What D’you Know About the New-ness?


Today is the first day of my second week at the new job in Arlington.

It’s good stuff.  It’s my usual web designer/developer role.  It’s a pleasure to be able to get my hands dirty with design.  It’s been too long.  There are some really interesting design projects to tackle.  Lots of them, actually.    Good people, good work, yet another great location.

I really am lucky to have worked in some of the best spots in the country.  It’s pretty amazing when I think about it:  Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, Los Gatos briefly, San Franciso South of Market, Chinatown/Penn Quarter in DC, K St., and now Arlington.  Just a few blocks from Ballston Mall.

By the way, I have to thank Alejo, Dave, and Michael M., the design team I worked with at NAVTEQ.  I picked up so much good stuff from them.  Design patterns, techniques, interacting with colleagues, documenting designs, Adobe InDesign for design work, templates, workflow, online resources, conferences, seminars, DC design groups.  And how to be a UX team of one, when necessary.

I’m still trying to get the commute down.  And parking.  The one free, non-permitted parking spot in Arlington, apparently, is about a half mile from the office so that’s what I do.  It’s okay for now.  The weather’s nice.

That area is impressive in its way.  Virginia Square, Ballston.  Adjacent to the library and Quincy Park.  It’s clean and hyper-civilized in that spotless, nice but annoying if-the-world-were-run-by-a-condo-association way.  And everybody is jogging.  No matter what time I go out or get in or walk around people are jogging.  It’s great, but it kind of freaks me out.  Who are these people?  How do you have time to go jogging at all hours the day?

I think white folks (sorry S.F.) are going to live forever, if jogging contributes to health.  Live forever and eventually get their knees replaced with bionics.

Oh, and not Metro.  Commuting via Metro would be nice if it were, like, 2 or 3 stops.  You know, you could walk if they have delays.  You get to be among the pre-occupied masses.  But I kind of like driving (especially since my schedule is a little flexible.)


I’ll be playing this Sunday at JoJo’s.  Just two songs.  I’ll be accompanying Khadijah/Moon.  And that’ll be good practice for our gig on October 11th Saturday morning at the Green Festival.

After that I’ll be playing at Silver Spring at ArtSpring on October 31st.  Accompanying Quineice and playing a few with Sadie.

I’m looking forward to that.

what else

There’s not much else going on.  It was a bad weekend for the d.o.g.  Poor Leika.  People, don’t give your dog table food.  I thought that she wasn’t going to make it to 16 (in October).  It was that bad.

I cooked something, but I think it had gone off because it messed with me a bit.  And I had given just a few scraps — very few — to Leika.  And she suffered for about 48 hours.  We went out, down the stairs after a rehearsal on Saturday night.  Did her business and I thought she was okay.  Just dragging a little.  It was pouring rain and we were soaking wet.  I was thinking that maybe the humidity was affecting her joints?

But she couldn’t get back up the stairs.  She tried three times but just couldn’t do it and that’s a bad scene on those stairs.  They’re not like a wood stair case.  They’re cement risers — horizontal slats only.  She was in pain when I tried to help her or tried to see if she’d let me lift her.  I touched along her back and hips to see if it was a nerve or arthritis thing,  Then I touched her stomach and … let’s just say there was no mistaking that sound.

I have a ramp in the car for her that I got a while ago when she was having issues with her joints.  So I got her in the car.  Sat there for a bit to think of what my options were.  Actually drove to the emergency place, but by that time she was able to lay down.  So I sat there for a bit thinking about the cost — possibly upwards of a thousand dollars if they ran tests and kept her for observation.

I drove back home and just sat in the car with her a while.  Until about 2am.  I’m kind of ashamed to have not just taken her to the emergency place, but I decided to wait until morning to see if she’d get any better.  She seemed to be coping — no vomiting, no diarrhea, no blood — and I wanted to wait until Monday to take her to my regular vet if necessary.

It took me about half an hour to figure out how (and with what) to get her up the stairs.  I managed to get her to lay on a tarp I keep in the car, made a big sick-dog burrito out of her, and managed to lift it by the fabric and get her up the steps.  It wasn’t easy, but it worked.

Mental note: I’m going to have to figure out a way to deal with something like this in the future.

By Sunday evening she was much better.  Fed her a little bit of plain rice, which can help a dog’s stomach when they’re having problems.  I went out for a bit, came back and she was on the futon, which is a good sign.  Well enough to climb on and off it.  She was able to do the stairs.

On the mend.  Much better now.  And back to her regular, distracting antics.

supposed to be doing something right now

You’ll notice the amount of writing for these topics.  That’s in proportion to mental energy spent over the past few days.

Work is cool.  It’s … filling, if you know what I mean.  I get home tired.  Haven’t been blogging, Facebooking, or IMing excessively.  That’s a good sign but obviously I’m still trying to get things in balance.  Social life is still a shambles but with occasional quality time with some truly beautiful people.

I really have to slow myself down at work.  I’ve been compulsively going at the work projects.  I can’t keep up that pace indefinitely so I’ll have to exercise some discipline and save some for the home stretch.

And that’s all.

How are you dong?


Add Yours
  1. Sadie

    You should run to work for your commute. It seems fitting, plus I’d like to see you in a stylish pair of bionic knees someday. Hey – question for you — it’s random but related to pedestrian activity. There are apparently lots of pedestrian deaths per year in Baltimore like 40 something (actually to be honest I wouldn’t know if that’s a high figure, but it would seem so). Everyone here acts very street-savvy and takes risks I wouldn’t when crossing streets. What’s that all about??

    • garyarthuryoung

      Run to work. That’s a good idea. I wish I could. But then again, that would be more than a marathon every day. But there is a really nice bike/jogging trail nearby. The Custis Trail. Hooks up some suburban trails with the GW that goes into DC (and therefore Rock Creek) or down to Mt. Vernon. It would be nice to live in a spot where I could ride the trail to work. Hmmmm. The mind cogs are a-turnin’.

      Anyway, to your question.

      The thing about horses is that … oh wait. You said “pedestrian”. For some reason I read that as “equestrian”.

      Senseless pedestrian/traffic deaths. Risky street crossing. I don’t know. Beer?

      Lots of immigrants, relatively speaking, get killed jay walking in Fairfax County. They, if I may group immigrants for the sake of convenience for a second, have a different ethos about street crossing that is apparently based on geometry. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Rural road, highway, freeway, interstate. It doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter if they have children in tow or a baby in a stroller. That traffic light is just too far away and takes too long.

      Baltimore is kind of a free for all. Samurai swords, jay walkers, aural rapists.

      Stay frosty out there, Flick.

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