Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday night thoughts.

Number of people calling for Tom Wang today: 2

The first was a man. The second was a woman who's called before, I believe, and this time I said, "Look, this is the 200th phone call I've gotten for Tom Wang. If you get ahold of him tell him he's giving out the wrong number." She said, "Oh okay, I'll take you off our list." Jesus, who the hell did he give my number to...

Best material to tear up and use for padding in moving boxes: In re Sunrise Galleria. Hell yeah.

Where in the world are my readers? Thanks to Rebecca for the link. It updates every hour.

Packing: Day 3

Day two was uneventful, the day marred only by a surprise attack by the sharp edge of one idle cardboard box into my thigh. Nothing like a big juicy corrugated cardboard cut. Today has been more successful. Yesterday the roommate, who, from this point forward, I shall call by the unremarkable name "C," and I decided to purchase boxes online, since they were cheap and supposedly they shipped fast. I sent in the order at 5:45pm last night and they arrived at 2pm today.
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit's moving time! More boxes.
Good times.

I also bought out the tape aisle at CVS.
Tape time.

As I was going through my things, I came across my photos of The Big Ear - the old radio telescope that was torn down when I was a freshman in college to make way for an effing golf course.
The Big Ear
I used to intern at the observatory nearby so one day we hiked out there to pick up some souvenirs. And by 'souvenirs' I mean pieces of aluminum we tore off the base in the wreckage, just to say we have a part of it. If you're interested in this kind of thing, the Big Ear is most well known for the "Wow!" signal - which was a signal so strong that it flew off the charts for radio waves. For awhile people thought it might be a sign of extraterristrial intelligence, but the signal never repeated. At the time we visited, the site was already abandoned and partly torn-down. We unlocked the small building where the researchers did their work and found this message on one of the chalkboards.
Inside the Big Ear.
It says, "Good Bye Good Friend. Every time you walk upstairs you take from the Universe by extracting Big Bang energy from the Gravitational Force Field. E=h(delta)t. Tim H."

I know, you probably think that's crazy or unbelivablely lame. I thought it was quite moving, having been written by people who spent their lives searching the cosmos for radio waves. It was like walking into a time capsule.

Did you really want to work in DC? Really? Are you sure?

Facts that I learned today:

1) There was a DC Circuit opinion in June that now requires all document review on DC cases to be done by DC licensed attorneys - even if they are on contract.
2) It takes 6-9 months for entry-level attorneys to find a permanent job.
3) It takes 6-9 months for a licensed attorney to waive into DC.
4) That process costs upwards of $700.

What. The. Fuck.

I just got back from my "interview" with a temp agency. Of course it's raining; I can't get enough of walking around in my suit and heels in the DC swamp. It wasn't really an interview so much as a "we dug your resume, we'll see what we can find you, let me tell you about how this works" meeting.

While I was filling out the 10 zillion forms in the waiting room (I'm glad I showed up early), the receptionist answered the phone and apparently it was a person who had submitted their resume online (like I did) and was calling to check in about it. The receptionist said, "No, if we didn't contact you, that means we're not interested....No, sorry, we're not interested, good-bye." Ha, yikes. I might have to take drastic steps if even the temp agency wasn't interested in me.

I was reminded again why I keep my photography experience on my resume, because my interviewer was interested in it, or at least turned it into a good conversation starter. He said he would most likely contact me in the next two weeks (I told him I could start in a week, since I'm moving), and the pay is decent. Once I pass the bar the pay almost doubles. Which is good, since apparently it will be, at minimum, a full year until I have a DC license.

On the way home on the metro, I was reminded about the last time I sat on the metro in my suit, with my straightened hair in a ponytail. It was on the way back from my court case in July, and a guy with a little girl sat in the seat behind me. I started to feel a soft tugging on my hair - which has gotten really long - and the dad saying, "Honey, leave her hair alone. Sweetie, stop touching her hair. Honey, you're bothering her." Haha. It didn't really bother me, she wasn't yanking or anything, I'm sure she thought it was just begging to be tugged on. I would have felt like an ass if I sat up and swept my hair over my shoulder out of her reach, so I just sat there and pretended like I didn't notice.

