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Sigh. I totally overslept my favorite gaming all month. By nearly three hours. In penance, I killed myself in my yard. It didn't really make me feel better, and now I hurt.


And tomorrow's Monday. Well, isn't that just swell.

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These Saturdays of Bollywood are turning into crazy social days. In several ways, today was excellent. In just as many ways, I ended up feeling like a pathetic, geeky, ugly loser. Hooray.



Delicious cider and Christian Bale and dragons do tend to cheer a girl up. At least if that girl is a complete geek... I'll take what I can get.

Much later, I had The Machinist to watch, and having done so, I'm nearly in tears. Completely aside from the movie's content, what he did to himself was so heartbreaking that I wanted to reach through my screen and cradle him. When the movie first came out, I remember reading a review that pled for someone to give this underrated actor roles such that he didn't feel the need to horrifically abuse his body... I didn't really understand.

For the love of god and all that is holy, I'm glad someone gave that boy a fucking sandwich and the Batmotank after filming this monstrosity.




I'm on the verge of declaring a complete loss in the battle with my insomnia. There seems to be nothing I can do on my own to get the shit under fucking control. It's driving me absolutely batty, and just barely not affecting my work by virtue of me being on a team that values my output regardless of what time of day it gets produced.

I never seriously thought I would even consider it, but it may be time to go hardcore pharmaceutical.

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What a funny day; it was fantastic with a center of two hours of utter shit.

First, the shit: accident on I90 (semi tipped and spilled aluminum beams across the road) made my normally-40-min-or-less commute to the dentist from work drag to almost an hour and a half. This time dilation no doubt accounted for me going up Admiral Way at the same time as a motorcycle cop in a zealous mood. He pulled me over for following the car in front of me too closely (first time I've been pulled over in over a decade; I boggle), at which point we both discovered that A) my tabs have been expired since August and B) I've been driving without current proof of insurance since February. Uh... whoops. For those tallying at home, citation A is $194, and citation B is $530. I wasn't able to verify until quite late tonight, when I finally got home, that I am in fact current on my insurance and had just been a dumbass about keeping the most current id in my car, but thank fuck that's so, because that drops citation B down to $30 for administrative fees. Citation A... well, the only thing I have to say about that is that I never got a renewal notice, so I totally spaced. I moved in August, and half of my mail seems to have gone missing; I expect the "renew your tabs, moron" mail was in that batch. Anyway. I should have remembered, and I guess I deserve a $194 penalty for not doing so.

Second, the awesome: there's plenty of it... so much, in fact, that I'll use multiple paragraphs. Woke up actually feeling rested after a reasonable 8 hours of sleep. It was sunny and warm out. Completely unintentionally, I looked utterly cute today, and the blue in my new shirt made my eyes pop. I got to work on some fun prototyping stuff at work rather than sitting around propping mindless vendor bugfixes. I spent an hour and a half drinking chai while getting to know the new tester girl and orienting her on the site experience.

Went up for gaming, which didn't happen for various reasons, but we did watch Drive, and Heroes, and a couple eps of Ninja Warrior. Now, I haven't cooed about Drive, because I'm actually not 100% convinced it's actually any good, but dizamn. Everything Nathan Fillion touches turns into gold I want to have sex with, and starting with last week's episode, his character, and his character's car, got so over-the-top awesome that I literally squeal aloud whenever they're onscreen. I want to lick him. And his car. I could lick him in his car. That'd work. And Kevin Alejandro has, to my surprise, grown on me to the point that if he was in the car at that point in time, that'd be quite fine by me. Mmmm mmm mmm.

I'd missed Heroes, so having it back on complete with Bennett rocking the house pleased me mightily. Ninja Warrior has proved, completely to my surprise, to entertain me mightily over the last week or two of visiting up at Chez Will Record That Sort of Stuff On Their DVR. It helps that G4 doesn't dub it... I forget sometimes how much I enjoy absorbing Japanese language media. And laughing my ass off at the particular brand of freak that my favorite culture produces is always a plus.

Oh hell, who am I kidding? What made my day fan-fucking-awesome-tastic, what would have singlehandledly trumped $724 in citations, was dinner, direct to us from the intarwebs. Seth ran across a mention of "danger dogs" and, well, we had to make them. We went for the "Jersey breakfast dog" variant, with fried eggs. O. M. G. Hot dogs, wrapped in bacon, deep fried, then placed in a bun with a fried egg...

~ ~ Cue ecstatic chorus ~ ~

~ ~ Die and go to heaven ~ ~

That's my thumb in that picture, and it went way, way up.

Let us have a moment of silent appreciation for what was, no doubt, the least healthy but most fucking delicious meal I've had in months. Possibly ever. The intarwebs, we thank thee.

