Thursday, March 23, 2006

Down in DC again and lease woes

Well, I never thought I would be down in DC so soon after getting off the trail. I figured I would get back down here eventually on my way to finish my remaining 922 miles but little did I know I would be coming down for a business trip. So off I go to see the NIH in Bethesda. The flight down was mostly uneventful if a little turbulent. I did find out from airport security that there is metal in my knee braces. Note to self, remove braces before going through security if you don't feel like getting frisked. I have taken to wearing knee braces as I keep denying the obvious, my knees are not full healed and taking the stairs is bad for the healing process. At least with the braces on, it is a vivid reminder that I have to be careful. I really should not ignore what my body tells me but I find I am good at doing just that. I think that is what got me in trouble while on the trail.

So, my new job that I have been working at for just over 2 weeks has decided to send me down th NIH to get additional training in various techniques that they want to do within the Harvard labs. I am currently learning how to harvest mouse urine and how to wash special metabolic cages. It is a smelly job but if that is where the grant money is coming from then that is what gets done. There is also the problem of cage stress on the mice when they are in these special cages that everyone is trying to find a way to get around. The stress to the animals is actually affecting the experimental data and may be masking real results as a result of that. Tomorrow I am supposed to be learning a few mouse handling techniques and I hope that all goes well. Saturday I am not sure how many hours I will be working but I will be getting together with a friend that night. Sunday should be a half day and then maybe I will have time to go into DC to check out the Cherry Blossom Festival. I will also be meeting up with the people I stayed with when I got off the trail. It will be nice to see them again and I hope that both of them can make it.

I am still waiting to hear back from the apartment rental agency on whether the landlady will agree to the changes in the lease that have been requested. I don't think that a landlord should have the right to just enter the apartment without out just cause or emergency but that is what this lease seems to imply. There was also a clause that allowed the landlord to decide no animals whenever they wanted which would result in immediate removal of all agreed upon animals. That is hardly fair. I wish to rent that place because they are allowing me pets. It is starting to get a little crazy. I hope they are able to pitch the changes to the landlady in such a way that she understands why they have been requested. So in the end I am still waiting on edge for word back as to whether there is a lease or not. I don't want to think about it but I may just have to start looking again or accepting a lesser place. That would be a shame because the place I finally decided on is really very nice. It is the first floor of a house plus two bedrooms on the second floor. It is called the Philidelphia style. There is a nice large kitchen and basement storage with washer and dryer. There is no off-street parking which sucks a little but then maybe she can be convinced otherwise since she is requesting shovelling in the lease. I am not shovelling unless I can have my car in the driveway. Shovelling the driveway is a small price to pay for an off-street parking spot.


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