no streetcar service, DC! Give it a rest.

5. If you could smash and break one thing and one thing only, what would it be?
The Navient server where my student loan information is stored. I am ok with my other servicers, but these folks are evil hacks. The smashing is unlikely to happen. But that is ok, because I am two payments away from being done with them anyway!

With that out of the way, I am off to the gym!

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Committing to more frequent short entries.

Sep. 10th, 2016 | 10:52 pm

Because y'all LJers are providing inspiration on that front.

Blake's birthday dinner last night (at Duplex; where else do we ever go?) was fun. Tyler, Joe, Darryl, Mattie, Kenny, and me. We had a new server but Kelly also delivered us drinks to the table, so we ended up with two for many single orders. And my dinner was the steak salad; if they ever take that off the menu I will be the saddest. We finished out the night at DIK where I saw Scott as I often do there.

Today has been complete with self-indulgent laziness. Though we did spot clean the living room carpet and take care of the laundry! So I feel pretty good about that. More entries tomorrow?

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Go ask Alice how to cure back pain.

Sep. 5th, 2016 | 10:46 pm

She's got the good pills.

In the last two weeks, I'd been experiencing some intermittent lower back pain, but wasn't sure about the source. I admittedly have terrible posture while seated. An ergonomist would be horrified. But I couldn't pinpoint whether that was the cause, or sitting too much, or while working out, or a combination of these. Finally, on Saturday morning I was sick of not going out and running, especially with such excellent weather. So I ran six miles, and haven't felt any pain since. I suppose the winner is sloth? I'll try to keep up the habit this week while Boss Man is on vacation.

Not a super eventful long weekend otherwise. I met Tyler and Blake for brunch at Stoney's this afternoon, which was bananas busy. The bartender had a full house plus people calling in takeout orders for grilled cheese; I guess everyone in the city had a hangover? Anyhow, from there we walked over to Georgetown for some idle browsing. Tyler bought some shirts at Banana Republic but no one else got anything. Then, based on Snapchat clues, I found that Andrew was also shopping so we met up at L'Occitane en Provence. After yoinking some free samples we moved on to other stores, ending at CB2 and TJ Maxx where Andrew got various household decor. Then we walked it all the way back to Logan, so I definitely exceeded my step goal for the day.

Ready for the short work week!

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The inventors of the Internet were nuts.

Aug. 29th, 2016 | 11:56 pm

After all they allowed me to unleash my opinions on all of you.

Remember my pledge to resume blogging on my professional account? Well, it's not as rosy as I was originally hoping. I was trying to find new Wordpress bloggers in the planning world to follow for inspiration and content (and get some return clicks and follows, eventually) tonight. But yeesh, why is everyone with a blog so preachy? I'm sticking to travel bloggers and good old LJ for now.

Picking up from Friday's baseball madness, on Saturday I walked to the office to pick up my stuff then went for a haircut and to the liquor store. Then B and I took my liquor store proceeds to Cezanne, Nealon, and Mario's housewarming party. We spent some time on their roof deck, then went to DC9 to finish the day at Sheena's bar. A pretty good time! Also I got over 15,000 steps that day, so errands and random events day for the win.

Sunday was much less eventful, but I did fold and stow all the laundry that hadn't gotten done on Saturday. Then I decided to keep up the productivity streak and make breakfast. B taught me how to poach eggs, which is surprisingly easy and I need not have waited 32.5 years to learn that skill.

I can poach eggs! Let's not talk about the biscuits.

We finished out the day by watching the MTV Video Music Awards. There were some awkward lows and some excellent highs, which I suppose evens out. Beyonce's performance was unreal, and Rihanna and Britney Spears were perfectly serviceable. It seems to have become trendy for anyone over 20 to claim to be too old and un-trendy to know what is happening at the VMAs, but with the aid of Wikipedia I could follow along just fine.

There I go being part of Preachy Bloggerdom again.

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Where the one percenters watch baseball.

Aug. 28th, 2016 | 10:27 pm

Hint: it's not a picnic table in the parking lot.

On Friday I had the occasion to go to a Nats game, my first since May! There's only a month of baseball left, really, so it's a good idea to fit these in whenever possible. It turns out Blake is able to get insanely good tickets from a partner at his office, so we did that. Best seats I've ever had, by far.

This was about our 43rd attempt at a decent photo.

They were in The Diamond Club, and thus came with an unlimited buffet, beer, and wine, and there are people to fetch you the food if you don't want to go back indoors to get it yourself. And the seats are super padded! While I am traditionally of the mind that baseball is meant to be watched in a hard seat with a hot dog while sweating one's ass off, I was fine with an exception just this once. :)

We chatted a little bit with the partner and his wife as they were in the same row, but also did some of our own exploring and sharing bar tables indoors with random fans. As for food I had an Italian sausage, beet salad, roast vegetables, and a lovely slice of prime rib. Yeah, not quite the usual day at the ballpark. Also, it was a Bobblehead Giveaway Night, and we spanked the Rockies with very little effort needed. Great baseball night.

Hanging with Max Scherzer. They even got his eye colors right!

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"Ugh, the foul stench of youth."

Aug. 15th, 2016 | 11:32 pm

Not all weekends can be Nonstop Geriatric Fun.

