Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy FPF you Run-Mongers!

With basically only 9 days left before my 5K, I guess I better get at least one more C25K OMG SOS! update in here.  As is typical with this blog, nothing I've promised you has really been continued with any real consistency on here.  But in that way, I AM consistent!  Anyways, last night I finished Week 6, Day 2 of the Couch to 5K program.  There are some people out there who didn't think I'd made it this far.  There are some people who said, once he gets to week 4 he'll probably just quit.  The loudest of these voices was my own.  But here I am just 2 weeks away from finishing this program and I'm still alive.  More importantly, I'm actually able to complete these later week runs, which, at least on a treadmill, are going ok.  The real test will be once I'm back in CO and trying to breathe oxygen at high altitudes and with colored powder filling my lungs.  But in those moments of oxygen deprivation, fighting for my right to survive on this planet, I'll just think of myself as a pro-Ukranian Crimean police officer and find the adrenaline to go on.

I have a conference next week so it's unlikely that I'll post much after Monday.  And since the next time you'll really hear anything about my running will be after the 5K, I think it's only fitting to dedicate today's FPF to all the runners out there, who be runnin' for the sake of runnin', ya dig?

Anyways, I'm post-lunch tired, and just want to go to the hotel and watch HBO, so I'll just leave this post here with a Fist Pump Friday pic for the ages.

Happy Fist Pump Friday!

This was me when I first started my C25K:






Then I started running, and I realized that my body was about this old:





But then I started getting better...more in shape...and when I thought about running I got excited:





And although I know I feel like I just did this after a workout....





I'm well aware that this is what it'll look like to anybody watching:



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Buried Dog Food in Hopes of Growing a Dogwood Tree

Good morning friends!  Sorry for the delay in posting.  I was having some technical issues with my computer at work.  For some reason, they decided to restrict access to firefox and make IE our only browser.  Because working at the government is like using a rock tied to a stick to build a house.  If it doesn't seem to be working, just hit things with the rock harder.  But for just as arbitrary a reason as why they took away my access, the government giveth back, and here I sit, rejoicing over the fact that I can use a slightly less substandard internet browser to catablog my life's history.

Back in DC for another two week stint.  The temperatures dropped yesterday, as the storm that brought snow to Denver all dang day Sunday came as a tempest (read:  light drizzle all day) through DC yesterday, dropping temperatures in one day, from a high of 71, to freezing in a matter of hours.  Of course whenever I would hear that phrase, "the temperature is going to drop in a matter of hours" all I could think about was having to run from CGI wolves out of a battle ship back into a library where Emmy Rossum was falling in love with me.  PS - that's the plot of Day After Tomorrow.  Nerdy kid stages elaborate sit in during global warming disaster in hopes to get super hot chick who's clearly got something wrong with her because why else would she hang around all these nerds to fall in love with him.  Also it's something about the weather.  Dennis Quaid is in it, so it can't be that good.  When that guy smiles it looks like his leather face is going to rip apart.  Ok let me dial it back to the point.

Right, so the snow on Sunday.  Oh wait before I get to that, let me tell you about my first foray into landscaping my backyard.  I decided, after picking weeds all Friday (read: 20 minutes, but did nothing the rest of the day), that I would start some of my grand landscape plans.  The soil in my yard is basically sand, rocks, and nails, which I don't believe are natural to Colorado.  But suffice to say, it's not the best environment for planting.  Some soil improvement is desperately needed.  So in a 4x9 square foot area, I decided I would use god-like powers and infuse the soil with nutrients so that I can later plant some blueberry bushes.  So what went into this miracle elixer garden fixer?  Oh the usual stuff:  dog food, cat litter, horse feed and cardboard.  I'm not kidding!


After tilling the soil, putting down some cardboard to keep my neighbor's dogs from going out of control with all the dog food so close to their faces, and making it all pretty, it looked like this:


To get this dirt mixture to break down and make nutrient rich plant growing soil, it requires a lot of water.  This is a problem since I'm out of town for 2 weeks.  But I've devised a solution.  Remember that aforementioned winter storm on Sunday?


