Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Work Worries and the Quest for Tranquility -OR- Three Days During This June: A Recap

Walkway next to the Grosvenor Park II building, Montgomery County, suburban Maryland, 3:57PM June 13, 2014.

Yes, I included this picture in my previous post, but I thought it was somehow appropriate for the lead image in this entry.

**The images in this entry were taken over the past several days.**


This entry started as a Saturday afternoon update and was intended -- as ever -- to be a "quick update" that quickly spiraled into one of my complicated posts. As I was in a hurry to get to the gym, I deferred completion of the entry.

I then tried to draft more last night, except I ended up starting a tentative entry that was as reposting of this Andrew O'Hehir piece on what Eric Cantor's startling primary defeat could portend. That too proved far too lengthy, requiring numerous pictures, so instead I drafted the entry I intended.

The sidewalk of the 1500 block of Swann Street as seen from 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 5:29PM June 14, 2014.

I've been mugged twice in my time in D.C. -- both in the 1990s. One of those times was in the 1500 block of Swann Street. Both times by a group of black male teenagers.


As for this Sunday, I just want to take a long walk -- probably from Friendship Heights via Spring Valley and Battery Kemble park back toward Georgetown and Dupont. But I will try to finish and post this entry before doing so.

So to recap, I took Friday off from work in order to complete the pay period (which ends on Sunday, June 15th, so Friday, June 13th was the last business day in it) with as little time billed to "overhead" as possible.

Flowers growing in the 1700 block of T Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:41PM June 13, 2014.

I'm not sure what kind of flowers these are (tiger lilies?) but they are quite popular.


The next pay period that begins Monday will be a different story outright -- there is no avoiding it. Furthermore, next week will be critical in determining whether I have substantial billable work for the short term. I will find out on Monday, June 16th about additional work for the Federal client and Friday, June 20th about an entirely new task for an entirely different governmental client.

If both those fail or are delayed in any significant way (which, OF COURSE, is a big possibility), then (to quote my stepfather, Ray), I'm SCROOOOO'd, and in this case, literally and actually "by da Gub'mint."

Under that scenario, I would likely be converted to "hourly, as needed" for some indeterminate period of time -- and I'll need to get a new job, if I can. So things will be very dire. I'm not sure about whether / how I could take out a loan against my 401k -- or just cash it out outright.

The problem is that I already have a loan taken out against it.

However, my understanding is that after 90 days of no contributions, it closes out and the funds are just distributed to you anyway.

I've been feeling increasingly agitated and uneasy about this. I'm also having 'Nam 2009 - 2010 dire financial period flashbacks when I was in 1099 agony at the Japanese turkey farm.

But I can't do anything about my job situation today. Based on how tomorrow goes, I will immediately start looking for a new job. I've been putting it off but I can't do that any longer.

Cumulus clouds in the June sky (following a thunderstorm) over Grosvenor Park, Montgomery County, Md., 4:27PM June 13, 2014.


So continuing with my Friday narrative, I mostly took the day off (working about 2-1/2 hours from home on a short-term assignment for DD). My intention was to take a walk.

However, minutes before I left my apartment, skies darkened, and literally the moment I stepped outside, it started to rain in a veritable monsoon. I had no umbrella, but I REALLY didn't want to get wet, especially my shoes. I took shelter in the Carlyle Suites Hotel on New Hampshire Ave.

I was walking that way because I had to get to frickin' Dupont Circle to get frickin' money from the frickin' Bank of America ATM.

Over the next 20 to 30 minutes, it must have rained between 1 and 2 inches (it's hard to tell these things and it's easy to overestimate). As ever, KDCA was useless as a climate station since it only officially recorded 0.22 inches. (KIAD had 0.77 inches and KBWI just 0.03 inches.)

Anyway, the rain slacked and I was able to continue to my walk. However, I realized as I got to Dupont Circle itself that I had forgotten my damn book bag, so I had to backtrack. As I started back toward the circle, it began to rain steadily again. But I finally made it to the Dupont Circle Bank of America bank of ATMs -- itself the moral center of this Shitty Universe that a Shitty God made. I was able to "get cash" (I hate that phrase, but Americans worship it).

I just wanted to get out of the goddamn city, but this required walking to the Dupont south side Metro entrance. This, in turn, required me to walk past a gauntlet of aggressive and belligerent panhandlers, all African American men. Maybe Chris Hayes can interview them for his next All In show. The rain had caused them to gather along part of the circle under an overhang.

The walkway next to Grosvenor Park (GP) II, Grosvenor Park, Montgomery Co., Md., 3:32PM June 13, 2014.


Finally, I made it to the goddamn Metro at rode the train up to Grosvenor - Strathmore. As the train emerged from the tunnel at the I-270 / Capital Beltway interchange, I saw that the thunderstorms had cleared this part of unincorporated north Bethesda and the Sun was out. The heavens looked dramatic with dark clouds to the south and southeast that soared up into white anvil heads in the rain-washed blue sky overhead.

I got off the train and the incredibly peaceful suburban tranquil grounds of sprawling Grosvenor Park were like a steaming wet rainforest with sunlight, puddles, soaked grass, and dripping trees. The steaming effect didn't last too long, though, as things quickly dried out.

