Saturday, June 25, 2005

Greetings and leavings

(A) Why do some people not know how to shake hands? Yesterday when I met Bess's daughter (a woman in her thirties who looked pregnant but I'm somehow sure was not) and she extended a limp hand to me as if it were a dirty Kleenex. What does such a person expect me to do with this bag of flesh she's dangling at the end of her arm? Kiss it? And what happens when two non-handshaking people meet? Do they sort of nudge the hands together until the fingers brush against each other?

(B) I spent all day packing. Or rather, not packing. I'm packed now, except for my razor and toothbrush, but I'm just not excited about leaving. Maybe it's because I'm starting to despise long plane rides and I have to go through Atlanta to get to Las Vegas. I'll be sleeping most of the way, though, as I have to be up in five and a half hours and I haven't taken a shower yet. No exercise for me tonight. No words either. At least, none written down. Lots verbal, including those I hurled after a tank top I had just taken from the dryer and was folding only to discover that not only didn't the stain come out, it's sprouted an inexplicable bleach spot.

(C) Back on (A). Bess was still at work at about six because my/Maggie's paper wasn't converting to PDF and she was trying to fix it. I was there with her because it was my paper and I felt guilty and figured misery would like company. When Bess's daughter came in she said to me, "You must have no life if you're still here at six." I told her it was my paper and she said "Oh," but I wish I'd said something clever and sarcastic instead. On the other hand, that was probably just her attempt at being friendly and sociable. Do I sound like that when I'm trying to be friendly and sociable?

(D) Back on (B). I'm going to Las Vegas! I'm going to see my family! I'm going to be away from work! I'm going to troop around in 102-degree weather! Except for that last one, I may not be excited about leaving but I'm excited about getting there.

Friday, June 24, 2005

What S says about my trip:

"Should be great blog fodder."

I honestly don't think he's trying to annoy me.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A small job-hunting nitpick

Those gender and ethnicity surveys that some companies are required to make? Totally not cool. Not because they're offensive but because they don't have enough choices--and they don't even have the decency to provide checkboxes instead of radio buttons.

Las Vegas trip list

  • clothes for 5 days, 4 nights, including clothes for the <dum dum dum, or if you like, "Oooooon aaaaaand oooooon"> Celine Dion concert
  • toiletries
  • sunglasses
  • new digital camera with case and extra batteries
  • old digital camera with case, batteries, and extra disks, as Dad may be giving it to my cousin if he doesn't have one and wants it.
  • hair ties--growing my hair out long enough to tie back was probably a good idea.
  • charged cell phone
  • charged and current T2
  • notebook
  • knitting, if I have a suitable small project
  • cash (What's a good amount for about 4 days of gambling? I'm thinking $20 total)
  • plane itinerary
  • books. Or at any rate one book.
What am I forgetting?

Morose--but clean.

Yesterday I was feeling blah and dejected and--morose, maybe; partly because I went looking through some journal entries from the past couple of years and noticed, as I hadn't when I was writing them, their overall level of unhappiness; and partly because of this paper and the things I haven't gotten done job-wise and writing-wise and life-wise.

So I cleaned. It takes a certain mindset for me to want to clean, and apparently that was a gateway to it. I didn't vacuum because it got late, but I cleaned everything else and did the dishes and folded laundry while I watched/listened to both Shrek movies. (The Fairy Godmother has the scariest smile ever.) Tonight I'll vacuum and iron and maybe think about what books or knitting project I want to bring for the plane ride to Vegas. Oh, I also played with my new digital camera--I need to make a pouch for it Friday or Saturday. And so on. Always things to do. No exercise or writing, though Shoelace is at a fun place for tonight. I need a vacation. Oh, look! I've got one coming up. (And then Independence Day weekend. I like how my family planned this.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The future.

Oooh. This (link from Kellie) is the best thing I've seen all week.

