I'm A Legal Alien Now

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Whiting House

Went to the White House this morning and they had my name on the list! Waltzed right in, and was waltzing out within fifteen minutes. It was interesting and underwhelming at the same time. I would've liked to have seen more, but the bits I did see were interesting. And, like everyone says, it's startling how small it is.

Halloween tonight... am not doing anything, obviously. Feel a bit Nigel No-Friends about it, but not really. Some cute tykes out in Spiderman costumes and things.

Been grumbling a lot about my job of late. I'm not sure how much is limbo-grumble and how much actually has something solid behind it. Am going to confront HR tomorrow morning about my contract, as, technically, Friday is my last day.

In other news, I finally bought a proper coat and the temperature shoots back up to 23C. Not impressed.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Grumble. Tale of Disaster.

Disaster struck last night. It turns out my Roomie has a guitar and knows a few chords. I realise that this, officially, makes me a horrible person but few things ruin my mood more than impromptu sing alongs of 70s standards around an amateur guitarist. So you can surely imagine my rage when the sing along occurred just after midnight, an hour after a very pooped Ian went to bed. It wasn't a school night, admittedly, but I don't need a cone of silence to go to sleep either. And he, along with his boyfriend and some clients, were noisy. When they started 'Sweet Home Alabama' I very nearly stormed down in my pyjamas only, because I am actually considerate, I didn't want to embarass Roomie in front of his clients. He forgets that I am paying quite a lot of money to live here, and as such deserve some freakin' respect (or at least the pretence of keeping it down). God help us when the piano eventually arrives.

Although I managed a divine sleep in until 10am this morning (heavenly), my mood quickly soured when I saw the dishwasher. I've documented our dishwasher wars before and they don't worry me. Boyfriend, and therefore by default Roomie, seem to think that some things come out dirty because I don't rinse them properly. Boyfriend gave a me a little tutorial on using the dishwasher the other day. Happily, the day before the tute I had realised what was being used as detergent was actually rinse agent so had bought some powder on my way home and was able to point out to Boyfriend the real reason. So what did I find had been put in the dishwasher this morning (which, for some unfathomable reason, was packed full but yet to be started and was beginning to stink)- bloody rinse agent. Bloody hell.

Anyway, away with such negativity.

On Thursday night we trooped up to Baltimore (in good traffice, an hour's drive- in peak hour, almost two) for a do at the National Aquarium. It was a sensational night, and their catering was some of the finest food I've ever had at a function (actually, it was the finest food I've ever had at a function) so a grand time had by all.

I re-interviewed on Wednesday. Absolutely no idea how it went. We shall see, we shall see.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Wheels on the Bus

I went and saw Shortbus tonight with Roomie and his boyfriend.

It's sensational.

For those who are yet to hear of this flick, it's directed by the guy who did Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell) and is essentially about sex... with all of the sex in it unsimulated. Usually this is a recipe for disaster but it's handled to naturalistically and surreally at the same time, and is intrinsic to the story that it completely works.

Also, any movie that opens with a guy trying to suck his own dick before ejaculating into his own mouth is a winner.

It's surprisingly uplifting, and unsurprisingly it's also quite amusing. Such as the gay threesome where one of them starts singing the American National Anthem whilst rimming another guy out. And I also admire the actors for being so brave to do this movie in the first place. Ok, so most of them are hot and have bodies to die for and quite a few have big dicks but still, it takes guts.

Anyway, if it makes it out to Australia it's well worth the effort it will take to see it (to be honest, I'm not sure if anywhere in Brisbane will even screen it).

Interestingly, I think the character I most identified with was the lonely dominatrix. What does that say about me, I wonder?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Cow's in the barn and fiddle's on the deck, grab your-

So I notched up another pretty American experience last night.

A gay country and western bar.

Roomie took me. Actually it was a fun night all round. The Lincoln, a historic barn of a theatre on U Street, was having some gay film festival so we went and saw some very silly movie that had the odd penis and abs. It was very stupid. Felt a bit ripped off, still laughed heaps, but it would've been far better had they fully embraced the silliness and not felt the need to tap a heartwarming message on it.

A very rushed Mexican dinner...

And then Remington's in Cap Hill. OH dear god. There was LINEDANCING and men in flannel SQUAREDANCING and a hottie in a cowboy hat who made me sweat a little. And lots of man-man two-step action. It was all quite a blast, obviously.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

As the sands drift through the hourglass...

Tonight is the finale (about berloody time Bravo managed to drag this bloody finale out over four bloody weeks damn their bloody hides) of Project Runway, which, as I believe I've mentioned before, is currently the finest show on television.

So tonight will not only leave that particular void, but it also dawned me on today that the first episode of this season aired in my first week here. So PR and I have taken this wacky American voyage together. Will I be auf'd from Washington in the coming weeks? Who can say?

