Graffitti or Art?

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Thursday

Today’s the first and only day of this week that I don’t have a meeting!

I was especially delighted this morning when I realized I could wear jeans, a t-shirt (literally), and sandals because I’ll mostly be sitting in the office all day.

I woke up late(r) than usual. Bought a vanilla latte. Have KROQ livestreaming on my computer. And am currently sloshing through grant guidelines.

I’m looking forward to lunch with one of my first DM friends in a little while and cooking dinner for GHP (our homeless project) this afternoon. It’s spaghetti night on the plaza!

Have I mentioned how lucky I am?

OJ (and why I'm such a lucky sister)

When Ruben was 4, he decided that he wanted to give me a Christmas gift (or so my mom told me after). So, he asked her to take him to the store to pick out a gift for me.

What he picked out is something that I still have 12 years later. OJ is his name. He’s a little stuffed dog. He’s bright orange, and his stuffing is starting to fall out because he’s moved with me now about four times and overall just been around.

I love OJ and will probably have him for my entire life for one simple reason: He reminds me of how absolutely awesome it is to be a big sister!

OJ

Travel Thoughts: Hertz

I have to admit that I was somewhat nervous about renting from Hertz. For whatever reason, every car I have ever rented has been from Budget Rent-a-Car. I like their prices. I like their salespeople, and I like their cars. I even like their understanding in not so wonderful situations. And, their insurance is amazing.

I was holding out for Budget on this DC trip, but it just seemed that it wasn’t in the cards for this journey. So, Hertz it was.

First off, their shuttle service at Dulles was awesome. We didn’t wait more than 5 minutes either way, and in a chilling cold (at least for a girl from Los Angeles) that was pretty awesome.

The first thing that impressed me is that upon check-in, I found out that the prevailing rate was lower than the rate I had reserved online. I’m somewhat accustomed to the “oh well, that’s what you get” approach of travel vendors, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was given the lower rate. Not only that, they offered a full tank of gas pre-paid for less than the rate at the pump in DC.

Two major points for Hertz.

The car was a Chevy Impala. I am very partial to American made cars (and yes, I know 90% of the parts were probably shipped from overseas), but Chevy is still an American brand. So, I was happy to see both Chevy’s and Ford’s on their lot.

That’s not even the best part!

The icing on the cake was the “Fast Pass” pre-installed in the car for use on the toll roads. Being from Los Angeles, toll roads annoy me. They just cause me to slow down, and more importantly I’m not accustomed to carrying exact change for tolls roads in the car with me. So, presto! Use their Fast Pass and have it automatically charged to my credit card. That saved a lot of time and a lot of heartache in trying to find quarters all over DC.

As for the basics: the car was in excellent shape. It was clean. The trunk was huge. All four passengers (myself included) fit quite nicely. It was fully-loaded.

All in all, Hertz just contributed to an overall great travel experience.

On Blogging

I have this internal struggle with blogging.

On one hand, I like having my words disseminated. I like them in “print”, and I like the ease with which I can modify, adapt and configure my thoughts. I actually do like the thought that somewhere out there, someone is reading this.

On the other hand, I feel like I’m exposing my soul to the world. I do that in some ways in my non-computer life, but I control the filters. In this way, I can’t control any of the filters. I can’t control which of my thoughts and ideas people get to read. Presumably, anyone can read any of them.

That’s hard. So when people ask me about my inauguration experience, I feel compelled to give them the link to this blog. It’s the only way that I can truly share what it meant to me. Words fail badly. I just can’t seem to express the feelings when I talk about it. I can describe the events, but to share what went on my head? That only exists in type. It’s a funny thing.

Then, this morning, I received a lovely comment from someone on my “Meanings” page. It meant a lot. Not only because it was positive, but also because someone out there “got it,” and, in essence, “got me.” That’s a pretty good feeling!

And I go back to the reason I really started to enjoy writing and know that I had some amount of talent. Somewhere around 14 or 15 years old, I realized that I could make people cry with my writing. Those tears made me see that I could bring someone so far into my world that they could actually feel what I was feeling.

That connection is what I enjoy. My written words are probably the only real way to get to know me. They unmask all that I try to hide and get right into the very core of what I feel.

A Cold Medicine for Any Occasion

So, I give in. I have a cold. A sneezy, watery-eyes, sore throat cold. Dumb, is what I think about that. Even dumber that my denial of the situation didn’t cause it to go away. And triply dumb that my good spirits all day didn’t will it away.

So, I give in. I give in to my medicine cabinet.

I just asked my dad what I should take for those three specific symptoms. Well, he replied, what do you have?

Hmm….DayQuil, Nyquil, Theraflu (2 kinds), Zicam, Flonase, Zicam tablets, Coldeeze, Tylonel Cold, Cepacol, GermMD, EmergenC, plain old Vitamin C, Organic Throat Coat (a tea) and two generic types of allergy medicine that I can’t really spell off the top of my head.

It may seem extreme, but I really do get sick quite often. So, this stash of cold remedies has become a necessity. I kind of enjoy collecting them. It’s like tapping into a secret. Maybe, just maybe, this time I’ll come across the magical remedy.

It never turns out that way though because every cold is different. A month ago my cold was accompanied by a fever. This one is pretty mild.

So the verdict?

Tylonel Cold and Coldeeze.

Glad I had both. ūüėČ

My One Complaint about Virgin America

The  Virgin America flight experience was an amazing experience. The plane was comfortable and clean. The flight tracker was amazing. The flight attendants were friendly and the pilot was personable. The entire experience aboard the flight ranked up there as one of the best flights I have ever had.

The downside? And the side that makes me hesitate in thinking about booking another flight with them….

I had originally had flight plans for myself and a friend. My friend called Virgin a few days before the flight in an attempt to get information about either changing his flight or cancelling it. As a result of that conversation, he was given a new confirmation number for his flight alone.

Four days before the flight, he found out he would be unable to use the ticket and told me to go ahead and give it to someone else or cancel it. I attempted to transfer the name to another person, but was told it was impossible.

So, I went online with his confirmation number, clicked his name and presumably cancelled his flight.

The only problem was when I went back to check in for myself, my ticket was gone. It appeared to me that there was some sort of crossing of the wires. My friend’s ticket was still intact and mine was gone.

I called customer service about 2 minutes after this occurred and was told that I had in fact canceled my own flight. I still don’t understand how that was possible considering he had a separate confirmation number and his name was the only name listed on the flight that I canceled. I explained all of this to the woman on the other end of the phone, and she said the best that she could do was not charge me the cancellation fee on my own ticket.

That meant I lost $75 for the cancelling of my friend’s ticket and had to re-book my own flight which now cost $50 more than I had paid for my and my friend’s flight combined.

I later called Virgin America’s corporate headquarters and went through a directory of choices before leaving a message about my complaint. I have yet to hear from them….and I will be waiting to hear from them before I ever book a flight with them again.

Too bad.