I'm off to write some more cover letters.


I admit that in this often hectic world, where children go hungry and apartments such as my own are covered in boxes and rolls of tape, certain details of my life may go unnoticed. Such as the "detail" my future roommate told me many weeks ago - that he would be leaving the evening of the 25th to attend a friend's wedding. Why does this affect me? Because we happend to be moving into our new house the morning of the 25th. Leaving me and my echo to bounce off the walls for days. I'll be all alone with boxes and boxes and more boxes and piles of bubble wrap.

Does anyone want to have a sleep over?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Paging Tom Wang:

You seem to be giving out my home telephone number as your own. You also seem to be very popular. Congratulations.

Now cut it the fuck out.

You want to know landlord-tenant law? I'll tell you landlord-tenant law.

I spoke to my apartment manager today about my move-out date, so I could reserve the loading elevator and tell them for sure that I wouldn't be renewing my lease. Just like I suspected, the woman said definitively, "You need to give us 30 days notice before the end of your lease if you're going to move."

First of all, no I don't. Would you like to see my flashcard on "Term of Years" leases?

Second, I specifically negotiated a nine-month lease when my last one expired in November, because I knew I'd be moving (and I figured - correctly - that I could get a cheaper rent that way). That's what I told her and it was enough to shut her up, but I have a feeling they'll bug me about it later, too.

We're scheduled to move the morning of Thursday, August 25th. I'm making my "vacate date" on the 26th, because I'm crossing my fingers that it won't take more than one day to clean up this place. There is a whole list of fees on the back of the "move-out notice" form she just gave me, and they'll charge me $120 if I don't clean the carpets. Now, do you think it will cost me less than that if I do it myself? Should I just let them go to the hassle and let them charge me? I'm considering it. I'm glad I bought actual 'paste' toothpaste last week, because I've got some serious holes to cover in my walls.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Packing like a Rock Star

Word's in: We got the apartment!

The landlady called today and said she accepted our applications. After talking to around ten moving companies, I think I'm going with Starving Students. I've heard both good and bad, but the fact we're moving in-town lowers the risk of being scammed. All the other movers insisted it would take between six and - seriously - TEN hours to move our shit. Hell no. If my roommate and I did it ourselves it would take ten, but professional movers should be hauling their asses a little more than that. Starving Students had a better price, better time estimate, and the guy sounded the most professional. Will we get screwed? We'll see.

So, now I have a week and a half to pack my stuff. Shall we document it? It's a blog! It was invented to document asinine activites like...packing.

Day One:
Packing - Day 1

Not bad right?

Have you guys seen Rock Star: INXS? That show has knocked me off my feet. I admit I get occasionally hooked on some bad reality shows, but I know full well how terrible they are. But this show - this show kicks some serious ass. The songs are great and these contestants actually have talent (real talent!). Even the bad ones don't make you want to stick sharp things in your ears. This week they tried to trip up one guy by making him sing "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and I swear to god, you would have thought it was some dark ballad by Kurt Cobain or Chris Cornell. Unbelievable. One of the commenters said exactly what I was thinking, "Your performance made me really uncomfortable...because I loved it."

I guess Rock Star also has a "reality" show on the weekend and an elimination show on Wednesday, so maybe those are bad, but the performance show on Tuesday is totally worth the price of admission. The focus is all on their ability to rock and not their clothes or hitting the perfect note or some Simon Cowell critique bullshit. They do critique them - the boys from INXS and Dave Navarro (!) - but it's rarely very harsh, which is refreshing (except every third performance is "the best they've seen on this show so far," though, I have to admit that's often true). Anyway, the point is - these guys are good. Check it out - it's on at 10pm on Tuesdays on CBS. Was that a good enough commercial?