And from the second best thing I've seen all week: when I get married I totally want the wedding to start with my groom walking down the aisle to the Imperial March.

The good, the bad, and the grass.

On the good side, 1228 last night. On the bad side, up 2 lb. Also my girth is 3" larger than the last time I remember measuring it (several months ago, if not longer). Yuck. Well, maybe a week of running around doing touristy things where food is too expensive to buy will help.

On the good side, I'm going to an Indian place for lunch today. I don't have high hopes for this town, but I've never eaten bad Indian food, either, so we'll see. On the bad side, Maggie has further annoyed me. I can't do anything about it, though, other than hope she wonders whether I've got a voodoo doll of her somewhere. This is probably the real reason my coworkers are leery of me.

I cleaned the bathroom last night except for the floors. Tonight, floors and laundry. Tomorrow "Shawnscape" will be coming by to cut my grass. $50. They offered a weekly rotation but had no problem when I wanted to just call whenever I wanted them to come by. I really should have stuck with the first kid, week-long process and all, considering the price has crept up every time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

You always have at least two options. Sometimes one of them is Ctrl-Alt-Del.

(Not in context with the rest of this post: Hooray M!)

In one of the early Space Quest games (I think I only ever completed one of them, and that with Dad's help) Roger Wilco is at a space station McDonald's. You can have him buy food, and when you do the server says "Would you like fries with that?" and your options are "Yes" and "Yes." In the same way, my computer has just asked me "Do you want to shut down your computer in order for updates to be installed?" My options are "Now" and "When the timer runs out." I'm glad I was at my computer at the time. The interminable transcription is finished and saved. Now I've been sent two more, 5 hours in total. I don't think I'll get to them before Las Vegas as I've got more urgent, and orders of magnitude more interesting, other work to do.

So I passed this paper I'm writing for a conference to Maggie. Maggie has recently taken over the project the paper is on. I'm lead author for the paper. The idea was that Maggie would look it over, add some things, and give it back so I could coordinate with other people's reviews. Instead, Maggie kept it and said she'd work on it and then pass it to Rose. Bess (person in charge of formatting it and actually sending it off) has just told me that she got an e-mail from Maggie saying Maggie was working on it now and would get it to her soon. Key fact: It's due this Friday. Other key fact: I passed the paper to Maggie four weeks ago. I've sent her a reminder e-mail every week since saying "How are you doing? Are you finished yet? It's due the 24th. What's going on?" She's replied with "I'll get to it soon." Key conclusions: (1) It doesn't matter how early I send things to Maggie (or a number of other people). They will always be late. (2) It doesn't matter that I'm lead author. It only matters that Maggie is more important than I am.

As I was discussing with Eric yesterday, I'm starting to suspect I'm only ever going to be happy working if I'm working for myself. Who knows a geek venture capitalist who'd be willing to invest in TBC?

(And: 376, or something, last night. My parking-lot memory has failed me, but anyway it was below quota. I did have to stop to diagram a castle, though.)

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday musings

I went to the bank today (whilst on an errand for work) to deposit a couple of checks. The teller asked how I was, and I asked how she was, and I wanted to be friendly and continue the small talk, so I said, "I'm glad we're having a temporary respite from the heat." Then I realized how insufferably stuck-up that sounded and added, "It's supposed to get a lot worse next week." Then the teller in the next lane over exclaimed, "That's why the Oreo song has been stuck in my head all day!" and pointed to the ceiling, and the rest of my transaction was quite pleasant. Swear to God that sentence formulation was the first thing that came to my head, though.

And then I went to Joann today to get <cough> a fourth ball of baby yarn (it was on sale for $2 a ball last time and $1 today because it's Firefly Frenzy, 100% cotton and a lovely blue and perfect for a tiny little sweater, except I didn't get quite enough because I've never--well, successfully, anyway--made a baby sweater before) and passed a car with a sun reflector that announced, "Mary Kay is on a mission to enrich people's lives." I don't believe makeup has ever enriched any woman's life. Well, okay, perhaps women who have terrible facial scars they're sensitive about that makeup can successfully hide. But in general, no. I'm not sure I even believe a pink car has ever enriched any woman's life. At any rate this would probably not be a woman I would be friends with.

