Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 8-10 (1/20/11, 1/21/11 and 1/24/11 or Mag Madness! Insanity At the Deadline-Seriously)

Thursday, or...It Really Hurts

My eyes hurt. My eyes hurt and my head hurts from my eyes hurting.
That, and there’s a weird lump behind my ear, but I’ll save that for another conversation (with a doctor…).

Other than a plethora of copyediting, there really wasn’t much else to do. I found myself in an epic reading/checking for errors groove that you’d think would make time go by faster.
Alas, that was not to be.

Now, I need some kind of anti-burning-retina solution for my pro-burning-retina situation. CVS, come through for me!

Friday, or Whoa, Nellie's!

Ah, tonight was a good night. Keep in mind it’s pretty late and I just got introduced to the D.C. nightlife, so I’m pretty joyful right now. We went to Nellie’s after work, which was a nice little two story bar that was also a grill, allowing you to drink and eat to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content.

You could eat a drink…if it were frozen (not slushy, but glaciery). That’s a lot of work.

Why would anyone do that?

Moving on…

We (the interns and I) needed some time to get to know one another, especially since the first day was INCREDIBLY AWKWARD

This kind of awkard.

With that thought in mind, we decided to go to said bar, get to know each other, and party it up!

I have a new goal: To try a cranberry vodka in every state, if for no other reason than that it gives me good humour.

D.C.’s cv’s (…teehee) were…strong. At one point (I’m pretty sure I was only on my second one) I commented to the bartender that he was a bit heavy-handed on the vodka. His reply?

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” *proceeds to drown the 3rd of cranberry juice in the cup with vodka*


Let’s just say after 4 of those, I was in a talking mood….and I made friends with most of the bar in the short time that I was there.

Afterward, I went to hang out with Nicole and her girlfriend, who is an artist, and a damn good one. There’s this one painting she did that is of a smiling woman with an afro. The afro is made up of newspaper clippings. I was a bit out of it so I can’t spare the details of what was on the clippings, however, it was a beautiful piece and if I can spare some cash in the near future, I’ll definitely be buying a print of it somehow.

Surprisingly enough, after the night, I actually got back at around 10:30. Well, that could be because we started at 6 and didn’t get too crazy (I was told that after I left the bar, the rest of the interns went to a dance club with free vodka and crazy got crazier. Love it).
Either way, I finally went out and had some fun. Be proud….or something like that.

Monday, or Celebrity Time!


That is very awesome. Just saying.

We all (the interns and I) got a picture with him and got to talk to him a little after the
meeting that was held today to pretty much get to know him. Surprising facts:

1.) He’s only 20
2.) His birthday is tomorrow
3.) He and Gabrielle Giffords were pretty much like family in the first place (I teared up a little on that one. Family is nice)

That entire meeting was the highlight of my day. It was also my first official glimpse into all the employees gathered together for a meeting, as well as my first time interacting with all of the interns at the same time in a professional setting. We get along really well, and I hope that it stays that way. I’ve been over drama since 1995, but drama hasn’t gotten the memo.

Will it be different this time?

I sure hope so. I have more important things to focus on.


After the meeting, I spent the day doing some more copyediting and talking to my Thunderdome-mates. The name has stuck.

Successful name change is successful.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go off into my corner and laugh maniacally….while finishing up copyediting work.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 7 (1/19/11, or Scientologists and Canadians – Guest Starring the Safeway Club Card!)

My niche for clever titles is starting to freefall rather magnificently…

Today was a day where all the “exciting” things happened after I got off work. I usually stay until around 6-6:30, but I decided to head out at the designated 5 o’clock end hour because (through the grace of quite a few amazing people at MC) I had to go shopping at everyone’s favorite not-so-cheap-but-better-than-Whole-Foods Fridge Palace known as Safeway.

Before I did anything, though, I applied for the Safeway Club Card.


The cheap-osity is immense when you have it.

I still spent more than I felt I should have on the stuff I needed, but it was a lot less than I would have had I not had the card.

It’s always entertaining to observe the people in “foreign” places. So far, I have met the following from my grocery/work adventures:

1) The stoned guy who always wears a blanket draped in Virgin Mary fashion standing outside the National Geographic museum making hand gestures and smelling of rather potent cannabis.
2) The lady who dresses like Erykah Badu on the Metro
3) Greenpeace
4) The new practice known as pricing plastic bags (Do they do this everywhere now?)