And just because it also offers the hilarious handlebar 'stache Jeff went for when he finally got around to shaving about a month post-accident... how about a danger dog action shot?

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Inside-the-house complement to yesterday's yard work happened today. It almost seems as if I was trying, in one frenetic weekend, to make up for my getting-shit-done paralysis the last few months. I'm exhausted, but pleased with the results... the only thing that I'd wanted to get done and didn't was cleaning the bathtub and the toilet, but I did do those not that long ago, much more recently than other tasks that I got done today. Now, I'm going to curl up under clean sheets, in a freshly vacuumed room, and try like hell to overcome that damn impromptu 3 hour nap this afternoon.



Hooray for reverse psychology. As intended, my taunt to my body worked, and I dropped off to sleep almost immediately after posting the early morning gibbering. Woke wild eyed and disoriented, but coffee and The Stranger, followed by three hours of intense yardwork, dishes, and laundry, seems to have calmed me down. Or at least tired me out so much that sprawling on the couch with a beer seems like the height of existence.

Phase One of the weed genocide is complete. All flowering dandelions, and most non-flowering ones that I saw, have been annihilated. The creepy broad spreaders have been removed wherever found. The yard can now move into maintenance mode. Next phase: weed out the beds in prep for planting things assorted and yummy. Whee!



I spent much of the week home sick. It wasn't the flu or a cold... rather a complete physical breakdown, an exhaustion of mind, body, and soul. I thought it was the lack of sleep on Monday night, but the statute of limitations on that ran out midday on Wednesday. I wondered if I finally really burnt myself all the way down after running full steam through January and pushing through without a real rest since. But the likely cause is much more prosaic, and finally occurred to me as I lay in bed, unable to sleep, watching Six Feet Under, listening to the birds start to chirp outside, and suddenly burst into tears for several minutes.

God damn you, fucking reproductive system and your shittastic hormones, god damn you.

I expect I'll be back to regular programming next week. Bleh.

5:37 am. 5:37 am. 5:37 am. 5:37 am. 5:38 am. 5:37 am. One clock has progressed to the next minute; the other dawdles along in the past. Through the rosebushes and the trees on the next block, the sky has lightened and fingers of sunrise creep upward. Before I put my glasses back on, I was accompanied by small blobs of blue and green fuzziness and a faint awareness of distant orange. After I put my glasses back on, the colors resolved into morning, and I've still not slept.

Over the last hour, as I tossed and turned, sat up, laid back down, and mostly just cried, I contemplated writing down what I was thinking and feeling; wondered if perhaps it would help me finally sleep. But in the end, I find myself too cynical. What's the point? I already know what I feel; no one else really needs or wants to, or if they did, they wouldn't directly do so at a quarter to six am, Pacific Standard Time. What would help me finally sleep would be some damn sleep meds, which I don't have and that's probably for the best. Instead, I suppose I'll lie here and watch the sunrise, or the race between the clocks, until my body cries uncle and passes out.

5:57 am. 5:57 am. 5:57 am. 5:57 am. 5:58 am. 5:57 am.



For the first time in many years I will actually acknowledge it: Happy birthday to /tht/, happy birthday to you!

In September of 1998, I started teaching myself HTML, and in that very first page, the beginnings of /tht/ were shaped (and it's true, Bri was there for the beginning... and sacrifices of appreciation can still be directed to him). For the next few months, I kept a sort of proto-blog running on the main page of the site (I shudder, but this design stayed for a while), until, on April 19th, 1999, I created a directory called /tht/, threw a page in it, and committed to writing something on it every single day.

I haven't always succeeded, in these eight years of scribbling shit out of my head into some sort of text editor, in writing something down every day... although I might argue that the output during my times in Japan should count for the balance. I definitely haven't succeeded in always being worth reading, but then again, that was never my goal; I knew at the time that I'd often write some sort of generic filler, and that that was OK. The point was really to see how long I could keep it up.

I really never thought it'd be eight years.

I spent some time with the Wayback Machine, trying to find /tht/ as it was back in the day, before the overall laeren-look revamp, but it looks like student stuff on weber.u.washington.edu is stored in the archive with the cluster the snapshot was taken from, and who knows which d## laeren was hanging out at. Ah well. It wasn't very pretty. Just like that damn word "blog," which was coined around the same time I started writing /tht/ and managed to be just as spitefully lasting, all my efforts the contrary. I suppose some things are just inevitable.



(fall over) Sleep time. Thirty six hours straight with nothing more than two approximately one point five hour naps is just nooooo gooooood.



It's like I'm in college again! I'm pretty damn certain that if I grep'd, I'd find this exact phrase lurking around finals weeks or midterms... "I'm posting this as yesterday, because it's still yesterday for me!"

