Work is kicking my ass. It’s been nonstop since we got home from our vacation. There’s nothing that’s worse than coming home from a nice relaxing vacation to a hectic workplace. It’s only for a week, though. We’ve got another, and our last, meeting at SSA next Tuesday.

Plus it’s review season. Yeah, my self-evaluation was due today. It’s not done. It will be soon enough.

I need a nap before I go to bed.

down time

This article is right on the money.

Be it at a desk at the Treasury Department, a spot on the factory floor, or a drab blue cubicle, boredom is a condition that can be more stressful and damaging than overwork, according to those who have studied the issue.

"We know that 55 percent of all U.S. employees are not engaged at work. They are basically in a holding pattern. They feel like their capabilities aren’t being tapped into and utilized and therefore, they really don’t have a psychological connection to the organization," said Curt W. Coffman, global practice leader at the Gallup Organization, whose large polling group measured employee engagement.

August is notoriously slow in Washington. Congress is on vacation, there are no college kids walking around, and everyone else takes a vacation. Sure, there are interns, but it’s so much less crowded. Unless you’re a tourist, I suppose.

someone should

There should be a blog about slugging. I slugged it home yesterday for the first time. No big deal. But as I was listening to these two geniuses go on about Powerpoint ("When I animate the clouds and make them go upwards, it feels like your falling"), it struck me that if I slugged every day, I’d have to blog about it. Keep track of who I rode with, the radio station (if on) and the conversation (if any).

i’m going nuts

I’m at home at the moment, waiting for the repairman. He was supposed to be here at 9, called to say he’d be a half an hour late, and now it’s 955. He’ll be here sometime, I’m sure.

However, work is a bit insane this week, and I should try and get in at a reasonable time today. Plus, we might be going to look at a few houses tonight. I feel like my body is firing on 8 cylinders, and it could really use another one. Everything’s going at hyper-speed. And I’m not sure that’s such a good thing.

9:58, thought I saw repairman’s truck. Turns out I was wrong.

10:00, repairman here. It was his truck.

Everyone needs something from me. Two projects at work are going full speed, and there didn’t seem to be enough time in the day yesterday to get everything sorted. One’s settled a bit this morning, but it’s likely to just be a lull, and not a full stop. The other, will go and go until August. Good times.

Hopefully I’ll make it through everything in one piece.


I cannot stand stupid people. SP did the dumbest thing, and now I have to fix it. ARG. I really wish they’d stop having him write code. Period.

water water everywhere

Water main break outside the office. Some poor guy in a Caterpillar hit the pipe right on the corner of New Hampshire and 22nd and M, NW. But, this means I get to go home. With the water off, the cooling system in the server room will have to be brought down, so they’ll shut off our internet, email, vms, everything. Good times.

too early

So I’m walking down the street to the office from the Metro this morning, and I hear a guy come up on my right and say "Hi!" like he knows me. I say "Hello," thinking that it’s Doug or someone else I actually know. It’s not. "We’ve been playing commute tag the past few weeks, he says." No reaction from me. Never seen him before in my life. "I used to have hair." Still nothing. Sorry guy. "I’m Tom*. You work at Urban, too, right?" "Yes. That is right." So at least maybe he wasn’t lying. There are 400 people here; I hardly know a fraction of them. I think he thought I was one of the newer research assistants or something, because he was quite taken aback when I told him I had been working here for just about 4 years. He asked a lot of questions in like half a block. I threw a couple "my husband"-s in there for good measure and I’m safely in my office now. All this before coffee!

I don’t know if he was hitting on me, or just trying to make friends, or what, but man was it awkward. I forgot how much talking to strangers stresses me out. Learners in the Learning Lab is one thing. I’m not expected to make small talk if I don’t want to. I get to know them, and then we chat. Plus, I’m not there to make friends. The two minute conversation with "Tom" was so nerve wracking. I hope I never have to do it again, honestly.

*Not his real name.

back from the dead (almost)

Got back from Orlando last night after putting in 12-14-16 hour days followed by nights that usually didn’t end until about 2:00. Then had to be at work at 7:00 on the later days.