Unfortunately the storm didn't stop there....

 
You know, it's April and I'm pretty much over it being cold and snowy, but it sure is pretty to look at sometimes.


But that's all behind me, and now I'm back in DC.  I'm staying this week at the JW, which would be ballin' if not for it being spring break and the hotel running some kind of family special.  Must be the more kids you bring the cheaper the room, which is why the pool was stacked wall to wall with children and you can't get on an elevator without some screaming child with no parents on there demanding to know what floor they're on every time the door opens.  I imagine I was probably the same way as a kid...I mean...a fancy hotel is pretty much the coolest place a kid can go to right?  I guess it doesn't bother me that much.  But it's fun to bitch about.  Also, this is my view from my room:


So that's it.  More updates tomorrow, including a much needed C25K training update!  Oh PS!  In case you missed my FB album, here's some cherry blossum pictures from last week.  They were glorious.


 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

DC's Best Casino!

Earlier today, I watched an interview that somebody I started my job with back in 2000 aught 3 did with the boss of my whole job.  As I watched this candid conversation (read:  completely scripted), where she asked questions that everybody wanted to know (read:  were provided to her probably by the guy she was interviewing), about what was most important to the people that work here (read:  I assume because I fell asleep 3.4 seconds in to the interview), I once again found myself thinking, why do I work here?

So far on my rotation, I've done the work that I assumed was hard and taking the people up here weeks to do.....in 30 minutes.  So with nothing else assigned, the only real difference between what I do in Denver, and what I'm doing in DC, is that it's hard to play pet rescue and watch videos on youtube up here.  Oh well, at least I get per diem.  Plus my cell connection in the bathroom is better here....so you know....small victories.

Since coming here, I've developed, or rather, fed, my gambling habit by getting into the dirty business of scratch off lottery tickets.  So far, after having spent $8 for random convenience store scratch offs, I've won a grand total of $21, leaving me with a net profit of $13  (the math checks out.)  Some people might see that as a one off victory and take their profits and good memories of winning something when they hardly ever win anything.  This is a normal feeling, and a logical thing to do.  Which is why, of course, I have to be completely different, and have decided that the $13 I have left is basically venture capital money into a much larger scratch off ticket enterprise.  But like many successful businesses before me, I am not jumping right into the world of $3 and $5 tickets.  Too often does the greed of larger profits take control of many a business, and they concentrate all their funding into risky projects that fail.  In the scratch off world, all these potential tycoons are left with is the residue of whatever the crap scratch offs are made with under their finger nails.  No, I'll follow the GE model, and stick with a slow and steady growth of my empire, one $1 ticket at a time.

This weekend I'll return to Denver after 10 nights here in DC.  The weather is expected to be a fantastic 76 degrees Friday afternoon, and then it will quickly devolved into snow and rain and cold and jesus god when will this end?

I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and catching up on DVR.  The drawback to using DVR I found is that when you stay in a hotel you have no clue when anything is actually on TV.  So you end up watching the same episode of Game of Thrones all week long on HBO because that makes sense.

What else?  Tonight I'm going to try a South Indian restaurant here in DC, near Dupont Circle.  The reviews of this restaurant ranged from 3-5 stars from an Indian, or 1 star from several White folk.  I've decided that this means the restaurant is authentic and white people don't know jack about South Indian food.  My one claim to being Indian is the food, so don't tell me about your 1 star yelp rating.  I feel the genetic need to support this restaurant.  Unless there's a rat, then I'm going to go on Yelp and give this restaurant a 1 star review, that would go something like this:

"This restaurant is really good based on how long the food is taking to get here and the fact that the waiter talked to me in Hindi just because of the color of my skin.  When I ordered, I was so nervous about being a good Indian that I mispronounced the names of food that I actually DO know, which made me think that the waiter was super disappointed in me.  Several white people left the restaurant while I was sitting there, which made me think they were all racist.  Then I saw a rat, and realized that those weren't peppercorns on the appetizers.  I left calling out to the white people to wait for me, all the while realizing I was the one who was racist."

