Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Desk

This is my desk at work. Apparently, we're smack dab in the middle of the rain forest.

There are leaves on my desk. Really.

This job is amazing. I am actually doing something that I love. I'm doing something at which I excel.

It's about time!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hello, I Am Here to Give You an Update

It's simply crazy the way things happen.

First, there was Thanksgiving. I have just one photo to prove that it happened, and it is here (if you took pictures, please send them to me!):

Hello, I am here to cook you turkey.

My dad and I were in the Uhaul on I-270 when my mom called to announce the birth of my second niece, Savannah. Kari went into labor two weeks early and the baby just happened to arrive when I was on my way home. Of course, the Uhaul wasn't as fast as my old little car, and it took ten hours to get to Michigan, rather than the usual eight.

Also, did you know that gas is expensive?

Hello, I am here to drain your bank account!

Instead of driving directly to Ann Arbor as previously planned, we drove to my parents house instead. My mom had the car running, so we hopped out of the Uhaul, into the minivan, and sped to the hospital. I held my infant niece and didn't want to let her go.

Hello, I am here to make you burst into tears for no reason.

Later, even though I was completely exhausted, we drove to Ann Arbor. In the Uhaul. Oh, we stopped for gas first, of course, and I just narrowly missed driving over the pump. I told you that I probably shouldn't drive, LADY. Hey, you can open your eyes now.

My new apartment is so much more than I expected. It's so cute!

(Here is where I would post a picture of said apartment, if it wasn't currently Cardboard Box City.)

I can't explain how I feel to be back in Michigan. I am so happy! Well, except for the 28 degree - FEELS LIKE 16 - weather. It's cold, y'all.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mother Nature Says...

... welcome back to Michigan!

This is the view from my back entrance onto the deck. It started snowing around 7 p.m. and I, used to DC "snow," figured that it would be gone this morning. Nope!

Hope my 1.5 mile walk to work is fun!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Each and every person that I've known to leave the Smithsonian said the exact same thing to me when I brought up my exit clearance, "Once you go through that process, you'll be glad you're leaving."

I really thought that things would go smoothly today. I only had three offices left to visit, and I arrived at the Archives at nine o'clock on the dot. Because I had never used the archives, I was cleared immediately. I then headed to Human Resources where I was to conduct my exit interview.

Apparently, they just weren't feeling up to it this morning and the receptionist signed my forms instead.

Then I ventured to the ID Office and the Office of Protection Services.

The people in this office... well... let me ask you a rhetorical question: Why do people - who clearly hate other people - work in customer service positions? If you have ever worked at the Smithsonian and had to get an ID badge, you've met these people. You do not screw with these people. They will cut you. They are surly, angry, sad people, and I don't feel bad AT ALL about saying that. They acknowledge your attempts at politeness with a scowl and talk down to you like you are a complete idiot.

It was at the ID Office that I learned of an "error" in my forms. Since they had not been updated since 2003 (amazing), there were an additional TWO offices that I had to visit. AWESOME. The best part? One was in Chinatown and the other was at the Air and Space Museum.


So I trudged to Air and Space to visit the parking office. The parking office. I DON'T OWN A CAR. The guards there were completely unsympathetic, made fun of my last name because they couldn't pronounce it, and it took five minutes to get them to explain to me how to get to the fucking parking office. Thanks. Again, customer service? You? WHY?

I then hopped on the metro up to Chinatown to my old building. The SI health unit is still there in the basement and even though I had never set foot in there, I had to get cleared!

I understand why we have to complete this clearance, I do. But I am convinced that it is designed in such a way - without instructions, addresses, or phone numbers - as to encourage the exiting employee to just give up.

"You know what? Fuck it. I'm not hauling my ass to these FOURTEEN offices. I'll just stay."

But I completed everything, and my director filled in the last section. I handed over my letter of resignation, and... had to finish up about twelve million things. There was no bounding out of there with dust in my wake. And I still have to drop by on Friday to pick up the massive amount of junk that I had stashed there.