So I’m pretty tired. So tired, in fact, that I doubt I’ll be making it a whole day in the office today.

No incriminating photos this time. No photos really at all. It was Orlando, so it pretty much sucked.

Not as much drinking this time, though. Maybe I’m growing up.

Or getting old. Can’t decide.

I’ll be back to normal in a day or two.

head stand

Today I feel like someone is standing on my head. No wait, not just standing, but also jumping. Ugh. I don’t normally have allergy problems, but there are just some days when the pollen is at this point where I can’t stand it. Usually, it’s only a couple of days, so I don’t take any of the medications… Of course, today it doesn’t help that the guys who mow a lot of lawns in our neighborhood are here doing their thing. I have to say, they don’t seem to good at it. The weed wacker keeps going on and off and on and off. Talk about annoying. So the pain is two-fold (it was three until I had coffee), pollen and noise. Don’t get me started on why a person with a little postage stamp like us needs to hire someone to cut their grass… We should actually start paying Glen! We only have the front to worry about mowing and two thirds of the time, Glen gets bored and cuts the front from his house to ours. I suppose taking care of their cats for a weekend and running around closing both our windows and theirs in the thunderstorm is a fair trade.

In other news, classes start tonight. The summer is usually really light. And since today is the very first day, I’m expecting only two or three learners. There hasn’t been time for people to feel like they need extra help. Of course, I should see quite a few people who will just pop by to say hello at break time. This term is only 10 weeks, so it ends mid-July, and the next one won’t start until after Labor Day. They want me to teach a "real" class, with a curriculum and a text book and homework and the whole deal, in the Fall. I just don’t know if I’m ready for that. I didn’t know if I was ready for being the official teacher of the Learning Lab either, but it feels like a bigger step. I have a certain freedom and flexibility in the Lab. I get to work on what the learners what to work on, I don’t have to cover anything. And it changes from week to week what people need because different people will come. Plus, I get to really know each learner as a person. I really like that. I’m afraid I would lose all of that in a real class. The learners want me to teach another class too, but I think that’s because I’m so flexible in the Lab. They can chat, they can do what they want. I’m generally a really nice person… In a real class, I’m afraid that I’d be much more of a hard-ass. When it comes down to it, I don’t think I’ll be anyone’s favorite anymore if I take on the Math Applications class. I really love being a favorite. It would really hurt if that went away. Selfish, no?

Sweet Lord. They have their machines on again. Christ. I don’t want to have the windows open to let more pollen in, but I don’t want to have them closed either, because it’s so damned nice outside!

The Webby’s

Check this out, it’s the website I work on. Everyone go vote for PLWC on the people’s voice award: received word today that the website is one of five nominees in the Associations category for the 2005 Webby Award! Congratulations everyone!

Hailed as the "Oscars of the Internet" by the New York Times, the Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence in Web design, creativity, usability and functionality. Established in 1996, the 9th Annual Webby Awards received over 4,000 entries from all 50 states and over 40 countries worldwide. The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences present the Webby Awards. The Academy is an intellectually diverse organization that includes over 500 members consisting of leading experts in a diverse range of fields, such as musician David Bowie, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, business guru and author Tom Peters, The Body Shop president Anita Roddick, fashion designer Max Azria, "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening and Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser.

While the Academy selects The Webby Awards’ winners, the online public selects The People’s Voice Award winners. With frequently different results, Nominees often are as honored to receive the Webby People’s Voice Award vote of confidence as it indicates a strong following by your site’s visitors. Please encourage your friends and family to log-on and vote for PLWC! Visit to vote.

Webby Award and Webby People’s Voice Award Winners will be announced on May 3, 2005. Winners will be honored at the gala Webby Awards ceremony to be held at historic Gotham Hall in New York City on June 6, 2005, hosted by comedian Rob Corddry of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Association Nominees:

AOPA Runway Safety Program,…

National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions,

New York Academy of Sciences,

People Living With Cancer, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO),

State Bar of Arizona – Public Information Site,


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

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