Thursday, February 28, 2008

So, I've been talking to Jesus lately...

You should, too! It's hilarious!

Go here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Monday

Last week was a busy week. Here's some of the stuff I did:

On Tuesday, Jake and I went to Iota Cafe near Clarendon and saw Brian Vander Ark (the lead singer from the Verve Pipe). The Iota was a cool venue to see music. We sat at the bar and were only a few feet away from the stage. There were probably only 30-40 people in the audience. I also really enjoyed the opening act, Kristy Kruger. She's playing every state in memory of her brother, who died in the war. She said Virginia was the 20th state she's played.

On Wednesday, I went for drinks after work...

On Thursday, the PTO had free food at the Patent Office after work, so I sat with Jake and some of his coworkers.

On Friday, Jake and I went out with some of my coworkers to Zaytinya in Chinatown and ate mezze. Afterward, Jake and I made our way over to Hamilton's to watch Badger hockey against Minnesota. Jon, Ellen, Michelle, and Lisha were there. I got a margarita that was pretty much entirely alcohol. I watched the bartender pour it and he only put in a splash of mix...

On Saturday, Jake and I had a treat and went to Elevation Burger in Falls Church. It was the first time either of us have had a beef burger in a while. Woo...grass-fed beef! I totally want to own a franchise. Anyone else in?

Then, Jake and I helped out at a neighborhood clean-up. We found a whole car door out in this wooded area. I don't know how it got out there. We both had achy muscles afterward from hauling trash around. It felt good though. I was glad we were able to prevent some waste from finding its way into the watershed.

On Sunday, we went to the Ethical Society and listened to a talk on atheism. The speaker summarized the books from the "Four Horsemen" pretty well. It was nice to hear a thought-provoking talk and people's reaction to it. At least it got me going enough to have something to talk to Jake about later on. While we were there, the people were friendly and went out of their way to inform us about the group. They had coffee and snacks afterward. Jake really wanted to get to some of the treats that were on the table, but there was a flock of kids milling around. It was an interesting experience, but I'm not entirely sure if I'll go again. It does require the work of going out to Vienna on Sunday mornings. Also, there really wasn't anyone our age there. I don't know...I guess I'm still working out where to find my niche and where I really want to invest my free time.

So, today is Monday. I think I'm going to aim to take it easy tonight and relax. I need to hide these girl scout cookies I bought from myself. I already ate too many... crap, I can't plow through these suckers too fast. Oh, but I think that I need to put on some pajama pants now...I think I need something with a stretchy waist to accommodate me and my cookie-eating ways...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Dinner

I've been wanting to do a weekly food blog, so here's my first attempt. I thought that I'd write about one meal I make a week. I think this will get more exciting as the spring and summer CSA season starts. Maybe I'll even get around to actually writing down those three recipes I want to write as part of my goals list.

So, my Sunday dinner was Persian Spinach and Black Eyed Peas. I got the recipe from Vegetarian Times. I've been wanting to make something with leeks, so this fit the bill. I also think it was the first time I've cooked black eyed peas. So, it was a little adventure. It wasn't bad, but I think I prefer dishes with some more spices in them.

Who Blogs?

I took Maria's suggestion to hit the "Next Blog" button and track whether the blog's author is male or female. I only did it twenty-five times, but here are my results:

Male bloggers: 8 (32%)
Female bloggers: 8 (32%)
Can't tell/ Multiple authors: 9 (36%)

I'm surprised at how many had multiple authors . Why am I not on a team blog? Who wants to start a team blog with me?

I know that I counted one blog that was a mother/daughter team as "female". I also questioned the gender of one or two, it says it's written by a woman, but could be written by a man posing as a woman.

Some blogs didn't seem very active (had only one post, for example), but I still counted them.

Also, I think more than half of my results came up in languages other than English. Which really shouldn't be surprising, since there are plenty of people out there who don't speak English as their native language. It just really highlighted to me how I think I really should know more about languages. Is it too late in my life to really pick up Spanish and be fluent?

So, those are the results of my study. Hope you all enjoy them! If anyone else feels like doing a replication of this, let me know how your findings come out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Why Blog?

Jake and I were having a conversation about writing the other day. I said I like to feel that I have the time to sit and write down my thoughts (which feels harder to do lately...). Personally, it allows me to organize my thoughts and helps me to remember things. Jake said that blogging a) makes him leery because he doesn't want all of his thoughts out there for anyone to see and b) is kind of a chore. I said, "But how about just writing your ideas on paper so only you can see it?" Jake was like, "That's girly!" However, it also came out that he thinks that blogging is more of a girl activity. I disagreed, but neither of us had any evidence to back up our opinion. Does any one know stats on this? Are there more female than male bloggers? Do women blog more often than men? How do other people perceive this- is blogging more of a woman thing?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Finding Meaning

I'm having trouble finding any real meaning in my job. I've asked a few times about the real purpose of what we do, and can't find a satisfactory explanation. Other people I work with feel the same way. I've been told that by others that they do the work because they are being paid and because they want resume fodder to eventually move on. I'm trying to find a way to reframe my job in my mind to make it seem more worthwhile, but it's difficult.

So, since I can't find any meaning in my job, I'm working to find a purpose in my life somewhere else.