Oh, and: 705 last night, and 402 the night before that. These numbers are going to be like parking spaces, in that I'm going to remember them until that one instance--like the present--when I need them and then they'll be gone. I mean, parking spaces before I worked here, in grad school and Borders and all that. The parking lot here is small enough it really doesn't matter if you don't remember where you parked. Though there are enough people with windows facing the lot that you'll look a little silly if you wander around aimlessly. Which is another reason I'm not changing into shorts and T-shirt in my car out there for the drive up to Toledo.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

How can they tell me not to write things about them?

Computer Guy was in here helping my officemate install some software. After sitting down and fiddling with things while logged in as Administrator, he got up and directed her to do something else (I don't know what, as I was paying attention to my work, for once). He remarked, "I've just stripped you of your user rights." He paused, and said, "[Company President] always likes it when I strip him of his rights. He told me so. He really likes it when I strip him. Of his rights."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Ooh. Now here's something for TBC. Only we'd have to order our own printed in large quantities.

No writing and no exercise last night. On the other hand, my scale tells me I've lost three pounds over the last week. I'm not sure whether to believe it (I don't feel any different, but then I didn't when I lost twenty pounds when I was fifteen, either) but I will go back to my schedule tonight, honest.

A long, long time ago (maybe three or four years), Bev gave me a cookbook of fruit and vegetable drinks. The only normal cookbook I have is a Southern Living cookbook that I got for free because in DC in 2000 I found somebody's lost check and when we got back to our apartment in Baltimore Dad mailed it back to her, and she turned out to be a Southern Living editor who wrote Dad a very nice note and sent him the book in gratitude for his honesty. Otherwise they're vegan and Ben & Jerry's and how to make pickles and so on. At any rate, this juice book I flipped through and never looked at again, but yesterday I took it down because I wanted to make something. Maybe I'm tired of merely looking at my nice, hardly-used blender and food processor. Maybe I feel in need of a health-food kick, or a purge, or a celebration of summer and summertime fruit. Maybe I wanted to think up something to do with the half-watermelon in my fridge. (One-quarter watermelon, one lime, teaspoon of honey, half-teaspoon of cinnamon, a few ice cubes.) At any rate, now I'm contemplating the purchase of a juicer, which would just be silly because I can just use my blender or food processor and strain through cheesecloth if necessary if I'm going to make that much effort, and I'm probably not once I let the idea sit for a few days. I know me. I think.

Instead of the writing or exercise I read Mirror, Mirror. It was good, but melancholy, and I was a bit disappointed by the plot. Or the story? I'm not sure. The thing is, what was there was good, and well-woven-together, but that woven story didn't feel like enough. The dwarves, for example, were not adequately explained. I suppose if you look at the story as an explanation of the fairy tale, it's fine, but I was looking for an independent, meaningful story and I'm not sure I got that.

So, all in all not a terribly productive evening, but there's nothing wrong with doing nothing for a few hours and not advancing towards some sort of arbitrary goal. Why do I forget that sometimes? I don't think I'm that much of a Type A personality. Plus, I did do things--shopping, and laundry, and reading the cookbook and the other book, and making couscous salad, and so on. I think what I need is someone lazier than me (and who doesn't feel the need to become less lazy) around so I can compare myself and not worry. Or a thorough psychoanalysis so I can quit comparing, but unfortunately I don't think clinical psychology's at the point where you can order treatments the way you would at the hair salon. (Which reminds me, I need a haircut. It would be a style cut, which annoys me, but my hair looks scraggly. But since the length isn't an issue I keep putting it off.)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Same play, another day