It was still sad to leave. To turn off my computer for the last time. To flip off my office light. But I'm going to be doing what I love in just a few, short days. I am not going to be sitting in front of a computer for hours on end. I am so excited. SO excited.

Forecast of My Day

Yesterday, my horoscope read:

Reflect on where you have been,
and look forward to where you are going.
It's a good time to put all the pieces together in your mind.

And then I started crying.

But really, how perfect was that? NICE TIMING, UNIVERSE. Thanks for the correct alignment of the planets or whatever, that allowed an astrologist to pen the perfect horoscope for me. (Or peer into a hat and read the words from plates or whatever.)

Today I complete my final stops on the exit clearance tour and it's going to be awesome. I might even stop for a mocha before heading into the office.

Getting dressed might be step one, however.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Packing is a big enough pain in the ass, but when you add in the clusterfuck that is an exit clearance, you get a very tired, very annoyed Donut.

For all of you federal employees out there: did you think that starting your job was ridiculous, what with the background checks and listing every single place you've lived and every single person you ever met EVER?

Exit clearances are worse.


In my case, my organization (oh, who cares at this point - I'm sure that most of you have figured out by now that I work at the Smithsonian) has offices all over the goddamn DC metro area and I have to go to twelve different places.


First, I have to go to the Library, even though I have NEVER HAD A LIBRARY CARD, and sign something that says that I never had a library card. So, time well spent.

Second, I have to go to the credit union. I don't have an account there, but I have to go nonetheless.

Third, I have to go to the Archives. I still haven't figured out why.

I can skip three offices, because I don't work with collection items, am not a foreign scholar, and don't have any outstanding lawsuits with the Institution. As far as I know.

Fourth, I have to go to the Comptroller and someone will walk my papers around to various people to get signatures. Really, that's what the receptionist told me when I called yesterday.

Fifth, I have to go to the Office of Contracting, to... I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do there.

(Did I mention that these two offices are in Crystal City?)

Sixth, the Accountable Property Officer has to sign off saying that I don't have any desk chairs in my back pocket. Or whatever - I'm not really sure.

Seventh, I have to go to the Office of Human Resources for my exit interview. "Why am I leaving? Well, though I enjoy being paid practically minimum wage, I'd like to pay off my graduate school student loans before I die."

Eighth, the Office of Protection Services, to turn in my badge. Sniff. And it says something about "medical records," which... I don't know.

Ninth, my office, to turn in keys, official records and files, manuals (obviously I would want to keep these forever), my government driver's license (what?), and my uniforms (I wish I had a uniform - I wouldn't play "try everything on and decide I hate everything I own" each morning).

Basically, this takes up an entire day. Whatever.

Okay, off to the credit union!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Boxes. They Will Soon Rule My World.

And I, for one, welcome our new box-like overlords!

But really, boxes are taking over my life:

What you don't know is that most of those contain books.
I have a problem.

Jen is a fantastic box putter-togetherer.

Merrick is a force.
Watch out for this girl, seriously.

The smartest thing that I did was order boxes from They arrived in two days (with free shipping!) and I feel good for using recycled boxes. Since I can't afford to hire movers, it was the next best thing.

The place is looking emptier, but the whole "moving" thing has yet to set in. I'm sure that will happen soon enough...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Murphy's and Cider and Fire, Oh My!

As part of Heather's Going Away Tour (copyright Shane), we hit up Murphy's on Saturday night for dinner and drinks and music. And drinks.

Hi Gabe! And hi, Heather's bra!

My boys.

Pat Carroll always brings in the crowds.
And he did play my favorite song, The Folksinger's Lament.
So I win.

Now that is a full pint.
I had five.

We were sitting directly in front of the downstairs fireplace.
There was sweat everywhere.

Check you later, Murphy's!
Thanks for the memories. And the pictures.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Going Far, Far Away

Amanda and I arrived at Ella's early for dinner, and it was a very smart decision in that it put food in my stomach. Because there was a little alcohol. As you will see.