The walkway next to GPII, Grosvenor Park, Montgomery Co., Md., 3:35PM June 13, 2014.


I called LP, who lives in Grosvenor Park (GP) II, but it would take another hour for him to make it out of his condo. In the meantime, I called my mother. She was in her law office at Severna Park -- where she has worked for 30 years now and had been taken to a luncheon in Arnold at Deep Creek restaurant on Wednesday. I explained what was going on in my life. I also had her look up the Sterling LWX radar in base mode reflectivity, which she was readily able to do.

(If I tried to get my father in his trashy Florida seaside trailer to do that, it would end with screaming and shrieking profanity: F/CK! F/CK! I CAN'T DO IT! F/CK! HOW DO YA WORK IT!?! F/CK THIS! Well, actually, he doesn't even have a computer so the point is moot.)

Thereafter, I went to the wonderful Grosvenor Market -- which is in GPIII -- and bought my usual mini-spinach quiche, some mini bottles of wine (two white and two red, two of which I had), two cans of the Vintage Seltzer water, some Pringles potato chips (with their incredibly convenient-for-traveling hyperbolic paraboloid (saddle) shape), and a candy bar.

The unnamed small stream that passes through the grounds of Grosvenor Park, Montgomery Co., Md., 3:49PM June 13, 2014. The stream is unofficially called Lux Manor, or so LP tells me.


While waiting for LP, I unexpectedly encountered his friend R., who lives in GPIII -- in fact, he has lived there for nearly all of his life all the way back to when GPII and GPIII were constructed in 1965. (I think GPI may predate them by a couple years, but I'm unsure of that.) Finally, LP showed up and we talked for a while.

We stood near a tree and while talking -- WHUUMMPP! -- a large, dead branch came crashing down. We were about 20 feet away but it was still noisy and a bit disconcerting.

Did I mention it was Friday the 13th and a Full Moon occurred shortly after midnight the preceding night??

Larry's Lounge, Washington, D.C., 7:35PM June 13, 2014.


Thereafter, we walked to the Metro and R. rode all the way to Dupont with me. He hadn't planned to go into the city but he's the kind of guy -- wandering around aimlessly practically in his pajamas, carrying a plastic bag of something, and wearing a hat, not to mention having grown a tremendous beard -- who does that kind of stuff.

Larry's Lounge, Washington, D.C., 7:42PM June 13, 2014.

It was good to get an early jump-start on Friday night drinking -- it allowed me to be home and asleep by 12:30AM instead of gallivanting around until 330AM.


We were on the Red Line and there are places where the noise of the moving train sets up a kind of resonate frequency that fills the cars with a roar. We were having an intense conversation over this when some little crazy guy started screaming at us that we were giving off bad vibes. I think he actually said "bad vibes."

The guy (who looked like a balled up / drugged out version of the Dr. Johnny Fever character on WKRP in Cincinnati) was hunched over in his seat, high and/or drunk and deeply miserable looking. We changed cars at Friendship Heights. I really wanted to scream back at the son-of-a-bitch -- I don't have a problem engaging crazy people -- but a deathly glare to him had to suffice.

Anyway, Rob and I parted at Dupont Circle. I went home and later to Larry's Lounge where I met Gary. It was around this time that the actual cold front blew through with dramatic looking clouds but not much additional rainfall.

Dramatic looking "roll clouds" associated with a dissipating line thunderstorms passes over Washington, D.C., at sunset. The cloud was already to the east but was eerily illuminated that pinkish - lavender hue by the setting Sun. This was seen from Larry's Lounge at T and 18th Streets NW with Lauriol Plaza across the street at 8:29PM June 13, 2014.


Another view of the roll clouds over Washington, D.C., at 89:29PM June 13, 2014 (see above description).


As for yesterday (Saturday) afternoon, I went to the Anthony Bowen YMCA, where I had a good workout -- 6.3 mile / 64 jog on the treadmill and hour of machine-based weightlifting. I then walked over to the National Capital YMCA where I went into the big swimming pool (rather than the smaller one at the Bowen Y).

I also weighed myself on the scale at the Bowen Y and then on the big, old scale at the National Capital Y, and I was the same on both (which tells me the former is in fact accurate): 142 pounds. (The former had me a whisker above 142 pounds.) So nearly 2 years after I restarted going to the gym, I've managed to keep off about 42 pounds.

I made dinner and thereafter went out -- first to Larry's Lounge, where I met LP and then to No. 9. On the walk back, I encountered Chris H., walking back from his new job. He is also living in a new place (like the other one, very close to me, but this one is definitely nicer than the other one).

Dappled sunlight through the trees growing along the 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave. NW, 2:42PM June 14, 2014. My apt. building is on the other side of the street. I was walking to the gym when I took this.


As a very nice coda to the night, I got to see Brady for a few minutes. He is still adorable and wonderful. I then headed home and went to sleep.

So that's been my past few days.

The picturesque Northumberland, 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave. NW, 2:43PM June 14, 2014. This is next to my building.


My next planned update will be tomorrow (Monday) night, by which point I should have some sort of tentative answer about what's going on at work, at least on the first possibility I mentioned. I'm not sanguine on the odds.

OK, that's all for now.


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