15 April, 2013

Flattery & Family

Category: Exercise,Family,Government,Politics,Queer,Relationships,Running — Moose @ 10:55 pm

I’m flattered by the number of friends who think I run fast enough to qualify for the Boston marathon. Not even close here, but I appreciate the sentiment. I’m safe, trust me.

That said, the boy’s sister was running it for charity. His family lives in the greater Boston area, and his parents were expected to be at the VIP seating near the second bomb. Thankfully they stopped, earlier, at another spot on the route where they found a better view, so none of them was hurt. My future sister-in-law was still out on the route, and got pulled before she could finish, based on the security concerns.

My first thoughts, after comforting the boy, was how we’d need to marry early, to make it official, so we could take care of his (soon ‘our’) niece. And while I’m happy we don’t have to do the legal shit earlier than the ceremony in late May, it was still scary as all hell to contemplate that his ENTIRE family would be out at something and be killed. Given his sister’s wishes we’d still have gotten his niece to raise, but the lack of legal protections scares this lawyer.

Also annoying is our utter inability to help with blood donations. Despite having a safe profile, despite testing consistently negative for communicable diseases, I can’t donate, because I’ve “had sex with another man since” the year I turned 5. Not before I was legal, but, y’know, the FDA rules don’t make rational sense, they just fuel prejudice rather than public health purposes. So, yeah, I’m gonna make this political; fuck you, FDA, and your stupid rules, and how dare you prevent me from helping my fellow citizens when they need it.

23 February, 2011

Enough Already

Category: Government,Health,Mood,Politics,Stress,Work — Moose @ 10:16 pm

Hmph. I seem to have picked up another bug of some sort. This one just seems to be content with giving me a lovely sore throat. But only on the right side of my throat. No fever, no aches, just the one-sided sore throat. Most bizarre thing I’ve ever had. Went to urgent care on Saturday to see if it were strep, and I think I’m rapidly converting to the view that they’re practically useless, because both times I’ve tried them I’ve ended up going to see my primary care doc later anyway. Meh. Oh, and the quickie strep test came back negative. Ugh.

Other than that (which makes eating and talking loads of fun, let me tell you), work is slowly getting spun up with the possibility of a shut down after the current continuing resolution expires next Friday, the 4th. Both parties are playing chicken and government workers are stuck in the middle. You know, make some decisions, fund the damned government, be those levels up, down, or the status quo, but just fund us and let us do what we’re supposed to be doing – we’ll manage if you just give us some direction and let us run with it. The last time they did this back in 95/96 when large numbers of feds were furloughed Congress passed bills giving back pay to the workers sent home, but I just don’t see that happening this time around. Not a fun time, especially being the lead lawyer on fiscal issues. Oh, and bonus, it’s highly unlikely I’d be named as “essential personnel” so I wouldn’t be working or getting paid, either, if we shut down. Joy.

And all this is just a precursor to the fight over the debt ceiling later this winter/early this spring. That’s when the shit really hits the fan because even if an agency has multi-year or no-year funds and can keep operating without new money, the Treasury won’t be able to warrant out any funds to make payments, so it’s likely that at that point everyone will get shut down, period. No money to make tax refunds, to pay social security, make Medicare payments, etc. That’s when we’ll really see the shit hit the fan.

So, yeah, stress city right now. Can this winter be over yet?

7 January, 2011

One Week Down

Category: Exercise,Home,Motivation,Politics,Stuff,Weather,Work — Moose @ 11:46 pm

Still haven’t been able to fully motivate back into training yet. When it’s hard to tell if the heavy breathing is from being de-trained, the cold temps (and dry air) on ye olde lungs, or some odd combination of the two, it doesn’t leave me very thrilled with the idea of going out for a run. I have been continuing to bike into work, throwing on some long underwear bottoms, heavy wool socks, and old jeans, and that’s been fine to keep my legs/feet warm enough for the ride in, but the top of the hill at 10th street is kicking my ass in the cold. I end up breathing heavy until after I get into the building and decently heated air.

Give me heat and humidity any day of the week. It’s a shame I’ve forgotten so much of my Mandarin or I’d see about applying for jobs in Taiwan again. Even with the pollution I think I’d prefer the weather.