I bought a packet from CVS of Candy Corn to enjoy whilst watching the show. They're so good. Pure sugary chemical goodness. And this gigantic pack cost 99c, so you know they're top quality chemicals.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Memorial and Monuments: A Pictorial Report

Today it was glorious weather, albeit 8C, and I decided to charge around the Tidal Basin and the Mall and knock some memorials off my list in case I have to go home.

Is that the Capitol I spy from Smithsonian Metro? Why yes, I believe it is. I proceeded with haste to the Tidal Basin, which may be one of my favourite places in DC yet. It was built to catch the overflow from the Potomac to prevent flooding. Not only is it very pretty and tranquil (except in cherry blossom season every spring when it is mobbed) but there are wonderful views and the planes coming into land at National, which I'm rather fond of as ambient background. Here are some happy snaps from the Tidal Basin.

That of course is the Jefferson Memorial, which I think may be favourite. It's also usually deserted, which makes the Lisa Goes to Washington episode of the Simpsons so much funnier when she tries to seek counsel at Lincoln, but it's too crowded, so she goes to Jefferson who has a little snit.

This is the Depression area of the FDR memorial, which I also quite loved. It's a series of outdoor rooms with waterfalls and stone- one for each of his terms.

Ta-da! The Lincoln Memorial. Inside is the Lincoln statue that also features prominently on my diplomatic visa. This end of the mall was getting increasingly crowded with an unpleasant bus-tour sort of crowdiness so I was getting a little peeved. Nonetheless, the views are quite spectacular.

I did see the Vietnam Memorial which isn't as interesting in a photo and is actually rather boring unless you have some personal connection to it and/or aren't surrounded by spry seniors in lively-coloured jackets.
This is the Korean War Memorial, which is quite touching. It is also where I'll be attending the dawn Anzac Day service next April if I'm still here.

Some respite from the bus tour crowd (who had no time between the White House, Vietnam and Lincoln to watch some comically fat ducks- actually, on second thoughts, maybe they were geese- on a spectacular Fall day):

I then paced past the various kickball tournaments (this would be a fun sport if I were drunk, or a sporty geek as opposed to an arty geek) before finding myself at the Archives Metro to return home via Ben's Chili Bowl for lunch. How eagerly I awaited my afternoon nap. Alas, it was not to be, as I discovered to my chagrin I need to sit around and wait for the locksmith.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Presidential Protective Services, you've made the list.

I was supposed to go on an illicit White House tour today. So I fronted up on 17th Street at the appointed time... and they didn't have my name on the list. This isn't such the disaster it may sound, because then some official looking man went off with my passport number to look in some sort of super-computer. Anyway, I stuck around for half an hour then went back to work. It was, at least, a stunning day to be standing outside. And another chap from work was a few ahead of me in the queue and got in- but we ended up walking back to the Embassy together so I can't imagine there was much to see. Also, the President was in da' house so a lot of it would have been closed off.

I've been rebooked by our super travel guru into another tour at the end of the month.

Yesterday I had lunch with Xena and the Japanese cultural people. I was, for some reason, nervous beforehand which is ridculous as I know my table manner is very good for someone of my age (one thing I will always be eternally grateful for to my parents). It was a very good lunch though, and we were all laughing and carrying on like old friends. Xena is a pro. I'm really glad she came with me. I think her trick is just to completely be herself which sounds blindingly obvious, but is tricky in a professional environment- especially when the company are from a vastly different national, and corporate, culture.

My application went in today. There has also been a sudden rush of interest about the position- I was in the awkward position of accepting someone's application and there were phone calls to Xena from potentials too.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ruminations 2

Mmm I love the word 'ruminations'.

1. I would like some bosom buddies in Washington, but at the same time I'm surprised at how well I'm doing without them. I don't mean this in a narky kind of way, but I expected to be horribly homesick by October. And I'm really not. I miss them of course, and I miss having friends who I can bitch to unreservedly and not have to be on my guard around and so on, but I'm surviving.

2. Squirrels are still cool.

3. Roomie has two irritations at the moment. One, we had another houseguest on the weekend crashing on the sofa. I actually don't mind, and if I stay I intend to place a few Australians on that sofa, but all the same I would appreciate the courtesy of giving me a bit of advance notice. This somehow became this very real worry that one day I'll come home and find out he's bought a dog or some such living thing. I would not be cool with that. Also, I can be a bit of a slob- I pack the trash can in the kitchen so full cos I hate travelling the three metres to take it outside- but it irritates me how the pizza boxes and plates from the weekend are still piled up on the sink. I don't mind a bit of crockery-pile when the dishwasher is full and needs unloading as I am also a slack bum in this regard. However, when the dishwasher is EMPTY then I get stroppy when things are not placed in it. Usually I weaken and put his stuff in (typically as we run out of flatware) but am being strong. We seemed to have a system where I'd crack first with the crockery and he'd crack first with the trash. But no more. Anyway, he's still great and I still like having him as my roomie/landlord.