Interjection time: I was headed back out that night to the local CVS (again, I can call any one of them local since I have seen about 30 of them-and only one McDonald’s. There is hope, kids) when I noticed a minivan next door to the apt. with its lights on inside. I went next door and knocked on it a couple of times before I got an answer.

A very tall, handsome (by handsome standards) man answered the door and I mentioned to him that said lights were on. Then he proceeded to engage in conversation with me, then invite me in to meet his wife and daughter, who was playing with trains (I was jealous of the trains).

We continued to talk and I learned he was from Ontario and was house sitting until the actual owners come back in February. Everything soon fell into place regarding his joyful mannerisms and enthusiastic approach to having me meet his family and come in. I love Canadians. They’re second in my heart next to the Jewish people (The most amazing people ever).

Needless to say, my day was a drastic upgrade from yesterday, and I couldn’t be happier. Other people I met on my adventures included:

6) Kindly man at CVS who held my bags for me whilst I shopped
7) Takoma Park residents who resembled many people I know

I have to try not to freak out in front of them when I think they are who they aren’t, but it’s all good. There was always a dog being walked, so I could cover my shock by acting like I was afraid of the dogs.

Also, while I was downtown, I ran into a church of Scientology.

That was so cool.

That church aside, the buildings around here in general look as if **Knights of Camelot will come out on top of dragons to kill you.


**fashionably archaic?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 6 (1/18/11, or Two Days Off? Well...If You Count Mentally...)

I could launch into an awesome song about how today wasn’t all that great, but that would involve being clever. Right now, that’s not happening.

Today…was rough, to say the least.

Why? Well, to put it simply, there was a lot of confusion (as the title implies). I had to copyedit something (Gala dates) and make them identical to past magazine lists, but the second time I started working on it, I never realized that I left the magazine that I was working from in my Supervisor’s office. How I completely missed this is beyond me….I mean, wow (epic fail, anyone?).

Anyway, I kept working on it, making grammatical changes and whatnot. I sent it in, then she told me to refer to the AP style guide as a reference for the state abbreviations. I did…and had no idea what she was talking about. I had the state abbreviations correct, so I couldn’t see what was wrong.

Until we had a fifteen minute conversation which consisted of us being on two completely different roads.

Sooner or later, we finally figured out what had happened (She wanted the state abbreviations after the listed venue, not in the Gala’s titles), I remembered that I left the magazine in her office and went to grab it. When I looked in, I saw my fail. It glared at me as if to say, “Har. Hardy, har har.”

Oh, if humbling moments didn’t exist, we wouldn’t have (Insert something humbled here).

Most of the rest of the day was thrown off after we both apologized for the entire misunderstanding, but man, did everything kick into gear at the worst possible time…

I was still reeling on how I wasn’t able to understand what she was saying and thus, freaked out about turning in anything I did for a few hours. Fortunately, talking to the Design Director (Bob) calmed me down a lot. He’s a very friendly guy and we talked about things other than work, which helps when you’re getting a bit stressed out from work. He’s now the designated “give me stuff to copyedit” guy and I love when he makes mistakes on printing.

It gives me a reason to talk to him.

Hopefully, though, something like that doesn’t happen again. I wasted a lot of work time, I think. Therefore, I have to get my ears (and head) together.


Anyway, afterward, the rest of day went better. Chelsea (Nicki Minaj’s soulmate) and I ate some horrible-tasting chips, and the entire Thunderdome planned a surprise dance-off against the interns on the 4th floor. Why is it a surprise?

4th doesn’t know about it.

Surprise domination.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 5 (1/14/11, or I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself)

No, seriously. I don't know what to do with myself.

It was rather evident today. I had some downtime for about two hours and I and one of my fellow Thunderdome inhabitants were confounded with what to do next. Therefore, we both did what came to us naturally....Talk about how we had nothing to do.

Now, I must interject here and talk about my Thunderdome mates, who are awesome people:

Nicole - The first person I actually talked to for an extended length of time aside from Janice at HRC. She has an enormous spirit and so far, it hasn't been a dull day hanging around her. Awesome lady.

Chelsea - I showed her around our floor the second day of my internship because no one had arrived yet (hilariously difficult, all things considered). We both bonded in the realization that we were equally incredibly geeked out about the internship in general. She claims to be kindred spirits with Nicki Minaj.