The familia seemed pleased with their Giftmas largesse. And Mom seems quite pleased with her b’day Kindle. I was a bit worried on that, because she didn’t seem to show much interest in mine when I showed it off back in November, but went ahead with it anyway. The email tonight (she got it this afternoon) was most enthusiastic. Looking forward to geeking out with her on it. Wonder how much Dad will end up trying to steal it from her.

I think I’m going to be able to shoehorn a cleaner into my budget now that we’ve gotten the first paycheck stub of the year. I got a modest increase in pay thanks to a performance increase (and no thanks to the powers that be killing off our COLA for this and next year), and between that and the tax adjustments I think I can swing it. My bathroom certainly needs it, as does the kitchen. That’s one of the things I miss most from living at the Woodner – we paid two women to come in every other week and clean. It was worth every penny. I have a couple of names from neighbors, so I think it’s time to start interviewing.

Speaking of the powers that be, the new Congresscritters are in town now and while it was mostly quiet on that front this week, I did get an email just before I left tonight alerting me to an issue and a proposed powwow with our various appropriations staffers over it. Expected, that with the divide among parties, we’d start getting some crazy, but I was enjoying the lull before the storm. It’s not going to be dull for us the next two years, that’s for sure.

11 October, 2009

National Equality March

Category: DC,Government,Politics,Queer — Moose @ 6:09 pm

I’m glad I attended the National Equality March (NEM). It’s hard to come up with excuses not to go to an event held in your back yard, though heaven knows I’ve begged out of other things. The last “march” in DC for GLBT rights was the Millennium March (MM), and that one felt more like an extended version of DC pride than an actual “march” (in contrast, the MM had a vendor area much like DC’s pride festival, down to the location). This one, at least for the march itself and the rally afterward at the Capitol, felt more purposeful than the generic feel-good atmosphere of the MM. Perhaps because this one was actually called for something, and didn’t feel like a corporate-abused bit of PR for HRC.

And yes, in case you couldn’t tell, I have an exceedingly low opinion of HRC. They got a lovely new building from all their fundraising, and the rest of us got saddled with DADT and DOMA. Not exactly a wonderful trade-off for paying for all their supposed “expertise” on lobbying.

Got down to the Capitol grounds as the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington was in the middle of their performance. I definitely could have done without the religious BS right after the Chorus sang, but I understand that it’s a necessary evil in our society. Popped out after a bit of the rally to go grab food, a very late lunch, but wandered back afterward to meet a Twitter buddy who’d come down from Pittsburgh, and managed to catch Kate Clinton, Urvashi Vaid, Cleve Jones and the cast of Hair (I left again as Lance Black was talking). Kate was funny, Urvashi was strident and allowed to go on for too long. Cleve was good, and the cast of Hair was amazing (Lance was good as well, but I wanted to get home before it got dark).

Hopefully some progress will come out of this, legislatively, and hopefully Cleve will get his (unspoken) wish – a better organized actually grassroots organization to counter HRC and company’s ineffective money pit, and actually get some work done. Were it not for the specter of how much worse a majority Republican Congress would be now (in the modern, nutso-driven version of that party), I’d like to believe we could do something like withhold donations until we got some progress on our issues, but I suspect that’s not practical. Not that I personally give to anyone other than my local politicos anyway, since I have no vote for Congressional representation as a citizen of the District of Columbia, but that’s a rant for another day. In any case, it would be nice to think that at least some of the folks here will go back and start talking to their representatives, Federal, State and local, and put more pressure on those same representatives to protect all of us.

31 March, 2009

The Beatings Will Continue…

Category: Dating,Exercise,Neighbors,Politics,Sleep,Work — Moose @ 10:04 pm

Work continued with the ass kicking today. I’m going to have to knuckle down and punch things out faster and/or just be better in general about getting back to folks or my office is going to continue to get pounded. It’s bad enough the head of the BGA hates the lawyers, but it’s filtering down to the rest of the staff as well. And we’re a very convenient whipping boy these days.


Dinner date this evening to help de-stress. Still not completely sure where this one is going past hanging out. With my return to training our social lives are again drifting apart, since mine is once again starting to revolve around exercising and crashing relatively early and his, well, does not. In any case, it was date number whatever and I’m enjoying it. I seriously need to cuddle, though. But dinner dates are not conducive to cuddling, more’s the pity.

And it must be bed time because the local army fort is playing retreat/tattoo. No, it’s not taps (lights out), but it’s close enough.