This was meant to be the "before" shot.

Okay, one is water. So?

Josh does his best penguin impression.

The newlyweds mug it up.

Very nice.

Josh, will you be Old Roommate Jenny's new friend?
Check yes or no.

Hook 'em.
(I think that's right. Right?)

And I suppose this serves as the "after" photo, but it's really not that bad.

Sadly, I had to say goodbye to the two best bartenders in town, Chris and Mike.

I really am that pale.

Thanks for everything, guys. Ella's was the first happy hour I planned (back in 2003!), and it was only fitting that it served as my going-away venue. I don't know that I'll find a place like this again - a place where everyone really did know your name.

I had a blast, and I was so touched that so many people made it out! Check out all of the pictures here, including some that will make you think differently about putting pepper on your food.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Thanks to this guy:

...THIS GUY...

Thanks to him, I had a pepto bismol smoothie this morning. Well, it was less of a smoothie and more of me chugging it straight from the bottle. Then I threw back some Aleve and some sips of Coca Cola, and I was fine. Sugar and all that, you know.

(Also, the subject line of an email I sent to K-10 last night read, "drubnkj!," which I think was supposed to be "drunk." There's no way of knowing, really.)

But just look at him, all crafty. DON'T DRINK WITH THIS GUY. You go to the restroom and return to find a brand-new frothy beer sitting on the bar. A beer that appeared as if from nowhere!


I mean, no! Bad!

With a basketball game tonight and my going away party tomorrow, I need to watch it. So no more hanging out with THIS GUY. Until tomorrow, that is.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hi My Name is Heather. I Am Wee. The End.

I found this when going through papers from grad school.
It was drawn on a napkin that I'll assume was from Lindy's.
Thanks, Deals!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

So True

Best card site. Ever.
Also, her hair is amazing.

Thanks, K-10!

And so...



I'm sort of... moving.

Back to Michigan.


You see, it's been a possibility for some time now, and it just so happened that a job opened up at my old museum and so? I am moving.

Over Thanksgiving weekend.


Basically, I am freaking the hell out trying to figure out how I am going to get everything done, get everything packed, and get everything taken care of in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, and these panic attacks are not my particular shade of pink.

Anyone want to sublet my apartment? Lots of closet space!


What I am most happy about is that I am not leaving this great city because I don't like it anymore - quite the contrary. I love living here, I love working here (even though the job might be lacking), and I love being here.

It's just...

I've lived here for over five years and for some time now, it's been clear to me that I've reached the end of the relationship. I love DC... but I'm not in love with DC anymore.

Like any relationship, moving here and living here on my own has transformed who I am. I left Michigan in the summer of 2002, and at only 22 years old, far from independent. I had always had roommates, always had a set of friends, and things were always planned for me.

I moved here alone. I didn't know a soul. It was... sobering.

I started grad school and made a few good friends, but it was my internship at the National Museum of American History that really got the ball rolling. I made friends there that have become friends for life, and to be completely honest, I really wasn't expecting that!

Now, over five years later, I have a bank of memories - favorite moments, amazing friends, and great roommates.

But what I need most is a new phase in my life, and this is my solution.

And while I'll most likely be on hiatus for a bit later in the month, I won't be quitting this here blog. I have to brainstorm a new name, however, and while "Detroit Donut" rings a nice, smoggy bell, I don't think that it would be the best fit.

I wonder if just "The Donut" is taken... Any ideas for a new name?

I have loved blogging in this city, and I hope that you'll continue to read once I relocate to the charming Midwest.

I promise that people there will generate just as many stories for me as they do here.

Does anyone have any boxes?

Or beer?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Left Over

I love leftovers. Love love love them. Some meals are even better reheated, and it's always such a massive relief to trudge home from work and find last night's chicken or Saturday's takeout from La Loma (hmmm, I haven't been to La Loma in some time...).

When I make my mom's spaghetti sauce, I freeze about half of it in one-portion baggies. When in need, I defrost it as the pasta is boiling away and dinner is served within minutes. Plus, it's comfort food at its finest, my mom's spaghetti sauce. That it is.

