Eating: Macaroni and cheese. Sadly, I did not win the contest to be a Popstar for a Day, and thus I will not be able to meet Aaron Carter. Sigh.

Avoiding: Mosquitos. We got a letter from the health department that West Nile has arrived in Alexandria. Woo!

However, according to the informative brochure, only 1 in 300 people bitten by an infected mosquito actually get sick, and only 1 in 150 of those people get seriously sick, and only 3-15% of those people will die. So, really, I think I have a better chance of being a Popstar for a Day.

Listening: To the CD Kate made for our girls' weekend in April, which I didn't get to hear until earlier this summer, and I have not stopped listening to it since. It has become my summer soundtrack. Is there any better song in the world than The Smiths' Cemetery Gates? I ask you.

a dreaded sunny day, so i meet you at the cemetery gates ~ keats and yeats are on your side ~ a dreaded sunny day, so i meet you at the cemetery gates ~ keats and yeats are on your side ~ while wilde is on mine

so we go inside, and we gravely read the stones ~ all those people, all those lives, where are they now? ~ with the loves, and hates, and passions just like mine ~ they were born and then they lived and then they died ~ seems so unfair, i want to cry

you say "ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn" ~ and you claim these words as your own ~ but i've read well, and i've heard them said a hundred times, maybe less, maybe more

if you must write prose and poems the words you use should be your own ~ don't plagiarise or take on loan ~ there's always someone, somewhere, with a big nose, who knows ~ and who trips you up and laughs when you fall ~ who'll trip you up and laugh when you fall

you say "ere long done do does did" ~ words which could only be your own ~ and then produce the text from whence was ripped: "some dizzy whore, 1804"

a dreaded sunny day, so let's go where we're happy and I meet you at the cemetery gates ~ oh, keats and yeats are on your side ~ a dreaded sunny day, so let's go where we're wanted and i meet you at the cemetery gates ~ keats and yeats are on your side ~ but you lose ~ because weird lover wilde is on mine

So, I have, at last, started working. Temping, anyway, at some snooty firm in DC. I'm redacting.

("Redacting" is the fancy word for sticking white-out tape on pieces of paper. I'm slightly overqualified, but here's the thing: once a week, someone will give me a check. That, my friends, makes all the difference in the world.)

What's also good is that the people I'm doing this with happen to be pretty cool. There's only one goober in the bunch, a big tall guy just out of college who isn't quite familiar with the concept of an inside voice. Otherwise, they're shiny happy people, and I like them.

I started the same day as Sally, a girl who just graduated from law school this spring and took the Virginia bar a couple of weeks ago. Sally will be there at least as long as I will be, and she watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so we always have plenty to talk about, and there are a few other people milling about who all seem friendly enough. The woman who is in charge of us is a bit of a freak, but fortunately she's a couple of floors away, so she doesn't really bother us that much.

Now, sticking tape on paper defines the word "mindless," so we chat a lot, and we've covered just about every political topic under the sun in the three days I've been there, so I'm not sure what we're going to talk about next week. And sometimes we fall into a redacting stupor and none of us talks at all, which is when we really miss a radio, and if I go into the city this weekend I'm going to take mine in. (It's a little bulky to carry around on the metro.)

Ah, yes, the metro. I am commuting using public transportation! Woo! Stalkers take note: I walk about a half a block up the street and get the little Alexandria bus to the Pentagon, where I take the metro to Foggy Bottom, where I emerge and walk about four blocks to the office. And since I'm working 8-ish to 7-ish (woo, overtime), I miss the worst heat of the day, which is a plus.

But boy, this whole alarm clock thing is sure a kick in the teeth. I haven't quite adjusted to the idea that getting up at six in the morning without feeling like I'm going to die means going to bed before midnight.

I'm pretty sure my downstairs neighbor thinks I'm crazy, and I'm not kidding.

She's a nice woman, probably three or four years older than I am, and also a lawyer. My first day at this job, we were waiting for the same bus, and she also gets off the metro at Foggy Bottom, so she showed me where to stand to get on the train so that when we arrive, we're right by the stairs. (Commuting is a fairly exact science, I'm realizing.)

Anyway, when I got home yesterday, there was a note from her attached to a letter which was attached to a certified mail slip that she had signed for me. She wrote that the mailman was waiting for me when she got home, and she told him that I probably wouldn't be home for a while, so she offered to sign for the letter, and he let her.

The letter contained a bill from a doctor's office that I haven't bothered to pay yet. And the name of the doctor's office was printed in the upper left hand corner in bright red letters:


So, yeah. My downstairs neighbor thinks I'm crazy.

It's kind of cool, actually.

In case you are wondering what people do when they unemployed for most of the summer, I'll tell you: they buy a webcam.

It's a super-cheap webcam, less than $40 (actually, my total cost will be $29.90 when I get my $10 rebate), but still, if my father got pissed off over a tank of gas, I can't imagine what he'd say about this.

So anyway, there I am. Behind me you can see the stairs that lead, well, upstairs. That dark part next to my left ear is the front door, which is three steps down from the main level of my living room. That slice of brightness over my right shoulder is the doorway to the kitchen.

And here's my cat. I promise you, I won't be filling these pages with cat pictures, mostly because she's extremely antisocial and, as you can tell, gets kind of pissed off about having her picture taken (she probably gets that from her owner). But when she ducked behind my DVDs today, I really couldn't help myself.

(And yes, I do own A Knight's Tale on DVD. Leave me alone.)

I think that is all I have for you today! I'm off to do something really interesting and exciting, although I don't exactly know what it is yet. (It probably involves napping, what with three days of work having totally sapped my energy.) Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Or, if you're reading this on Monday, I hope your weekend didn't entirely suck!

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