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Ventura County Fair: In Pictures

I finally got my photos uploaded and semi-organized. I'm going out of order because frankly, the fair photos are way cooler. So I guess that means the rest will be kind of a let down, heh. Who wants to see photos of my pen collection for the bar exam anyway? I've spent all day researching movers and jobs, and I feel like my eyes are going to fall out of their sockets. I hope you enjoy my photo-story more than I enjoyed my morning.

First, we started out at the barnyard. There was a serious lack of sheep and an overabundance of goats and pigs, but I guess they didn't ask me before they invited the 4H girls to participate.
Pigs in Love
These nuns were all over the place. You didn't know nuns love the fair?
Nuns at the Fair
I took about 3000 pictures of this girl trying to pet the horse. Every single time, the horse would freak and then she would squeal and run away. Over and over. Finally they learned to love each other.
Barnyard petting
I was terribly disappointed when we got to Uncle Leo's indoor barnyard, where the bunny competition is usually held, only to find freakish birds of prey instead. I also got a lot of awesome looks while I shoved my camera in every birds beak. It was hard to get a good shot because I felt it was too harsh to creep up on the poor creatures and then flash lightning in their faces, but there wasn't a lot of light, so many of the pictures are a bit blurry. Here are a couple of the better ones:
Strange Birds - Part 1
Due to the combination of crispness and crazy hen stare, I LOVE this photo.
Strange Birds - Part 2
This bird came directly from the dinosaur age - no evolution needed.
Strange Birds - Part 3
Bunnies! In the next barnyard over, there was a big cage with a huge momma pig and her 15 piglets, and above them, a momma rabbit and her four babies. Not just any baby bunnies, but baby Mini Rexes - which is the kind my late bunny Addy was. They have the softest fur of all the bunnies in the land. Is this getting too cutesy for you? Me too. The picture's blurry because they were very far away and I couldn't use the flash.
Baby Bunnies!
Sheep! They were hiding one after-all. She looks kind of mean, though.
Sheep: Through a Fence
Next year, I want to be the person in charge of the preserve display case:
Maze of Mason Jars
I think a man judged the green beans.
Best Beans By Size
There were a ton of these jars of green stuff. Is this who the producers of Ghostbusters called?
Grand prize for plasma.
I can't believe you weren't at the fair - even Wonder Woman was there!
Wonder Woman Brings It
Then we walked around the carnivale for awhile, to see all the crazy people lose their wallets on the rides.
Crazy people.
And then lose their lunch.
More crazy people.
This is more like it! Ride the wave, little sister!
Now THAT'S my style.
If you can say no to this face, you're a bad person.
Who doesn't love giant monkeys? My mom kept trying to get me to win one for her. Don't lie, Mom. See the babies on his shoulders? They need a home. With you.
Big Ape
These guys were in the "exotic bird" section. Or was it "aluminum bird"?
Then we went to Florida.
Next, the horticultural building. They do some awesome landscaping competitions with some really beautiful plants and flowers. One guy gave my mom an orchid flower. Hot.
Horticulture Love
Next up, the agricultural building, with vegetable-philia seeping right out on the floor. Here's the "I love root vegetables" exhibit.
And for the Grand Finale!
Weird Vegetable.
Yeah, I don't know what it is either, but it's AWESOME.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

At least I won't be homeless.

We found an apartment! It's a block from the U St metro (green line - what!) and right at the beginning of the U Street corridor. Oh, and by "apartment," I actually mean "house." Nice neighborhood, quite nice on the inside, and nice rent. The landlady's not even going to charge us pro-rata if we move in the week before September.

So I guess I better go get some boxes. Can any of you recommend a good, cheap moving company? We'll do it ourselves if it's too expensive, but it would be such a relief not to have to haul my bed and everything myself.

Speaking of money, I'm really going to need one of know...JOBS pretty soon. If you guys have any info on contract lawyering and who I should contact to get started, I'd be happy to hear anything you might know.

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