But as much as I love my reheated Thai food, it is time to dump it. My stomach is PISSED at me and I am not relishing the idea of being confined to the bathroom on my day off, so I won't be eating it for lunch. Again. Plus, I bought a half-gallon of apple cider at Eastern Market yesterday, and half of it is gone. Maybe that's another reason my insides are rebelling.

Also, that's enough of my inner workings for one day. Sorry.

I Love This Show So Much

Watch the whole episode, Greenzo, here!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lord of the Freaking Flies

Where in the name of hell did all of these flies come from?

I have killed five in the last twenty minutes, and all in my bedroom. They are relentless. When I came back from the kitchen, one had re-spawned and was flying around again.

Mutant, eternal, big, fat, disgusting freaking flies. IN MY HOUSE.

I don't know where or how they're getting in, but I am NOT amused. They are absolutely huge and have red eyes. Red eyes! They're devil flies! I am all worked up now, from chasing them around the apartment, and I think that I overextended my arm (or my shoulder or whatever) while valiantly swatting the air with a newspaper.

It could be worse, I'm sure. It could be sprickets.

Oh my LORD, there's another one. Excuse me.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?

"I think so, Brain, but can the Gummi Worms really live in peace with the Marshmallow Chicks?"


I'm thinking:

~ Maybe I should shower. It is three in the afternoon, after all.

~ If I do shower, do I want to go get some coffee?

~ Will we actually get a new dishwasher from our landlord, or will I be hand-washing dishes after Thanksgiving?

~ What smells like burning?

~ How many times can I watch "Tracy Does Conan" before it gets old? (Answer: INFINITY)

~ Should I have had something other than Thai food for breakfast?

~ How awesome am I for starting my Christmas shopping already?

~ Seriously, what is that smell?

~ Why are my feet always so cold?

Yeah, I need coffee.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Oh man. This morning so far? BLEH.

I woke up at 5:00 instead of 6:15, and couldn't get back to sleep.

My upstairs BITCH of a neighbor is secretly out to get me, I think, because she covertly fucks with the plumbing when I'm in the shower. "Sink on, sink off. Sink on, sink off. Sink on, SINK OFF!" And I'm all, "Warm, cold! Warm, COLD. Warm, I'M A GONNA CUT YOU, BITCH!"

Okay, so maybe she doesn't do it on purpose, but the timing is very bizarre. Also, she walks like an overweight elephant, vacuums at 1 a.m., and runs the dishwasher at midnight.

Hmmm, how else did my morning suck? I poked myself in the eye with the mascara wand! That was pretty.

My internet connection kept dropping, so I shut down my pretty laptop in disgust and had to shudder check the weather channel instead (I used to love the Weather Channel, until I got the laptop, that is. Instant gratification!). Which meant that I had to put on a robe. Which is obnoxious when all I want to do is prance around naked as long as possible.

Naked prancing!

The saving grace was my walk to work. I shunned the metro in exchange for a nice stroll down Independence Avenue. It was crisp, it was deliciously chilly... basically, it was an awesome start to the day. I had my light jacket and my scarf, a little pair of gloves, and I was set. I walked from my apartment on the hill to L'Enfant Plaza, and it was glorious.

I love this weather because I don't sweat through my clothes just by glancing at them. No more arm sweat, back sweat, crack sweat, or feet sweat.

Too much information?

Sorry. I'm small, but I sweat a lot. I can't do much about it but wear tank tops in the summer and preventative undershirts in the winter because even though the weirdos on "Doctor 90210" get Botox injected into their armpits to alleviate the sweating, the idea of a GIANT NEEDLE makes me light-headed.

(Hmmm, maybe if they knocked me out first...)

(And how ridiculous is Doctor Rey? His karate? Amazing.)

Of course, talk to me later when it's pissing down sleet, and I'm sure that I'll be singing a different tune.