Aside from having wine slushies, there was a fair amount packed into last weekend. I did a full (and somewhat miserable, the other guy in the studio room probably thought I was dying) shoulder workout Saturday morning, then returned home and had an amazing breakfast burrito, cleaned the kitchen, and napped. Having a twinge of lower back pain that I surely exaggerated plus B needing to fill in for someone's shift meant I was in bed early that evening. On Sunday I went back to the gym for a lower-impact workout, then was at Pret trying to stop sweating* when Blake texted asking about my location. I marched up to Duplex again to have brunch with he, Mattie, Joe, Peter, and Peter's current person interest, Trey. Not a bad time, and lovely pancakes! Most of us regrouped at JR's for a drink after that, though it wasn't super populated and the music kept skipping.

Another productive thing that came of my weekend: I revived my long-dormant planning blog! I reclaimed the URL and put in some recent content with photos. While I don't yet have any particularly deep or insightful recent posts, there are good starting points and I have more drafts in process. Having had something nutty like 13 blogs over my adult life, I'm not pressuring myself to make that one perfect. As long as it includes somewhat current content and it contributes to my professional presence**, I am satisfied.

*Literally. It was 99 degrees, and after cardio I conveniently continue sweating for a while.

**Though it feels a little artificial, this truly does help keep me in a secure place career-wise within DC's planning world.

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Breaking the ice with a Friday Five about food

Aug. 13th, 2016 | 06:27 pm

Food is the best.

I've been a terribly neglectful LJer of late! I feel sort of bad about it, so let's get back into the swing of things.

1. Do you like ketchup or tomatoes or both?
Both, though as a young kid I refused to eat ketchup. No idea why.

2. Do you like grape jelly/jam or purple grapes or both?
Both. Grape jelly on a hot Bojangles biscuit is amazing. But I also like grapes and when I (rarely) remember to buy them, it's excellent to freeze them and have as a snack.

3. Do you like cider or apples or both?
Both. And it's almost cider season (which is also college football season)!

4. Do you like cream or milk or both?
Both, though I have been having very little of either recently. At work (where I drink almost 100% of my coffee) we have those gross little shelf-stable half-and-half cups that come in a giant box of 800, and I am not organized enough to always have fresh cream there. So all summer I have been going to either Starbucks or Pret, both of whom have soy milk. And I eat my granola with nonfat yogurt.

5. Do you like zucchini bread or zucchini or both?
Both are good, though zucchini bread can be really dry. Fresh zucchini are amazing, because you can roast them or grill them or prepare them a whole bunch of ways that are all delicious.

On that note, there has been a lot of great cooking in our household recently.

Roasted vegetables with bigger eggplant slices, shrimp with cocktail sauce

And it is crazy hot this week, as is expected in DC in August. So last night while at Duplex, I finally tried frosé. I was skeptical this would be for me, but their version is strawberry-flavored and I loved it.

Yes, it is rosé from a slushie machine and it is glorious.

More updates are forthcoming, as I have no plans for the rest of this weekend other than a gym trip tomorrow morning.

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Everyone's visiting DC, and we are out of sidewalk space.

Jul. 16th, 2016 | 08:54 pm

Please float if possible.

Work finally slowed down to an extent on Friday, allowing me to actually eat lunch with Laura (other planner coworker) and Anna (the third of three new additions to the team) instead of frantically shoveling in food at my desk. We talked at length about DC neighborhoods and where we might move and summer vacation plans. Though there weren't any ridiculous late nights, for most of the week I was unexpectedly the most senior person in the office, so I had precious little time to complete my own mountain of tasks while solving other problems that came up. I can add the following to my accomplishments as a result: spoke on the phone with our access card vendor and can confirm they are terrible, invented a triage system for our backlogged subcontracts, mollified several Big Federal Agency staff, and vowed to talk about setting up actual delegation of authority next week.

Lunch was this green curry noodle bowl with chicken, corn, and squash. I know you were curious.

I also managed to pay my credit cards and reassess our household finances before I left. Sooooo close to paying off these buggers (as well as Navient, the student loan bugger extraordinaire).

After work it was disgustingly hot, and for the first time in at least two weeks I opted to take the Circulator. It took a maddeningly long time to arrive, making me wish I had taken the train or at least changed into shorts for the trip. But I made it to Kevin L.'s house as planned for some beers with Adam W., who is in town from Pretoria for a couple of weeks. We had some college nostalgia and met other folks gathered there, then I moved on to DC9 to meet Ian and company while he was in town from Atlanta. He was with B, Lajuan, and Jen and we caught up some at Sheena's bar. For some reason we also got into a playful argument about what fruit garnishes go with which drinks, and Ian insisted that vodka sodas come with limes. All service staff present vehemently disagreed, that lemon wedges were the correct answer but customers repeatedly demand otherwise.

And this is what losing an argument with a bartender looks like.

Then we walked Ian back down to his hotel, which had had no electricity since mid-afternoon. There was a random spotty Pepco outage yesterday, and it appeared that he would be in the clear because all the blocks leading up to the hotel had lights. But no such luck. So he crawled up to his sixth-floor room and we came home to look at the Emmy nominations (which please me greatly!).

Today we have been pretty lazy. I insisted on going running since I have a 5K next weekend. Despite the continued disgusting heat, I managed 4.25 miles by toting around extra water. That puts me over 20 miles for July, a monthly milestone I rarely reach! Now B has dinner about ready so I'm off. Happy weekend, LJ.

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