I slept badly last night, which I could put down to the vicious thunderstorm going on except that once I remembered that (1) the roof should still have several good years in it, (2) I've moved my computer to the first floor, and (3) I have homeowner's insurance I was able simply to enjoy it as I lay in my bed not sleeping. I dreamed that I was in a play on a moving stage, and that when I was able to go backstage (an ordinary, stationary backstage) after Act I in the knowledge I wasn't required on again until Act III, I discovered some poison pellets and observed some woman trying to sabotage the play--or one of the actors; I'm not sure which. At any rate, some sort of conspiracy. (Can you have a conspiracy of one? At any rate that's what I called it in the dream.) I went home during Act II and was afraid the woman would come after me, but she didn't. While I was preparing to go onstage for Act III the woman altered the lines of the play to accuse me of the conspiracy she had perpetrated. I started thinking about how to ad-lib my lines--I think the play was a musical, because I was thinking about melody and meter--to present my defense and wondered what would happen if the audience didn't believe me. Why can't I have dreams that don't involve intrigue, dread, and disaster? And, you know, bad singing?

Anyway, I woke up with a sharp headache that hasn't gone away. I'm contemplating going home sick because of it. I mean, I'm not really considering doing it, I'm just thinking how nice it would be. I could clean...and finish Emma for the seventh or eighth time (I like her better each time)...and string up a support for my peas, which badly need it...and drink mint cocoa and eat onion dill bread from Jungle Jim's. Eric and I went to Jungle Jim's on Saturday and bought five loaves of their onion dill bread. Last time we were there we got a loaf because of one of those taster booths and Eric fell in love with it. We figure it'll freeze well. "It's like crack," he advised Jen when we got her to eat some at dinner that night. "The first taste is always free." We had a good time over at Jen's. It's a neat house (if in need of wallpaper that wasn't made in 1950) and it was nice to visit (and to meet Mabel, who was apparently quite pleased to meet us as well). And we had a very good dinner, even if the sauce wasn't homemade. :)

No words over the weekend. I did discover that the dragons come in different colors, though. This week, I want to:
  • get Dad's Father's Day card and present
  • finish Unbiased
  • finish TST
  • buy sunglasses for Las Vegas
  • look at digital cameras for same (though I'll probably put that off until the weekend)
  • sand those silly drawers
  • call the lawn company that advertised in the local Kroger
  • open the valves for the outside faucets. Seriously. It's the middle of June.
It would be a really good idea to wash my car, since something mysterious and icky blatted all over it driving back Saturday night. (I also got to observe the phenomenon of killing a firefly and seeing its luminescence remain smeared on the windshield.) However, you know the drill. I probably won't do it. I should also call The Agent, if nothing else about the radon reading, which I've had for at least a month now without doing anything about it. In the meantime, I've got stuff to do at work, which pleases S and B and also pleases me. Oh, yeah: I also need to send out more job applications. Next verse same as the first. But at least it's a nice day and my roof is intact and my bread supply is plentiful.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Here be dragons.

112 words last night, partly because I wanted to finish the slightly-altered Unbiased bag--I didn't, quite, plus it'll need a lining, which I don't know how to do--and partly because I played The Sims instead. I did exercise. I'm starting to hate planks less, and I think my muscles are starting to realize it's useless to protest. Maybe. As for the writing, I'm feeling it's wooden and forced because I'm making myself do it nightly, but if I don't make myself I won't do it at all and I don't want to not do it. Or I could (machine-)quilt TST but I don't want to do that either (though it occurred to me that a good way of reducing puckers in the backing until I get a walking foot is to put the area I'm quilting into my hand-quilting frame), or work on more knitting projects but I'm doing that already, or practice guitar or use up these craft kits that I've got lying about. Tell me, what do people without hobbies do in their spare time?