So right, I walked my sweet ass to L'Enfant Plaza. Great. But then I got to work and things started to, well... suck more.

I am currently:

~ wearing my coat AND scarf.
~ wrapped, towel-like, in a blanket, from my waist to my feet.
~ considering putting on my gloves because I am having to stop work every few minutes to SIT ON THEM because of the utter freezing-ness.

It is SO COLD in here. I want to tape up the air vent, because it seems to be set to "arctic chill," rather than "toasty warm fireplace feel," but the building manager is a complete psycho and I know that she would flip out if she spotted it.

Not so bad, really. But IT GETS BETTER.

Feeling hungry, I headed to Au Bon Pain, and the dickweed in directly ahead of me took the VERY LAST cinnamon scone and I very much wanted to punch him in the neck. Also, is it too much to ask to make extras of the pumpkin spice muffins? I mean, everyone loves them, apparently, because they are always sold out, and I just want to try one once since everyone raves. But I guess NOT.

(Heh. My spell-checker did not approve of the word, "dickweed." It suggested instead: "dick weed," "duckweed," "dickered," or "chickweed." Chickweed?)

So I bought an almond croissant instead and upon the first bite, discovered a ton of sweet GOO in the middle. What the hell is that goopy stuff? Super gross, and no, thank you.

So that was a nice waste of $2.40.

But? It's already nooner. So I shall calm myself down and look forward to Thai Chili with Amanda later.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wishing I Had Sent Out Real Invitations. In the MAIL.

You know what would be awesome? And helpful?

If people would freaking respond to my Thanksgiving evite.

This is THANKSGIVING, people, not an impromptu high school kegger. Things need to be planned and food needs to be purchased, and I swear I am going to scream because I am a crazy perfectionist and I want everything to be LOVELY and NICE and TASTY.

Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, so help me out here. PLEASE.

If you don't rsvp soon.

Duvet Chic

I hadn't read Go Fug in a while, but something unknown and unseen pulled me there this morning. Perhaps it was the possibility of my pulling a Maria von Trapp with my duvet, as Patti LaBelle has obviously done here:

(from Go Fug)

And here's my duvet:

Huh. Who knew that Ikea was designing dresses for the stars now?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


So I met Old Roommate Jenny at Tortilla Coast this evening, and we had some drinks. A few. And since it is apparently my m.o. to make a call to at least one of my parents when plastered,* I called my mom.

Lady: Hello?


Lady: Well, hello baby person!


Lady: I had some large wines at the bar!

Heather: You win. That was awesome. I celebrate your wines.

And it went on like this for a while.

And I kind of want some wines now.

*The best evidence I have of this phenomenon is a drunken call to my dad after my boss's wedding. I had had my share of wines as well. We talked for 55 minutes. And when I asked my mom about it later, she swears that he never even questioned my sobriety. And there was slurring, people. Lots and lots of slurring. A proud moment for the Donut. PROUD.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Superfluous books!

In my jackassitude, I forgot to cancel not one, but TWO different main selections from my book club. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, as I have never been disappointed with any of my books from QPB, but as I am trying to save money, this is kind of crappy for me.

But sending the books back will cost me money, and I really don't see the point in spending money to NOT have books, so I've decided to keep them.

Then again, do I NEED more books? No, I do not need more books. In fact, when Awesome Old Roommate Jenny and I went to Shenandoah the other weekend, I informed her that we would be having a conversation much like the following, and she was instructed to reply as such:

Heather: Oooh, Jenny, there's an awesome used book store in Front Royal. We have to go!

Jenny: No, you have ten trillion and twelve books. You don't need any more.

Heather: But they have classics for ten cents. TEN CENTS, JEN. TEN CENTS. TEN.

Jenny: You don't need books. You need to save money.

Heather: But it's RIGHT THERE. PLEASE?

Jenny: No, and if you don't shut your face, we're not getting sundaes from McDonald's.

Heather: I hate you.


Don't be surprised if you receive one of these beauties as a gift. Is what I'm saying.