That just about sums up my day

My staff is out sick today. I'm the proud owner of a corner office..... a corner office on a very busy corridor. I typically shut my door when I'm on the phone, but not today. The five offices beside and across from me are empty. They're all home with the flu.

That said, it's been a pretty shitty day. I never realized all the insane requests we get throughout the day.

So it's time for me to count my blessings and cheer up:

  1. a thermomenter in my office to regulate heat
  2. utilities included in my rent so I can sit in an 80 degree room with all the lights on
  3. Lindt hazelnut chocolate balls
  4. Friday Happy Hours - Warming up with martinis and scotch before running home.
  5. the three-day weekend.... thank YOU Martin Luther King, Jr!
  6. the Diet Coke that infuses my veins with caffeine
  7. I'm not sick (I think I'm the only person in my building and the blogosphere that isn't)
  8. ALIAS is finally airing its new episodes
  9. BB King is in DC on Sunday (Let the Good Times Roll)
  10. since no one is in the office today, I can crank up Depeche Mode without being called a bad influence

What are you grateful for?

Freezing Friday

I'm developing an idea for a heist. Those movies got me thinking.... I mean, I've got a B.S., am relatively savvy, have access to invaluable information on the internet thanks to Google. There's got to be a site on "How to Hack" and "Schematics to Bank Vaults".... it's only a matter of being just a little creative.

Anyway - Why I Hate DC just about killed me this morning with this cartoon. Go say hi to James!


What color is your parachute?

While Londonmark searches the job market for a position as Jewel Thief Trainee, scientists in France create a new test to foil gem smugglers. Well, not all gem smugglers.... only those individuals looking to illegally import and export emeralds.

I never did like emeralds. If I were to adorn myself in precious stones, I'd go with blue, blue, blue - blue diamonds, sapphires, and lapislazuli.

I own The Italian Job. I bought the DVD for the cars - the adorable Minis that zig and zag across the film. I also like the heist concept.... $27 million in gold bars. If I only knew how to crack a safe.... set an explosive charge.... download schematics to ancient Venetian buildings.... read a map. I'd do it. I'd be a thief by trade.

With the know-how.

Which leads me to - WHERE do you learn this stuff? And do thiefs really go through the elaborate plans we see in movies? I mean, really! Do they?

Think Thomas Crown - he created an elaborate diversion (hired a bunch of Czech thugs, created a Trojan Horse, had it delivered to the Met, stole a helicopter, provided the thugs with explosives) to yank one Monet painting off a wall.

Stupid Question of the Day: Are the heists we pay $10 to see at the cinema based at all on any real-life attempts to steal? Do thieves really go through all of that trouble?

And if you had the know-how, would you turn to a life of crime? Keep in mind, I'm talking elegant robberies here people, not petty crime.


What's NASA done for me lately?

NASA- someone says NASA and you picture astronauts, vivid images brought to you by the Hubble Telescope, rocket launches.... you may also remember the destruction of space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, the failed Apollo mission, and million dollar satellites that failed to respond to commands from Earth.

I want to take a moment to thank NASA for making my life simpler. Here's a list of items that I can't live without, but don't get much publicity for being associated with the space agency:

the microwave (I'd starve without mine)

smart appliances like automatic coffee makers, blood pressure monitors, and any modern electronic home wiring

smoke detectors

vaccuum cleaner

digital imaging

wireless tools (phones, drills, dust busters, etc.etc.)

handheld calculator

the VCR, CDs, DVDs

miniature electronics components (for cameras, cars, pacemakers, teeny tiny cellphones, PDAs, etc.)

my remote controls (and for you Game Cube players - the joysticks)

the GPS system


DirecTV and other TV dishes

equipment used by fire fighters

lasers (now used in laser angioplasty and vision corrective surgery)


advanced fabrics (like heat resistant, fire-resistant nonwoven materials)

advanced plastics (used in everything from medical equipment to GLAD food containers)

advanced robotics (some modified to improve mobility for people with disabilities)

For all this and so much more, thank you NASA!

The heavens above

For as long as I can remember, I've loved the night sky, the stars. Orion is my favorite constellation, followed closely by Cassiopeia.

This week I've been inundated with talk of the Mars Rover Mission and President Bush's big space announcement at 3:00 p.m. EST today. The press conference will reveal Bush's new plan for space exploration - just another clip to add to the stories already on the net.

Who has noticed that Bush's *new* plan is just a revival of his dad's space plan?

My phone's ringing - so I've got to run... but will be back with another NASA post. For the record, I'm all for an increase to NASA's budget.

Who here supports space exploration? Who thinks it's a bunch of hooey? And if so, which government agency would you give NASA's annual $15 billion budget to?



A colleague told me something in confidence today.

She mentioned that, in general, whenever there is unpleasantness that needs to be dealt with, the senior staff tend to toss it in my direction because they know I'll handle it.

An image of a mafioso hitman popped to mind.

Does my employer really see me that way? I had no idea. And is it a good thing? Bad?

Personally, I despise confrontations. Hate them. I like to negotiate and work things out until everyone is happy.

I have, on occasion to enforce work policy, put my foot down and just said "No."

"Sorry, but, NO."

I really, REALLY, wish she hadn't mentioned it.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? And why didn't I notice it on my own? Is my impression of myself off? Really off? And WHY, of all things, am I really sweating this?

The 10-minute nosebleed

What's wrong with this conversation?

Blah, blah, blah
Like, your hair is like so straight.
Yah, it's like just like yours.
Like yah, but like darker.
Like, um, so did you like, um, break up?
Well, like, we did for today. Like who knows?
Blah blah blah blah.

Please shoot me and put me out of my misery! How do teachers put up with this nonsense?

I stood beside these two girls on the metro - visions of smacking their heads in an attempt to knock some sense into them floated through my mind. I gratefully exited the train after the second stop.

Guys don't speak like this!

Granted - some guys use a foreign, obscure lingo to communicate, but that male dialect doesn't include the ubiquitous "Like."

Why and how did this word grab such a hold of everyday language?

I'll admit, I'm guilty of scattering "like" throughout a conversation, but not more than once in the same breath!

Anyone out there got a clever strategy on how to eliminate "like" from the English language?

Blah blah blah