The best part will be that the end of the post where Yelp asks you if you thought that review was useful.  I should add that feature to this blog!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Answer to "Whatever Happened to Humanity?" is Answered By The End Of This Post

A typical working Friday for me is usually like untangling head phones.  It's a long, frustrating, arduous process that is inevitably destined to repeat itself regularly.  Usually though, I have some entertainment from the friends on the other end of the Windows Messenger line that keep me company until their East Coast time ends and they go home.  Then it's just two hours that I stare into the madness of eternal boredom.  This past Friday however, nobody was there.  I rang and rang, and nobody was on the other line of instant messages.  So there I sat, 8 straight hours....exceeding my daily internet usage and finding it lacking in substance.  I started to think about some odd things like, did Sam ever get bored between quantum leaps?  He always had a mission but I wonder what he did between plot points, and when Al wasn't there mysoginizing women, what the heck did he do to pass the time?  It's not like he could read blogs or reddit.  If it was me, I'd go place sports bets.  Back to the Future II taught us that it's a successful way to get rich quick.  Eventually he went back to his time and he was probably broke because he didn't have a real job and lost all his money powering a machine that ping ponged him through time (although it got weird in the Series Finale when you find out it's God quantum leaping people, which he learns when he's just sitting around in a Q.L. way station or something with other people energizing in and out.  That show got weird.....)

 - Anyways, between that and searching for pictures of myself on the internet (my regular and pretty much only security measure taken online) I some how managed to get through the day and start the weekend.  This weekend, I stayed out here in DC and visited with some friends who live nearby.  We did many things like, eat.  And then we ate more .  Then we went to a place to eat.  And then we went somewhere else and we ate food.  So...pretty much an ideal weekend if you ask me.  Highlights from the weekend include:

 - Started Week 5, Day 1 of C25K.  Found it's much MUCH easier to do with friends.  Also running in a new location always helps too.  Although I do miss my run near my neighborhood where I play mental Whack-A-Mole with all the prairie dogs lining the sidewalk.  It's not morbid....it's a carnival game!

 - Ate a 16 ounce prime rib, and was able to contain the rage that mass quantities of red meat instill in human beings.  I don't often eat beef, but when I do, I prefer mass quantities of prime rib.

 - Witnessed an apple tatin (pronounced Ta-TEEEEEEEN) being made in a rice cooker.  An entire new range of possibilities arose.  What's next??? A pie in a bread machine??  Hamburgers in a steamer basket?!  Who knows what we can do in this brave new world!!!

 - Walked around Bethesda Row, which is an area in Maryland with cool shops and restaurants.  I went into one shop which specializes in clothing made from Merino wool, a thin, warm fiber made from a specific kind of sheep.  Their "hottest" item (see what I did there?) is woolen underwear...which sounds....sweaty.

 - I saw Captain Avenger 2:  The Improved Plot.  Let me qualify my thoughts about this movie by saying that I don't go into super hero movies expecting a fantastic story line, Oscar Wildean dialogue, or even feasible action sequences.  I go to them to see super heroes do super hero stuff against super villains, who are being all super villiany.  If you want anything more than that in your movie, you probably should go see 12 Years a Slave or something, because you won't find it here.  That being said, this was one of the better plots in a Marvel movie.  It reminded me of an older political thriller time flick with unknown forces changing the history of America.  So that was kind of cool.  Plus I didn't know they did this in theatres now, but apparently we were sitting in the Director's Cut version, based on the two jokers sitting next to us in the row who talked through the entire movie.  No joke...from the moment they sat down, till probably well after I left, these fools were fact spewing every scene in the movie.  The worst moments came when the lady started squealing at one of the scenes....or maybe it was when the guy was getting a nerd boner at some of the characters that showed up.  Luckily, another good thing about super hero movies is that they lend themselves to long, loud destructive sequences that drown out even the douchiest of audience members.

