Work has kept me busy lately, so that accounts for the lack of posts. (Work is always a convenient excuse.) I've also had a few really crappy days lately, so I've avoided posting because no one wants to hear how pissed off I am at the forces arrayed against me. The eBay cell phone purchase is one such source of aggravation, and I'm hoping against hope that I'm not getting taken for a long, slow ride to the land of disputed purchases. The phone I received on Friday didn't ring, at least not audibly, and the speakerphone didn't work either. This afternoon I sent it back to the vendor for a replacement. However, there's a minor issue with the address I used for shipping, and the phone number he gave me for "customer service" is disconnected. All signs point to trouble ahead, but I'm giving this guy and his 99% feedback rating on eBay the benefit of the doubt. At least I still have a working phone (knocks on wood).
The boss is out in training this week, and so far things have been easier than expected, but I doubt that will keep up. I'm nominally in charge of my group this week, but all that means is that I'm the point man for any major issues that come up, like irate partners, major equipment failures, and rollout troubles. Lucky me.
Liz and I had a fantastic time on Saturday celebrating our 10th anniversary as a couple. We had a picnic in Carl Schurz Park near our apartment, with homemade chicken salad, cheese, fruit, and bread. It was fun despite the brutal heat -- at least we had a breeze where we were sitting. That evening we went to Morton's for steaks. I chose Morton's in part because it's one of our favorite fancy restaurants and we hadn't been there in at least a year. I also chose it because it was one of the first restaurants we went to after we had graduated from Georgetown and had the money to afford it (or the credit card to charge it). The Morton's in Georgetown looks mysterious, like a secret club, and it was a big deal for us to be able to eat there and feel like real adults. Unfortunately, we ate there on a Friday evening after work and before a National Symphony Orchestra concert. After eating bread, appetizers, steaks, and sides (I think we skipped dessert that time) we had a tough time staying awake through the concert. (It wasn't until a few years later that we figured out it made more sense to skip the huge fancy meal before a concert and just eat something sensible. That way, we were able to enjoy the concerts instead of counting the movements until the end.) But that first Morton's meal was amazing, and last Saturday's was no disappointment. Instead of my usual porterhouse, I tried their new Chicago-style ribeye, and it was as delicious as the porterhouse. The upside-down apple pie dessert was no slouch, either. That ought to hold us until our next visit, sometime in 2006 or 2007.
Yesterday we checked out the Mapplethorpe exhibit at the Guggenheim, and we really enjoyed it. It's a juxtaposition of his photos and classical drawings of the human figure. If all you know of Mapplethorpe is his controversial works like the cruxifix in urine, this exhibit is worth seeing. Liz was upset that the museum has posted signs saying "Please be advised that this exhibit contains graphic nudity," arguing that no European museum would think it necessary to post such a notice. I tend to agree, but I don't think that Europe is as litigious a place as the U.S. Without the signs, I'm sure the museum would be subject to all sorts of lawsuits from idiots who were shocked (SHOCKED!) to find nudity in an art museum. Yes, we're a nation of dumbasses.