I loved her already, but that just made it better.

Ethan - More of a quiet guy than the rest of us, but he'll definitely get into the conversation when he finds interest in it. I love his moccasins. Seriously. I want them. I'd probably fit them too, considering my man feet.

Anyway, today was a slow day, except for the Intern Assembly line (all the interns, not just the Thunderdome occupants) that formed when we were assigned the task of putting together "Welcoming Schools" guides to send to certain schools that have agreed to adopt the GLBT-themed educational initiative. You can read about it and print your own version here.

During the small project, we got to learn a little bit about each other and they all think I'm nuts because I don't think it's cold here. "You Chicago people...har har har."

What. Ev. Er.

When you're used to dying of frostbite just THINKING about what the weather will be every day during winter in Chicago, everywhere else seems like a walk in the park. Seriously, it's not that cold here.

At least, I don't think so.

Also, I need to go to the Library of Congress, but, as I told Chelsea, if I go, I may never come back to work. I'll just sit there. And read. And cry because I can find so many amazing books. Gah. The card is free.

Why must you tempt me?

Well, I have next weekend's plans firmly in hand.

This weekend is sleep and sub-par television viewing.

Aw, yeah.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 4 (1/13/2011, or the Metro Is Going to Be the Death of Me )

Dear Washington D.C. Metro Gates/Transit Card Machinas,

What did I ever do to you?

Every day this week, all I've wanted to do is get on one of your rather efficient trains without hassle at your demonic gates/transit card machines. The first day actually went by better than the rest of the week. Tuesday, the man in charge of the gate close to HRC notified me that he would let me through without an issue if I ever have an issue. He is a sweetheart.

You, dear Metro transit process, are not.

You deny me the freedom to leave the station consistently, and you keep me from catching trains (although the trains come almost three minutes after one another, which is awesome).

I had heard so many good things about you being as efficient as your trains, but now I know that this be not true, especially after this morning.

I was already in a hurry to get to the office because I needed to finish proofreading the epically-paged guide I was given the day before. I thought you would understand that. I thought you would understand that I was in a hurry (especially since that was the first time this week I decided to walk briskly toward ye). I thought wrong. Do you know why I thought wrong?

Because when I put ten dollars on a transit card, got it from the machina and got ready to go through the gate, YOU WOULDN'T WORK.

That's right. You wouldn't work.

Don't deny it. We were both there.

When I tried to bring it up with your guardian (attendant), she copped an attitude before letting me through. While rude and wholly unnecessary on her part, it was no big deal. She must have been having a bad day.

Anyway, I thought things would get better with you when I reached your downtown constituents, but no, no, no. You STILL refused to allow me to get where I needed to, this time, by trapping me WITHIN THE STATION. Oh, how incensed I was.

Luckily for you, the guardian at this particular station has been nice to me from the first day of my confused ride through D.C. upon your efficient Metro and I told him of today’s dilemma. After checking carefully, he made me privy to the fact that the card was de-magnetized.

How could that have happened? I didn’t have it around my iPod or my phone. There had to be some other explanation. There just had to. I soon found out that there was.
It was de-magnetized in the machina-before I even got it out.

Again, I reiterate: What did I ever do to you?

Because of this week-long fiasco, I now have a Smart Card (your non-account required Chicago Card equivalent). My faith is falling, but I feel a bit reassured now that I have this card in my hands. I can only hope I am treated better in the future now that I (unwillingly) upgraded.

Will I be broken once more? Well, tomorrow will soon come and I will find out for sure if this was all for naught. Then (and only then) I will break down in a pitiful mass of despair on the escalator leading down and away from the station.

We can be friends. I swears it.

Monica L. Watson
In other news, my big task for the day was to go to a bookstore in the Dupont Circle. After getting lost for an hour and a half and meeting rather odd people who kept looking at my pants***, I finally found a Borders and got the AP Style handbook.

That..was my only real highlight of the day. The weather was really nice, though. I also got to walk all around a historic site…you know, cause I was lost and all.
I also forgot my lunch, so I had to buy food, which ended up totaling 10 dollars.

Ridiculous. I’m already impoverished as it is.