Finally, I'd like to conclude today's blog with a story about my time up in Bethesda Row on Sunday.  Since I have no pics to upload, let me paint you a picture.  It's a cool, but sunny afternoon.  Highs in the upper 50s.  The air is clean and brisk as we walk from shop to shop.  I've just had a nice coffee with no less than 4 shots of espresso in it.  There are people milling about, either eating out on a patio at one of the many restaurants...or window shopping and thinking about buying woolen underwear.  As I turn a corner near the Barnes & Noble, I see a man playing an electric cello.  He was playing a U2 song earlier...now he's moved on some Taylor Swift.  This is well appreciated by the many children listening.  I step into the bookstore to use the restroom before we leave for the day.  It's getting late...and I'm getting tired.  After I come out of the restroom, I walk up to the first two employees I see, who are having what appears to be a pleasant conversation about who's coming in on the shift that evening.  I excuse myself for interrupting them, and then have the unique "pleasure" of telling them,

"I'm sorry if this ruins the rest of your afternoon, but somebody took a crap in one of the urinals...."

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Let Us Consider The Ramifications Of...

These were the words uttered by one of the strangest men I've ever known, who would walk violently into a room full of people, utter these words, and then follow them by a string of thoughts and gestures that mesmerized me until he trailed off into silence.....hands folded neatly in front of him.  Sometimes I played a game where I would try to throw him off by asking him a question before he could start on his ramble.  Something simple like, "Oh where did you get that tie?" or "What are your thoughts on lunch options today?"  This was of course only fun for me and those select few who knew I was playing this game.  But in honor of this 1970s burnout who has occupied my memories today, I will ask his eternal question on the many aspects of MY life right now.

Let us consider the ramifications of.....

The fact that I didn't get asked to come down for the group photo of the shlubs I'm working with in DC right now.  Not that I wanted to be in a group photo, but it's for an open house type thing they're having while I'm here, so you'd think they'd want me in the photo.  I'm almost certain The Director has no idea I'm still here.  I've been given very little to do, although it was urgent that I get here right away!  Maybe I won't even show up tomorrow.

Let us consider the ramifications of.....

The fact that one of the weirdest, worst people in this group gave me an assignment to "babysit" while she's out next week.  That's fine.  Work is work.  But when I sent her an email asking if she had a few minutes to discuss the assignment so that I would be prepared for a meeting about it next week.  Her response, some hours later, was "probably not."  What the hell?

Let us consider the ramifications of....

The fact that I'm working with a mentally challenged person....who has more responsibilities than I do right now.

Let us consider the ramifications of....

the fact that no matter how many times I say it, my name is NOT ANNNN space space Kit.  It's a shallow uh, followed by a kit where your tongue high fives the back of your teeth.  I swear it's not that hard and if you respect me at all you'd take 3 seconds to at least try it.

Let us consider the ramifications of....

me being in week 4 of my C25K training.  Yesterday I left the hotel and tried finding this alleged park a few blocks away.  I couldn't find an actual running trail there so I ended up running through a quiet residential area in Georgetown, which was unfortunately more hilly than I would have liked.  The pain and torture of running uphill was surpassed only by the knowledge that these "hills" were about a 6 degree incline.  But at least the tail end was all downhill and I was able to make up some running that I quit on in the earlier intervals of the run.  I'm pretty much on schedule going into Week 5, although I did skip a day this week.  I'm hoping that with the help of some company this weekend I'll be in good shape to do the first 20 minute run that will happen about this time next week.  OR DIE TRYING.

Finally, let us consider the ramifications of.....