Sometime last night, oh, around 4 am, I think, I decided that I was going to fucking motor through and try to reset my damn sleep cycle. The whole sleep schedule thing has gotten progressively more ludicrous, and it's time to try radical measures. Radical measures are made much more palatable by how incredibly, amazingly, fantastically DELICIOUS a sausage egg mcmuffin is at 6:45 am. There's nothing quite comparable.

Some measure of my alertness at the moment (7:09 am) is likely due to the whole part where I had a wildly emotional day, cried my heart out a lot, spent two and a half hours in my car driving, and collapsed in my arm chair for a three hour nap this afternoon. Yesterday afternoon. Whatever. You know what I mean.

I always find it amusing how physical coordination and the ability to be serious are first out the window in the game of sleep deprivation. First by a COUNTRY MILE. I have to give a presentation at 9 am... I'm currently perfectly on schedule to do it as a spastic interpretive dance. It is like being back in college!

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The longer I keep an RSS feed up, the more I notice that I don't title or fully syndicate my posts. The timestamp of the post is scooped up as the "title," and the first sentence is syndicated as a teaser of sorts... I did this on purpose, a few years ago, but as time goes on, I find that I pressure myself to write better, intriguing lead-ins. Not that I succeed, but it tweaks at me every time. I find it hilarious that after all this time, I find my inability to write good topic sentences so irritating. My elementary English teachers are laughing with me.

I'm going on a pilgrimage tomorrow. I've been on quests before, some epic, many not... but a long journey of spiritual or moral significance, never before. I'm not certain how I'm going to keep from bawling my eyes out the whole damn way.



Mike and I went out to BlackLight at the CHAC tonight, on the calmest of the weekend evening offerings (it's been over a year since I went out out, so I wanted to go easy). A little too calm it was, really... not very many people to ogle... um... admire? Naw. Ogle. That's really the word for it.

It was quite a good time, though, and we must go again soon. Every single time, I seem to forget how much I love going dancing. I need to stop doing that. The forgetting, that is, not the dancing.

Oh, who am I kidding. I know you (I'm looking at you, and you, and especially you, sir) just want to see a picture or two of me wearing makeup. Fine. But you have to see pictures of Mike, too. Wearing makeup. HAH!

I tried to argue that he didn't have to wear makeup... but does anyone listen to me?

I also promise that I was wearing a skirt and fishnet stockings. But you'll have to take my word for it; no reasonable pictures of that were taken.



(trilling happily) I love it when I cook and it comes out good. To do it and have someone else appreciate it just makes it that much better (even if you're a dirty liar, Mike, I still claim a win!).

... "Shenanigans?"



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As I slowly work on rebuilding my music collection, I find myself in a strange middle limbo of files that have transitioned back into the library. But as tempting as it is to blame my current skewed library, really, who's responsible for the fact that I've listened to Straight Outta Compton pretty much constantly for days? NWA, even after all these years, I loves you so.

And it's high time I did a rollover. That is all.



After a ridiculously long hiatus in communication, even for us, I spent about two hours yapping on the phone to Brian tonight. Nine months or so of lag time means a lot of yapping (making that little TALKY TALKY LOOK JEN CAN'T SHUT UP TO SAVE HER LIFE BLAH BLAH BLAH hand motion).

And it was good.

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An interesting case of a guy being "not geeky enough" for me came up this weekend. It was to laugh in many ways, because really, when is a developer who can hold their own in a text editor holy war not geeky enough? When I'm the judge, apparently. The situation, after making me laugh a bunch, did cause me to think about what it was that was triggering the "not geeky enough" reaction. After a day or two of pondering, I came to two (completely not exclusive) conclusions while heading up to Bothell to game tonight. Really, I think they're just slightly different ways of expressing the exact same idea.

Item the First: To appreciate a girl like me, a guy really has to be substantially geeky. I pen and paper roleplay. I'd rather spend all day watching Battlestar Galactica than going for a hike. I spend a substantial amount of my free time playing a STICK FIGURE MMORPG for god's sake. There's a complex hierarchy of geekdom, and if you'll reference Diagram 1A (abridged) and Diagram 1B (unabridged), you'll see that while I definitely have more than 85% of the graphs to feel superior to, I'm still solidly a node or two beyond general social acceptability. While there are many non-geeks who I get along with, impress regularly at work with my mad skills, and have quite nice general conversations with in random social situations, for a guy to actually get interested in me more than transiently takes an appreciation for the world of the geek that, while commonly present, is not automatically conferred upon, say, learning to program.