Incidentally, regarding my choice of diversion, I am an idiot. In the Making Magic expansion pack for The Sims--I've used it to create key households for Shoelace--it's possible, according to the hype, to buy a dragon egg. I wanted a dragon, because one of the Shoelace households is Aly's tower and it's supposed to be guarded by a dragon, and how cool is that? Only I didn't know where to get the dragon egg. There's a vendor who sells dragon nests, food, and toys, but no egg. I thought perhaps the eggs were really expensive and I didn't have enough money and that was why the option to buy wasn't showing, so I set my character (the fairy godmother--since she's the one who gets Aly into the tower, I figured it should be her doing all the setup work) to making money. 1000 coins later, no option to buy an egg appeared. Then I decided to buy the nest and accoutrements anyway and see if maybe that would give me more options. The egg comes in the nest. Duh. (The nest is 49 coins.) Also, it comes with its own set of headphones.

My days are too short but my weeks are too long. I'm not liking this at all. I'm liking the current schedule--exercise at 9, shower, write, go to bed at midnight--except that I get home late because I get up late because my alarm clock has no power over me. I feel like I need to catch up, but what I really need is to break out entirely. Oh, and go get presents because it's that time if I don't want to be late (like I usually am). I really do need to work on the job-hunting. I wish I had one set place I was looking--unlike the last time I did this. Things change, of course. I'm still feeling bleagh about work, and tending to believe they feel the same way about me--I can see Jeri trying to get me on projects, but I have to wonder how forced it is. Ugh. I will stay late (later) tonight and send out some applications and see how things go.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Bed now.

Knitted. Moved computer downstairs. Did dishes. Made broccoli-and-cheese quesadillas for tomorrow's lunch. Exercised. Discovered voicemail message from last Thursday, from "Tanya, a manager," phone number in my area code so probably nobody I really want to talk to. Packed Mariah for tomorrow's needlework night. Wrote 412 words that will probably be deleted tomorrow. I used to be able to write decently, you know. Maybe not well, but decently. Whatever happened to that? Too tired to continue. Next up: brushing teeth, flossing teeth, crawling into bed.


Status: 750 last night. None over the weekend. I'm going too fast through my box of Fla-Vor-Ices (or whatever the name is; those cheap popsicles, you know). I'd forgotten how frizzy my hair looks when it's up in a barrette. Transcriptions are creeping along.

I told Mom I wanted to get a new digital camera for the Las Vegas trip. She was all for it. I told Dad I wanted to get a new digital camera. He said, "What's wrong with the one you already have?" This was rather a reversal of what I expected. It's probably because Dad got me the one I already have, second-hand, and I suspect he always sort of wanted it for himself but thought I ought to have it. As for the actual question, I want a new one because the old one is big and clunky and takes floppy disks and often has grainy images, and the batteries are the sort you can't use half-charged and the previous owner did, and I want one that will store lots of pictures and can fit in my purse. Now I wonder if Dad has a digital camera. I thought so, but perhaps I'm thinking of the last time he bought Mom a camera, whenever that was. I feel guilty getting a camera now. But that's illogical, I think, and so I'm going shopping this weekend (as well as looking for sunglasses and a hat. Mom told me I had to get those).

Friday, June 03, 2005

Because that's what a crazy aunt does.

I think I need to make this for Gabe. I think so very much.

Status report

Still evil.

821 words.

And I must remember: the only thing worse than doing these transcriptions is not having them done.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Things I'm thinking.

  • This tape will never end. Never.
  • I think "Means for subject ratings of Joannes 2 and 3" is the best table name I've ever come up with. Unless it's "Means for subject ratings of Johns 2 and 3."
  • "Pacificate" is a word. It means "to pacify." I weepificate.
  • I so very much don't deserve a Friday yet. But I'll take one.
  • I need a digital camera. I mean, one that isn't six years old.
  • I cry way too easily. Surely there's no evolutionary advantage to this.
  • Which is more distracting: home with food and books and personal computer, or work with candy and high-speed Internet?

The Internet says it, so it must be true.

