Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dark Falls Church

No, it's not as exotic as - well it's probably more exotic than Utah. I'm in Falls Church, Virginia living in a furnished studio apartment, and I'm doing it at the government's expense. You see, after many years of threatening, I have actually joined the Foreign Service. For those of you who don't know, the Foreign Service are the diplomats who staff the embassies and consulates of the United States around the world. I will have a black passport. I will be able to go through the diplomat's line at customs in the airport. But first, I have to finish my training.

So I'll be at the Oakwood until August 2008, and then I'm off to Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire.

From Oakwood I have a lovely view of a graveyard, which means it's quiet and I have plenty of light. During the day. On rainy days or at night I have to turn on every light so that I can get a slight haze of illumination. I finally figured out that the one table lamp is not a 60-watt max lamp. Oh sure, that's what the label says, but right underneath the label, etched into the metal of the bulb-holder part, it clearly says 250 watts max. And, it takes two turns of the switch to turn it on, and two turns of the switch to turn it off. Yes folks, it's a three way lamp. I bought a 30-70-100 bulb last night and now I can see during my nightly knitting.

I also replaced the 9-watt (who makes a 9-watt bulb?) over my bed with a 25-watt bulb. I was reading by 9-watts. What? Do they want me to go to Africa nearly blind?

The desk has no light at all. And even upping the light in the room has not taken it out of it's dark recess. So I bought a cheap clamp-lamp, like you have in college, and can now work at the desk without using braille.

The large walk-in closet came with 15 hangers. I asked for more and got another set of 15. Luckily, Mom and Dad came by with a bunch.

Did I tell you my studio apartment has two large TVs?

Still, it's pretty nice. I moved the fake plants around (to get them out of my way). And I am amassing the largest collection of dish towels in Falls Church. You see I use one, and put the other away in one of the kitchen drawers. Then when the maid comes on Friday, she takes the dirty one and leaves two fresh ones. I must remember to leave the whole stack out so she won't leave me anymore.

Yes, the maid comes once a week and cleans the studio, replaces the towels and sheets, and smothers me in dishtowels. I haven't vacuumed or scrubbed the tub in three weeks. This is the life.

Come visit. Renting a roll-away only costs me $25 a week.


Squirrelette said...

My god -- your service flat has the same lighting designer as mine! I would have bought a clamp lamp, except I don't have enough outlets! (and yes, both items have been noted in my customer feedback questionnaire)

Digger said...

Welcome to the FS. I have included a link to your blog on my list of FS blogs at