After 3 months of this, there's a good chance these people will have broken me......a la Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

99% Of This Post Does Not Have To Do With Aging

Sorry for the delay on blog posts lately, but this week in DC has already been pretty crazy with projects, meetings, trying to find the bathroom....but it's 7:13 in the morning and since hardly anybody else is here yet, I'm going to try and pinch off a loaf of blogging today to give you your fix.  Because that's the kind of dealer I am....the kind that compares his blog to pooping...

 Anyways, before I get into my first impressions of the people I'm working with, I must tell you that over the weekend I was finally able to enjoy some warm air and t-shirt weather.  We spent a day out at the park, enjoying the company of both people and canine friends, drinking, and watching other people play volleyball and still being OK with the fact that we were not exercising.  Also I made this:


Also, it was nice to have a day at the park where the biggest complaint was that it was too hot.  It feels like years since it was hot in Denver.  Not that it's been all that unpleasant this winter mind you, but seriously, I needs me some t-shirt weather now.  Even this animal resorted to evolution to create this shelter for herself:






In addition to making me cook like crazy the last couple weeks, the pending, and now HAPPENING, trip to DC stirred my anxiousness to actually do something with my fenced in dirt by my house.  This area, most commonly referred to as a yard, is anything but in my house, where rain, snow and wind have carved it into a wasteland of weeds and six week old dog poop (Thanks Tuxxie!)  I finally decided what I'm going to do with that space but now will have to get it done during a 3 day period where I'm actually at home.  But I think I can get it done....I mean, all I have to do is draw, dig and lay a path of stepping stones, fill in dirt holes that were carved out by water, plant a few fruit bushes, put down mulch everywhere else, and lay a row of river rocks to cover the swale and I'm good to go!  Easy Peasy Lemon OVER AMBITIOUS.

But maybe I can get it done before this interesting maple tree growing in my yard has completely come alive again.





Anyways, so I'm in DC.  Weather is nice and cherry blossoms are on the cusp of blooming.  The CUSP I say!  I've seen friends here already that live here, and friends who are visiting here on classes (which I think will happen quite a bit during my 3 month stay!)  I've had some good food already here, and have continued my obsession with drinking Argentinian malbecs.  In fact my friend here told me yesterday she literally has CASES of it from her trip to Argentina last year.  So....yeah......

I suppose the only concern I do have up here...based on first impressions, is the fact that everybody I work with up here is dysfunctional, disorganized, and oh yeah, bat shit crazy.  We've always complained that people in DC don't communicate well.  Here are two prime examples of conversations I've witnessed.  I've changed the names to protect the....me.

Convo #1 - Discussion between Rude As Crap and Cannonball




Cannonball:  The Director is working from home today?
Rude As Crap:  Yes.
Cannonball:  So is Evil Bia
Rude As Crap:  Yes.
Cannonball:  Ok...that’s Evil Bia....not me. (they have the same Christian name....it would make more sense if I used them I guess...)
Rude As Crap:  ok?
Cannonball:  You said I was working from home.  I’m not...I’m right here
Rude As Crap:  No I was telling you that Evil Bia was working from home.
Cannonball:  Well you should just come tell me then....

Lost?  I was too.  Here's one where I was asking Rude As Crap about working a little late on Monday since I left Denver late...


Me:  How late can I stay here tonight?
Rude As Crap:  It’s a travel day!  you can leave whenever
Me:  Ok great...but I’m asking how long is the building open for.....so I can make up my time tonight
Rude As Crap:  It doesn’t matter! Whatever Only Normal Person says is fine...you can work whatever...take advantage today....because you’re never leaving again (whatever that means....)
Me:  *sigh* ok....I’m just asking....how late is the building open until tonight because I’d like to stay a bit later....
Rude As Crap:  It’s 24 hours!

Then Aspergers walks up and goes:

“Have you worked your 8 hours?”

This is going to be a LONG 3 months.
 
In conclusion, I found a gray hair on my eyebrow the other day, and I've finally conceded that I'm losing the war on aging.