Wednesday, April 19, 2006

No, Really, Where I Been?

First off, thanks to everyone who's been complaining about where I've been as of late, with respect to this 'ol blog. I'll take your whining as a compliment.

I will tell you, however, that you might need to adjust your expectations, if not your schedule. I am a morning person, and so I'm probably going to be posting in the evenings from now on... or at least for the foreseeable future.

See, I'll be at work in the mornings, and...

Yeah.

You'll live, I'm sure.

***

Secondly, we had over 550 hits at Harmonium today, possibly a record for us. For those of you who don't know (hi, Alison Murphy), Harmonium is a music site that is destined to become the biggest thing since New Coke. We take bands you've never heard of, and we make their fans very, very angry.

Apparently.

Check it out, ask yourself who any of the bands are, correct my grammar... just familiarize yourself.

Because there will be a test.

***

So. When I last left you, it was Tuesday morning, and I was about to embark on a very big day. The closing of the house, the possible last appearance of the Abby, the second day on the job, the tater tots.

I met my realtor and Abby in Old Town for the closing, which took place at 10am. As I'd hoped, it did, indeed, take less than an hour for our portion of the proceedings to be wrapped up. Which was fantastic, because (as you might imagine), I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, and for every conceivable reason.

Without getting into the numbers, it was very nice seeing the bottom line. Or, it would have been, if the bottom line that we saw was going to reflect our actual take.

See, the buyer went to the house and took a final walk-through the day before closing (Monday)... and discovered that, apparently, our hot water heater had gone all kablooey. It seems that the bottom had eroded, and/or there was water damage, and/or possible flood damage... and, as it was discovered prior to the closing, it technically came on our watch.

So, we had to pony up for a new hot water heater, which we would never get a chance to enjoy. If such items are ever truly enjoyed. Anyway, subtract $800 or so from our bottom line, and you get the new total.

Which will still allow me to get a subscription to the Post, should I so choose. So I can hardly complain.

***

Abby still had an item or two of mine in her car, and I had 1/2 of a broken Cuisinart to give her myself (she asked for it... don't look at me like that!), so I drove over to her car and double-parked.

We exchanged items, and didn't really look at one another. Basically, we knew that this was it. And though the past nine months or so were rarely anything other than tolerable, at worst... this, as you might imagine, was completely and utterly weird.

And so we mumbled a pleasantry to one another, a half-hearted this-or-that, and went our separate ways. If quizzed, I couldn't accurately told you what was said.

But that was that.

And it was the damnedest thing, ending things that way. But better it happened that way, though, than being threatened with a knife.

As has happened to some people I know.

***

So, I drive to the job, thrilled that the worst was over with. Really, two big loads off my back in one morning. And as I arrived at work, I realized that even there, things were already steadying and becoming more normal. People are joking with one another, finding their rhythm, learning the case... and so all that is already shaking out just fine.

But what makes me the happiest about the new job can be summed up in two words:

Bathroom Theory.

As any of you who have been contract attorneys in DC will recognize... you aren't always placed in the nicest of climes. Sometimes, a glorious office in a firm. Other times, a basement in a building in, say, Bumblefuck, Maryland.

This time, we're in the firm, and in a relatively nice space... but what makes the space glorious, a venerable house of the holy, is our incredibly clean and well-stocked bathroom. To wit:

*** 3 stalls, 2 urinals, comfortably spaced, all with functioning doors.
*** an enormous jug of Listerine, with cups.
*** hair sprays and moisturizers, and all nature of soaps.
*** full length mirror at the door, in a well-lit area.
*** no one has hummed, whistled, or grunted (yet).

This bathroom gets an "A." No doubt about it. And therefore, this job gets an "A."

Bathroom Theory.

***

Last night was "steak and tater tots" night with Jeff and Chris. Chris was kind enough to cook, but he made us work for it... he showed us the blueprint he had for the new backyard that he and Noel will be installing.

And described every nook and cranny, in alarming detail.

All unfunny kidding aside, it looked great. And as Chris has had a complex about the backyard since the late 70s, muttering about Japanese maple this and that... I'm glad it's almost here.

I can't imagine if I had to hear this sort of complaining for, oh, I don't know, the last 6-9 months?

Anyway, all I remember is that Chris owned the night. He told a story about how he basically saved the life of his friend, as well as his own life, when their car skidded off of a highway and fell through an ice-covered lake, some years ago.

Unbelievable stuff-- and, as you would expect, it was absolutely horrifying to listen to (thank God we were all shitfaced-- or, at least, Chris was).

Which is why I absolutely had to take a fistful of taters and shove 'em in my mouth at some point... just to bring the attention back onto ME.

It got laughs, sure, but Chris being selfish... well, of course, he went right back to how he is the unholy lovechild of Chuck Norris, David Hasselhoff and Aquaman.

Blah, blah, blah. "I saved a life"... whatever.

***

Finally, an interesting note about this morning... my first "regular" commute from my new apartment to new workplace.

I was out the door at 5:45am or so (don't look at me like that), and found, to my horror, that I was virtually the only one on the streets.

Really-- save for the odd jogger, I was one of less than 20 people I saw between my front door and the metro platform. People's apartments were dark. The streets were deserted. It was fascinating.

And that's when it hit me-- living where I used to, in Kingstowne, people had to be up and about much earlier, as they had at least a one-hour commute from door to door. Living in Clarendon allows residents to take advantage of the short commute... and (assuming they're normal) sleep in.

Me being an idiot, I probably won't take such advantage. Besides, I like having a few hours to myself every once in awhile when I'm at work. And now, I can have that (I seem to be working with late-shifters), work a crazy day, hours-wise, and be home by 7pm.

And see that in addition to my favorite burger place being a block away, my two favorite smoothie places are equally close... one having just opened up today.

***

I'm so happy, right now-- you have no idea.

***

Chris suggested last night that, when I come back to my apartment at the end of the day, I probably feel the way he used to when he'd return to New York City. Like I'm finally where I belong, after so many months of so much other nonsense.

He's right. Now, granted, it's been little more than a week, and the new apartment could go all kablooey, I suppose-- but there hasn't been a single time that I've walked in the front door to my place where I haven't been glowing.

It's about time, huh?

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