I came across the website for a group called the Northern Virginia Ethical Society. It seems to be like a church that's not a church, you know? I'm partly just looking for like-minded people to interact with. A few weeks back, I went to a group for atheists. But, I don't know if that is entirely my thing or not. I'd rather have the focus be on what I can do to be a better person rather than just bitch about religious people the whole time (although that can create some funny moments...). I can't really find a purpose in the atheist group because all their activities revolve around promoting atheism and not a lot else, though. I guess I don't have much of an atheist agenda...although I don't believe in god, I wouldn't make atheism my "religion". Does that make sense?

There are a couple of people from atheist group that I've invited to check out the ethical society thing. So, yeah, I think I'll check it out next Sunday and see if it's my thing at all.

Oh, and I'm trying to get more on the ball with doing good things for the environment. Ever since I've started my job, I feel like a terrible person for the amount of waste I produce. I eat out more, which creates all sorts of packaging waste. I sometimes go to this salad bar place that gives you these huge styrofoam containers. Hell, I thought styrofoam went out in, like, 1987. I'm also always printing stuff at my job (most of which doesn't need to be printed, but I do it anyway because people ask me for hard copies of things...), which feels like a waste of paper. Next Saturday, I plan to do a neighborhood clean-up with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment. It won't make up for all my environmental evils as of late, but at least I'll be doing something. And, I'll get to cross something off of my list! (my list is my religion...just kidding...)

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I read today that 20% of Americans think that the sun revolves around the Earth. (A National Science Foundation study cited in Susan Jacoby's Outlook article in the Post today said so...)

Shit, we're all screwed.

Are things going to become like the movie "Idiocracy" in another couple of generations?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Potomac Primary Day is Tomorrow

I vote tomorrow morning. I'm actually surprised because a month ago, I thought that by the time Virginia's primary rolled around, the nominees would be decided.

I'm excited. I'm voting for Obama. I'm hopeful that something good is going to happen this fall...there seems to be lots of commotion around this primary (which I've been told is actually a bit unusual).

Regarding the nomination for the Democratic candidate, I don't understand why there is such a thing as "superdelegates". What's up with that? Can someone justify to me why we have them? I heard that superdelegates started up in the 80s, and the last time they made a difference was when Walter Mondale ran. I think I'm going to be pissed if they are the ones that decide this thing, because it isn't clear to me why they should be given so much weight. Shouldn't the voting public decide?

I wondered to myself who my parents might possibly vote for in this upcoming election, so I mentioned something about it on the phone to my mom this past weekend. I basically got from her, "I'm already sick of hearing about it. I don't care for any of them."

Yes, the times are changing. Yay.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Flu News

I'm really finding news about influenza interesting this year, for some reason.

Anyway, today I read in the paper about how scientists didn't do a good job of predicting the right strains that would wind up circulating in the population this year. Check it out here.

And, I learned that this week is when scientists meet up in Geneva to come up with the next flu season's vaccine. It seems really early to figure that out. I suppose that's why this season's vaccine didn't take into account this Brisbane mutation and some other stuff, though.

Is this even interesting to anyone else?

I work in Dilbert.

Communication at my job sucks a lot of the time.

Some examples:
My boss walked over to Sabrina's desk one day. He said to her, "Could you tell Candy to do..." She thought to herself, "Or, you could walk two steps in the opposite direction and tell her yourself..."

One day, there was a meeting scheduled in the conference room. Several of my coworkers were sitting in the room waiting for my boss to arrive before they started. As they were sitting there, he emailed them to say he wasn't going to be able to make it. Yup, not exactly the best way to communicate that information...

So, anyway, everyone else at my job had to go through a performance evaluation recently and provide feedback to our boss about how things are going (I didn't because I'm too new). They all told him that, basically, communication sucks. Soooo, my boss's "solution" to this was to have us all take this Meyers-Briggs type test and to schedule a brown bag lunch to discuss communication styles. (Take the test here! I came out as INTJ, the "Mastermind" or the "Logical Visionary"...) Our meeting on this test started off with my boss saying that he didn't think the test came up with the right type for him, so he told us what type he thought he was instead. He didn't prepare anything for us to discuss about the test. However, I did make copies of a handout on Meyers-Briggs, which everyone had and sat and stared at for a while. Another woman that I work with took the initiative to ask everyone what their profile was and write it on the whiteboard. Overall, the meeting was disorganized and nothing was really communicated too well. Cindy had the same profile as me and during the meeting she talked a lot about how it's important to have clear definitions of what it is we're doing and how it is important to touch base with each other on a regular basis. After she was done talking, my boss called on me to ask if I agreed with everything she said because, obviously, if we had the same profile, we're clones or something...

Ah, yes...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Delaware. I'm in Delaware.

Well, I'm in Wilmington, Delaware for work right now. I'm in my hotel room because there is nowhere I'd want to go around town. The town is frankly quite run-down. The only nice buildings I've seen are some of the skyscrapers owned by the credit card companies (lots locate here for DE's very tax-friendly environment, I guess), the courthouse, and this building on the riverfront that had a restaurant in it as well as a food market and some other shops.

Things I've learned about Delaware:
Their state bird is the blue hen. See the picture above.
Wilmington is said to be the first city in the country to install security cameras downtown in an attempt to curb crime.
Delaware actually did worse on their second CFSR (Child and Family Service Review- the way the Feds check up on how the state child welfare agency is performing) than on their first.

Uplifting, eh?

I watched five dependency court hearings today and I should see four more tomorrow. It's interesting to see the process and to see the families that come in for these things. I don't know if it gets quite as exciting as seeing a "Who's my baby's daddy?" episode on Jenny Jones, but it's pretty darn close. Definitely more excitement than going to the office.