27 February, 2009

How Not To Get Started In Gubmint

Category: Annoyances,Law,Politics,Work — Moose @ 10:42 pm

Our new political leadership, at the urging of certain offices who have an axe to grind, has decided that the lawyers in the BGA are the source and instigators of all delay or other ills affecting the BGA. I actually had one political tell me to my face, in regard to some impossible language coming our way in the upcoming appropriation, that we collectively were being “insufficiently creative.” As if all there is to lawyering is to wave our hands and declare that red is green to suit the immediate political desires of the leadership. As I recall the last administration had their attorneys do some “creative” lawyering, and that turned out just swimmingly (not). Little twerp.

Needless to say, this has not made working terribly pleasant at the moment, especially in the face of the extraordinary demands on us under the stimulus act.

Adding to the difficulties are the normal issues with any transition, getting the politicals on board and up to speed, and also just getting our senate-confirmed folks nominated and through the senate vetting process. The tax woes of earlier nominees have caused an increased scrutiny of all nominees by the white house, thus further slowing the process (plus the desire to have cabinet secretaries all in place before lower appointees are nominated).

We’ll get through this, but it would be nice to have more, and less hostile, political leadership in place in the face of these extraordinary needs.

24 February, 2009


Category: Government,Politics,Work — Moose @ 10:20 pm

Well, as if I didn’t know it already, that speech proved that I’m going to have a very, very busy four years.

22 January, 2009


Category: Government,Politics,Work — Moose @ 11:03 pm

I think this has to be one of the most difficult periods to be a fed – we’ve got new management, but only a few actual political appointees (only one, in fact!), a handful of political non-appointees, and they’re not fully integrated yet. We know they want to go in different directions, and on the major things those are clear, but on the details they’re definitely not. We’re trying to react to the various provisions proposed in the competing stimulus bills, and despite the fact that the same party is in charge of the two branches, it’s not a given that we in the Executive will be completely on board with what Congress proposes.

Oh, and at some point they’re going to give us our actual budget for FY 2009 as well. You know, the fiscal year that started back on October 1st. So there’ll be that to deal with soon, too.

At the moment, though, I’m running around like mad getting stuff together, analyzing and reacting, and generally trying to be helpful to management. With little to no clear direction, and a lot of guessing. Fun, fun.

20 January, 2009


Category: Government,Mood,Politics,Work — Moose @ 1:47 pm

While I am glad we have now inaugurated a new President, the last week at work was somewhat bittersweet. In doing the type of law I do, I come into contact with a lot of the top political office holders at my Big Government Agency, and over the last five years there I’ve worked closely with several of them and gotten to know them well. As with the last change in parties, there were some I was happy to see go, but some whom I will truly miss. I will especially miss the leadership in our General Counsel’s office, they were fantastic to work with and for, and were consummate professionals.

My BGA will have a lot to do, and as will be the case with many other BGAs, there will be changes in direction to absorb and run with, and new faces to have to learn and get used to. I only hope that the political appointees chosen to lead us are personable, fair, and competent, and that they do a good job to support and promote the common welfare of us all.

19 January, 2009

The City Abuzz

Category: DC,Food,Friends,Politics,Shopping,Tourists,Transit — Moose @ 5:45 pm

Despite my declarations that I would be holed up inside my apartment until Wednesday morning, I did wander out into DC today to grab lunch with Chris up in Columbia Heights. Our first choice of restaurant was packed to the gills with a line out the door (at 1 pm, mind you), and the second choice had a 45 minute wait. We took the 2nd choice and zipped over to Best Buy to waste some time (setting a phone timer so we would know when to wander back). Got in relatively quickly after we returned, and had a perfectly nice lunch (not-quite-screaming-but-just-occasionally-fussy-baby notwithstanding).

The city is just abuzz. I haven’t seen it this packed in ages, and everyone is just full of this energy surrounding the inauguration, it’s wild. The Metro was busy, but not insane. Lots of “Is this our stop? This is our stop! Quick, get off the train!” type conversations going on, but for the most part folks were getting tickets and getting through the stalls pretty quickly and not being obnoxious about getting in and out of the cars and generally not being in the way. I am, however, glad I’ll not be going anywhere near Metro tomorrow. As busy as it was today, with 8 car trains and all of them relatively busy, tomorrow will promise to be a madhouse.

I’m glad I went out today, it was neat to see all these folks who are so excited to be here.