4. I have duck for dinner tonight, that pleases me.

5. I have to work on my job application tonight, that displeases me.

6. If I am going home, I am going to have a FRENZY of sightseeing. I still haven't got my arse down to the Memorials. When I got here my excuse was it was too hot. Well it ain't any more. Actually today was quite warm- it's hovered around a very pleasant 27C for most of the day. The weather here is mad. Last Friday it rained with a maximum of 11C, Saturday was much the same. Then Sunday was brilliant skies and around 22C. Today was 27C and sunny. But on Friday the maximum will be 10C and rainy again, with a minimum of 4C (everytime I see that on the forecast I quietly scream- I am not ready for that sort of cold yet. I've only just got myself sorted for the low teens).

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I thought I was over this shite.

Having to face up to writing a job application is so depressing. I thought I was over this shit for a while. Whilst I suppose, sensibly, if the circumstances hadn't changed in my favour I'd be doing it again but back in Australia, I wrote so many earlier this year it's actually rather irritating. Still, I suppose I can use the one I used for this position as a template and take it from there.

Went to Filene's today in the freezing cold. Got a neat scarf, a cheap as chips sweater, some more underwear, a cheap but gorgeous belt and a blazer (sort of tan coloured) from Barneys which was reduced from $400 to $100. It's quite magnificent and if I do not put on any weight will fit me gorgeously. It's actually exactly what I was looking for. But the idiots forgot to remove the security tag, so I'm going to have to go back and get that done (she must have desensitised it though because the alarm didn't go off).

I was a bit poopy today that I didn't think to wear my sexy leather jacket- it was finally cold enough- but as Xena said over a divine brunch at the Tabard (world's GREATEST donuts), it just hasn't entered my mental wardrobe repertoire yet.

Expedia currently has flights to Berlin return over Thanksgiving for only $415. Holy shit. Also, my Roomie has lost one of my rent checks and doesn't seem to have any intention to ask me for a replacement (there's no question that I gave him one- he clearly remembers that part) so I may have scored some more purchasing parity- so Berlin and Dublin are perhaps not entirely out of the question just yet. He's a good guy, so I'll cut him another check if he asks and cancel the original one, but am not going to do it unprompted.

I really want to go and see 'The Queen', but it's only on at Bethesda and it's far too miserable outside for that little border crossing (no, really, Bethesda, whilst only about 30 minutes on the metro from my front door, is in Maryland).

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I was having such a good day at work until 5:10pm when I realised I had lost a document which was rather essential and, in all likelihood, threw it out in a moment of gross stupidity. Just the sort of winning behaviour to keep a job!

It's not the end of the world document but embarrassing because it's one of the many little stuff ups I've made recently and although easily fixed I will have to waste Dapper's time to get him to go over it again. Sigh.

In other news: maximum of 11C tomorrow. Whilst I'm excited about real cold weather, I've been caught unprepared as I do not have a scarf and my big jacket may in fact be too heavy for 11C. So, next time I write- I may well have pneumonia. I may pop down to Filene's tomorrow after work and buy a scarf and I also really want a blazer, but I think that may not be a Filene's effort but may require more substantial expenditure at Sisley or somewhere similiar.

So YAY for writing a winning speech, but BOO for fucking up and throwing stuff out I really ought not to.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I finally got an opera hit today.

Duke Bluebeard's Castle was well sung and played but for some reason left me cold. But props to Samuel Ramey and Denyce Graves who are both awesome. Gianni Schicchi, in an inspired double bill, was more engaging but a bit of the hyperactive overacting school, where farce means running around a lot and throwing open closets a lot. I liked how it had all these knowing referential touches though to Bluebeard's.

Got rather spectacularly lost trying to find Foggy Bottom (still my favourite name) Metro but ended up at Farragut so got home eventually.

If I stay, I have two overseas jaunts planned- Berlin for Thanksgiving and Dublin for New Year's. I've started doing the sums- I can do it (barely), but it will be tight. I'm not sure if I want to live like it will require, and I will need to buy some proper winter clothes which cost a fortune. Thing is, if I can only do one it makes sense to do New Year's cos then I see everyone, BUT I have absolutely no desire to see Dublin whereas I was really excited to possibly be going to Berlin. And to complicate things, Berlin is first which means I need to make a decision. Then again, maybe I should hold off Berlin and do it early next year instead, say, March.

At any rate, if I don't get the new contract it may solve all my problems as I'll have to head home.