***Seriously, a lot of guys were staring at my pants. 'Twas odd. I've never fancied myself in the league of the highly attractive sort, so I'm still trying to figure out if there was a stain there. So far, I haven't seen any.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 3 (1/12/11, or You Know the Manual, and -Now- So Do I)

I think today may have been my most trying day so far. A lot of it was due to reading, and re-reading, and re-re-reading...All in a day's work. No big deal. I did enjoy it. I felt validated every time I found a mistake in the 98 page manual that I had to copyedit (I’ve been mistakenly saying 54. I have no idea how I was that far off) by tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.

This means something. What? Well…


Celebrate with me.

Basically, the manual is the 2010 Equality from State to State Guide on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Americans and State Legislation which will more than likely be released within the coming months.

Because I have to copyedit it (along with someone from outside of the organization who is a professional-thank God), it probably means I’ll be up for a majority of the night because I don’t have my glasses with me, the words are small, and I’m being all meticulous with my (usually not-so)meticulous self.

Because the task at hand took all day, I found myself at my desk in the Thunderdome (formerly iPod) for a majority of the work period. I’ll explain the Thunderdome part in a bit.

I only have to work until 5:30, but I usually leave at around 6-6:30 so I don’t have to pay extra during the rush and because I’m legitimately enjoying myself. I also have a vendetta against the cursed D.C. Exit Fare. Seriously? That’s stupid. I cannot be swayed in this opinion, for I believe it to be fact in my mind’s eye.


Since I was done with everything I had to do other than the manual (I was giving my eyes a break), I decided to formally personalize my desk. In doing so, I remembered my plan to rename the entire cubicle the Thunderdome. Granted, I wasn’t really given permission from the IPod mates, but I don’t think they cared in the first place. With that said, I printed out a picture of Tina Turner in what is arguably her finest role (“Mad Max: Return to Thunderdome”) and taped the picture above my desk, which is the center right of the cubicle. Above it, I printed the words “Welcome to the Thunderdome” and stuck an Equality sticker on it.

Seriously, these stickers are everywhere. I love it.

Then I put a Post-It Note with the words, “Thunderdome (Pod)” over “IPod”, so that there would be no inconsistencies. Just saying.

Then I danced to Teena Marie’s “Square Biz” on my iPod.

After all of that nonsense, it was actually time for me to go, so I got my stuff together, got back to Takoma, and proceeded to dance down the street to the apt…while singing Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

You clever, clever iPod, knowing that I would make a fool of myself to such a grand little ditty.

All in all, good day….or was that not obvious?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 2 (1/11/2011-or, the Joys of Shipping)

Today, I learned many very important things, including:

1.)UPS does not deliver to P.O. Boxes.
2.)UPS does not deliver to P.O. Boxes.
3.)UPS does not deliver to P.O. Boxes.

That basically translates to us (the Interns) learning about the packaging system at the HRC. Honestly, I didn’t expect us to ever do this. I’ve always had this image of Interns only filing papers and taking calls all day. So far, I haven’t had to do either, and I’m especially grateful for not having to do the latter (for some reason, I don’t remember who I am when I’m on the phone with a stranger). While the lesson didn’t take up the majority of our day, it was definitely entertaining. The person in charge of deliveries, Shelena (from the Operations Team) is a great speaker, as well as educator. She gave us the do’s and probably shouldn’t do’s of sending and receiving letters and packages, and she took us on a tour of the lower level of the building, where all the package magic takes place.

Note (mostly to self): This worked out very well. Now I can mail my Internship Agreement Form.

Today was the day where we had to buckle down. Our supervisors gave us enough work to last us the entire day and then some. I got in at about 8:45 and finished up finding quotes from yesterday from the transcribing that I did and before I knew it, it was finally time to copyedit! I was so excited about it that the whole thing was slightly alarming. My job was to:

1.Copyedit the President’s letter (usually found on the first page of the magazines/publications).
2.Copyedit those nice little ‘Thanks for being a donor!’ sheets people get when they’re asked to give money.

It worked out pretty well (aside from the feeling that my eyes were beginning to melt out of their sockets after awhile). Janice told me that I did a pretty good job minus spacing things. Obviously, I’ll keep that in mind for the next project. What is the next project, you ask?

A 54 Page State Legislation index.


Nevertheless, I took many things from today, the most important of which was:

UPS does not deliver to P.O. Boxes.