From here:
**** THE PROOF THAT Jenny IS EVIL ****

74 69 78 78 89 - as ASCII values
2 6 6 6 8 - digits added
\_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/
2 6 6 6 8 - digits added

Thus, "Jenny" is 26668.

Add 1778, the year Oliver Pollock invented '$', the symbol of exploitation, suffering and injustice - the result is 28446.

Turn the number backwards, divide by 11 - the symbol of judgment and disorder. The number is now 5862.

Add 7291 to it - this is the year Fidel Castro was born, written backwards - you will get 13153.

Subtract 1792, the year guillotine was first used. The result will be 11361.

Subtract 7691 from the number - this is the year Che Guevara was executed in Bolivia, written backwards. It gives 3670.

This number, read as octal, gives 1976 - the year George Harrison performed the lumberjack song with Monty Python - if you have seen it, you should understand.

This is truly evil. QED.

Going places

My hair is now long enough to wear back in a barrette. More than long enough--it's long enough (and bushy enough) that I'm more comfortable if I do so than if I do not. This is the beginning of the end.

After a couple of messages last night, I now have two possible leads on where-I-want-to-take-my-career-at-this-point, aside from the normal job-hunting and reading up on stuff (and aside from TBC). I love having friends who have friends. That sounds awful, doesn't it?

I also talked to Dad last night about the Las Vegas trip. I'm going to Las Vegas the last week in June with a bunch of my family to see the Grand Canyon, take the dam tour, go see Celine Dion <whimper> with my mother, and of course gamble. I don't like the idea of gambling, but Dad insists that I must do at least a little of it in Las Vegas. He said, "I saw the bathing suit Mom got you for the trip. She wasn't going to tell you the color, was she? So I won't either. But you're going to like it." This is very odd. The only time I can remember my dad ever commenting on my clothes, other than "You look nice," when Mom made me model something she'd bought and "That shirt's getting looser on you," when I was losing weight when I was fifteen, was in Baltimore when they visited and Mom had brought me a blue striped sleeveless shirt. I tried it on with khaki shorts. Mom said, "You should wear jean shorts," and Dad said, "No, it's better like that." Mom said, "How would you know? Are you a fashion expert now?" and Dad said, "No, but I know pretty girls." I tried the jeans later and he was right. Oh, and once he bought me a ridiculous furry hat (which I loved). But yeah. I'm not sure what it means that he felt the bathing suit was worthy of comment. I'll find out when I get there.

I wrote 279 words last night. I'm thinking two things: One, it might be a good idea if I moved the computer downstairs, into the sewing room. I might or might not move the sewing (and craft) stuff upstairs, but I think it would be better if my computer were more easily accessible, and also if I had windows near it that let in actual light. Two, I really need to access my computer more. Shoelace is a paltry 11,000 words along. Suppose I want to finish by the end of the year (which I do) and that I only write half the days from now until then. That's 7*30/2=105 days. If the finished draft is somewhere between 100,000 and 120,000 words, I need to write a little over a thousand words on the days I do write--or an average of 500 words per calendar day--or 3500 per week--to finish when I want to. I think I can do that; it's just a matter of whether I will. So: I'm going to try recording word counts here and see if shame motivates me.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


May is over. It's June! 41.7% of the year is over! (And no, I didn't get that off the top of my head.) I have stuff to get done and a vow to work on and my seasonal decoration at work to change out. Where did my time go? This is ridiculous, I tell you. Living from weekend to weekend is evidently not the ideal way to get things done.

I went to the university today to get stuff at the library. I passed through a courtyard where a brass bed sat in the middle of the (wide) walkway, a little wooden nightstand with old-fashioned alarm clock by its side. Somebody lay under the comforter with his socks sticking out the end. Shortly after I passed a class of students drawing the courtyard with charcoals, so perhaps it was performance art. Or perhaps I was in somebody's dream; it's hard to say.