Archive for August, 2007

Noodle the Escape Artist

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Last Wednesday evening, I came home from the grocery store carrying a big sheet cake to take to work the next day. It was the third trip from the car, carrying in groceries. I put everything up, then sat down to read emails and haveĀ a glass of wine. About 30 or 40 minutes later, I called Noodle so I could give him his nightly dose of Lasix (for his heart). I couldn’t find him. I looked everywhere – which in a small one-bedroom apartment doesn’t take too long. I even peeked in the fridge and the dishwasher. I went down the long hall of our building and checked around outside. No Noodle. I climbed the interior stairs, and found him sitting on the top flight of stairs, just sitting there. I don’t know if he was scared and just enjoying a little freedom, but it scared me to death! John has caught him sitting by door, just waiting for his next opportunity, the little scamp.

This week was pretty calm. We went out for Happy Hour with our group on Thursday night which was fun. Friday night we stayed home and grilled steaks and watched The Queen. John took me out for a nice dinner last night at Harry’s. Today is our day off which we spent in the usual way – laundry, grocery shopping and doing some cooking for the upcoming week. Yesterday was John’s last Saturday on the passport task force, lucky him! These 6-day weeks are long and really wear me out.

I was telling Mom last night that one of our favorite things working on passports is busting deadbeat dads. If they have over $2500 in outstanding child support payments, they can’t get a passport. It’s fun to put a stop to their application, especially when it’s accompanied by their new wife/girlfriend’s application and they are heading to the Bahamas for a fun-filled cruise.

The weather earlier this week was incredible – it actually got chilly for a few days, but now the heat and humidity are back.

Dog days of summer

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

So on Sunday we went to a going away party at our classmate Bo’s house in Georgetown. It was a perfect afternoon for a BBQ and keg of beer. Monday we had dinner with our classmate Jimmi at our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant near our apartment, and Tuesday night we went for tapas at Jaleo with Rebecca and Britney (thanks to Jim and Joan for a great recommendation).

Other than that, this week was pretty low-key for me. John went out Friday night with a friend who is leaving for India soon. We grilled last night with a friend from the passport task force – she and her husband are in between tours in Sierra Leone and The Vatican.

My big news for the week is that I think we finally have the Volvo fixed! Evidently, the door locks were messed up and were draining the battery. That would explain why the battery started going dead last winter at the airport (locked) but not in our garage (unlocked). It’s so great to have her back! This has been the most frustrating problem to diagnose, so hopefully it’s resolved!

More fun in DC

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

Friday night, John and I went to hear one of our favorite bands, the Gipsy Kings at Wolf Trap. It’s a gorgeous venue – I had only been there once back in the ’80s when my friend Kayren and I went to see Joan Baez. It was a sold out crowd and was a lot of fun, despite the heat.

John went to a party last night, but I just couldn’t recover from the disco nap I took, so I stayed home to watch a movie (Venus, with Peter O’Toole) with the cats. He had a great time and met a lot of new folks. Today we are heading to a class cookout to say goodbye to a classmate going to Singapore. We also went to a happy hour in Dupont Circle Thursday night to say ‘bye to another classmate going to Algiers.

Noodle is so much fun these days without his Prozac! He is so playful, it cracks us up.

Nothing much to report…just issuing passports! I’ve dreamed about it several nights. One day last week, we had a walk-through by Deputy Secretary John Negroponte and Assistant Secretary Maury Harty (whom I just adore).

Becoming a lemming

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Now that we are on the passport taskforce, we are working in a federal building downtown near the Capitol. Each morning, we take the shuttle from our apartment down the street to our Metro stop, take the Metro in, usually listening to our iPods or reading along the way, and stop at Starbucks for coffee (yes, I am back on caffeine after three years) before we head to our makeshift office. The good news is that our dress code is pretty casual (they’re just so happy we are there working, they don’t care what we’re wearing!) and our hours are pretty flexible, as long as we get in our 8 hours each day. The supervisors are doing what they can to keep up spirits, and generally there’s good esprit de corps.

John took me to lunch one day at the nearby National Museum of the American Indian food court – delicious and creative! It’s not like any other food court I’ve been to – I had a buffalo ribeye (cooked over an open fire pit) with a side of black bean salad and green beans. All of the dishes are based on Native American recipes. I need to go back to walk through the Museum because it is gorgeous.

It certainly hasn’t slowed us down after hours. Last Tuesday, I went to the Legg Mason Tennis Classic with a classmate. Wow! I got to see Roddick, Safin, Henman and Monfils play, plus some great games on the perimeter courts.

Saturday night we were invited to a small get-together at a classmate’s apartment. There is a subset culinary club in our class; while John and I aren’t members, we were invited to a tapas dinner. It was delicious food and great company. Last night, we went to another classmate’s apartment for dinner. Whitney’s wife is Swiss-Mexican, and she made us a fondue dinner – yummy.

Other outings during the week included a magic club meeting for John and a nice dinner out for the two of us at Harry’s.

A crystal from Hot Springs, on display at the Natural History Museum