Item the Second: For things to work out well with someone, you have to have a certain intersection of key interests. I've learned over the years that for me to be genuinely interested in a guy, the key interests in common tend to be good science fiction / fantasy, gaming in some form (poker does not count, goddamnit, beyond the Wil Wheaton exception, and he comes in just fine under many other aspects of the gaming wire, thank you very much), and an affection for the geek subculture. Although a basic respect for certain other things is definitely good, and an actual intersection of the optional interests is mad money, if I don't have those three key things in common with someone, it just doesn't fit. As Mike put it when we spoke, he really can't see me with a guy who wouldn't wear a shirt saying "I roll 20s" (I'd drop that guy in an instant for the guy wearing the "Rogues do it from behind" shirt, by the way). If a guy wouldn't happily sport ThinkGeek gear (even if only on the weekends), play a video game / board game / rpg, and watch a good sci-fi show or movie, I just don't see him as being on the same mental wavelength as me.

As I said above, these two items are almost the same idea reflected two ways.

All this is not to say that I 100% believe that a non-significantly-geeky guy could be interested in me (it's more like 99.9%, but I acknowledge that it's a perception of mine and not an objective truth). And also not to say that I 100% believe that I wouldn't find a non-complementarily-geeky guy genuinely intriguing (it's more like 90%, backed up by my catalog of experience with men since I was, oh, 14). But really, the chances of it working out well are pretty damn small.

(musing) Not that I've been particularly lucky anyway.

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I began my genocidal war against the dandelions in my yard today. It was raining a wee bit, but I persevered in my murderous intent and got a good hour and a half or so of weeding in. My body is going to h-a-t-e me tomorrow.

I meant to say something else, no doubt, but then it was my KoL birthday (for Jaelith; Laeren's in about a week) and a stat day and with both J and L in position to ascend... and then I realized it was 3 fucking AM. Fucking A.



A radio station of the internets brought me Da Vinci's Notebook's song "Title of the Song." Winner of best new-to-me song heard in months. I want. The DJ also played "What Would Brian Boitano Do," from the South Park movie soundtrack. To the apparent shock and disappointment of everyone I've ever talked to about that soundtrack, I'd not heard a single song off it that I liked. Until now.

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I've been having a little trouble lately. Maybe it's that I'm depressed, but if so, it's not playing out the way it usually does... instead of my more typical black, black moods, I've been wandering a bleak, featureless plain of an interior landscape, enveloped in a thin grey fog. As I tried to describe to someone today, it's rather like being in emotional purgatory.

Motivation to do anything at all has been a severe issue. Cooking, cleaning, chatting, even just watching good TV: all just seem to take so much effort. So I was relieved tonight when I not only realized that I vaguely wanted to, but actually did head into my office and start A Project. The desire to start A Project (in this case, beginning the long and painful task of regenerating my music collection) is a good sign, and the fact that I got myself to actually start it is another good sign.

I'll take what I can get, even if it's in the form of neurotic file management.



I would like to know why Aggie inevitably picks the one night that I want to go to bed at a reasonable time to be out all late. I swear to god, my kitty has it out for me. Micah and I went out looking for her for a bit; he amused me by being all protective pants in the face of not one but two neighborhood cats. But his sister was all hidey, drat her eyes. I come in, resign myself to staying up another hour (not like I mind watching another ep of Six Feet Under, but I'm tired, goshdarnit), and just as I get into the episode... Aggie hops in the window.

She's an evil evil brat.



I haven't played Magic: The Gathering more than intermittently in years. Yet tonight I found myself flipping through my old deck, wishing more than anything that at some point I'd gotten around buying or wheedling a Mox Sapphire for myself (I bought and/or wheedled Moxen on behalf of other people at least three times). I suggest that my hypothetical future husband buy me one as an engagement gift. Then I'll know he's a keeper.

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The opening sequence of Six Feet Under gets me every time, particularly after learning that the opening shot of the intro was created using a transplanted tree and the Magnuson park kite hill. I inevitably tear up as the music starts, knowing that my parents' house is right down the lake. Rather funny, I thought this evening, considering that I don't particularly like being at my parents'.

Thinking more, though, I realized that what gets me isn't any sort of longing to be at my parents' place. It's a feeling tied directly to that place, to that hill. To laughing as Kurtis kept me from being swept away by the rushing wind and a really big kite. To picking daisies, linking them into rings and laughing with a series of friends in the sunshine over many years. To sitting quietly in the dark with Angela, looking out over the water to the lights of the East Side. To learning how to drive in the parking lot beneath it. To playing frisbee with Craig and Patrick, trying desperately to avoid either tripping over wee dogs or falling down the slope. That my parents' house is a mile or two down the shore is nothing more than a triangulation point to to a landmark of my life, marked X with a fictional tree.