Tuesday, November 20, 2007


On Friday, I went out with some work people: Nina, Sailor, a new guy in Sailor's office, and Danielle (a woman from my division). It was Nina's idea—she wanted to do an "H St pub crawl." I certainly didn't object, since it's my neighborhood.

I guided the group there via bus (the most direct way). Sailor and the new guy had directions too but their routes were all longer. I know the best way there. Yes, they teased me about it.

About this time last year, I went on a similar outing with Nina. It was wet and awful and we only went to one place. Plus, I rushed off after to see my (insert slightly derogatory adjective here) boyfriend and that didn't go so well. I'm happy to report that this trip was a lot more fun. It was a cold night, but not wet and that makes all the difference.

We started at Dr. Granville Moore's, which is a real restaurant. The food menu is short, just the way I like it, and there are tons of Belgian beers to choose from (which is overwhelming). I got the burger, which is great, and the only thing I seem to order there. You're supposed to get the mussels. Oh well.

The five of us had a good meal and decent conversation. I think Sailor likes Nina. It pains me every so slightly, but I'm grinning and bearing it. I sat next to the new guy. He's friendly and cute so I didn't mind at all.

I don't usually socialize with Danielle (long, boring story), but there's no ill-will between us and she's quite pleasant. We had an interesting conversation about work stuff. She was very happy that TR is our new boss. She wasn't crazy about the old boss. I didn't know that. She said, "Oh, it was different for you. Larry loved you! Teacher's pet!"

Now, I wasn't going to argue that point. I didn't ask for special treatment but I did love having Larry as a boss. TR getting the job was my worst nightmare, but it's working out much better than expected.

I mentioned this conversation to work-friend Nancy at our extremely long lunch today and she said, "It's one thing to be teacher's pet because he knows your mom and another because you do good work."

You might think, unreconstructed overachiever that I am (wait, I'm actually a reconstructed overachiever, but whatever), that I was always teacher's pet. Not at all. My teachers mostly loved me, though a few found me troublesome. But even my admirers considered my conduct to be an issue. I only got an 'A' in conduct once. I never got an 'A' in attendance (blame Jewish holidays and an indulgent mother). I was eager and interested but I wasn't particularly well-behaved. I had lots to say and not very much self-control. Not a real problem if you kept me occupied, and I was lucky enough to have teachers who did , but I was certainly a lot of work. That's why I was never considered myself a pet. Who knows what the teachers' thought.

Anyway, I didn't argue with Danielle because she's probably right. Then we talked about how to get TR to delegate more work to us and the rest of the division. I think, between the two of us, we can get him to do a better job. He wants to do better but he needs help.

I didn't go out on Saturday, but I did finish knitting my hat. The cables are all wrong but it still looks ok. The problem is that it's way too big. I put it in the dryer (which is a crime against wool), but it didn't shrink enough. If I'm brave, I'll try again.

Sunday was watching football (so, so sad) and swing dancing. Dancing was fun, though no one asked me out—can you believe it??? I danced with one guy that was so good and lead me so quickly that I was literally tripping over my own feet. I was lazy and didn't wear proper dance shoes with the slick soles, but I don't think I can blame my klutziness on that. He was kind and thanked me for the dance but I knew I wasn't getting a second ask. Oh well! (The good news is that I signed up for dance lessons for first time in a long time.)

We're sure to get out early tomorrow but I probably won't post (famous last words). I'm doing this volunteer thing in the evening that I've done before and that can make me crazy. It's preparing lots of food for Thanksgiving (everything but the turkey). Usually, I've worked at one of the food prep tables and felt like everyone else was doing the job wrong. I always, always, refrained from telling others how to mix, chop or slice but at least one year a tablemate was not so considerate and decided to give all of us slicing lessons. That about pushed me to the edge. Another year, we were provided with dull knives and tough vegetables, which drove me to distraction.

This year, because I signed up late, my only options were "cole slaw" (another chopping nightmare with dull knives!) or "kitchen runner." I chose the latter. It could be awful but I think maybe not—I'll be so busy I won't have time to be annoyed. Plus, it will be appropriate for people to tell me where to go and what to do. And I'll have to run around and find things. I'm good a finding things. It will be hot and messy, though, but so are all the other jobs.

The point is, I'm doing something and it's only for a couple of hours. I can tolerate anything for a couple of hours.

If I don't talk to you before, Happy Thanksgiving!

Grateful for: my good teachers.

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