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The dreadful exhaustion continues. I've always been a slave to sleep, but it's really getting quite out of hand. Enough so that I'm scheduling doc appointments to go make sure that my chemistry hasn't spontaneously gone haywire (it's prone to doing that).

(Laughing) Obviously, Google has reindexed the lyrics directory. My Google hits have skyrocketed out of their slump induced by switching the extensions of those pages to .php from .shtml. I am amused.

Trivia turnout tonight was abysmal, but the trio of Craig, Jeff, and me did not really that much worse than our team has been hovering at the past few times out anyway. We needed perhaps one more brain in the collective to overcome our tendency to have terrible rounds, but it was still fun. Hey, I take any excuse to hang out with Jeffie, and extra time with Craig is extra bonus, so no complaints at all. Except for my Man o' War fuckup. Boo on me. Heh. I knew that he'd won just about every goddamn race he'd entered (I can only think of one he lost, when he was facing the wrong way at the start, hehe)... how was I to remember that he'd never actually raced a Kentucky Derby? How long, I ask you, has it been since I was obsessed with historical horse racing? A long time! Still, boo on me. I demand more from my memory, damnit. I did get curious just now and went to look it up: in 21 starts, he came in first in 20 of them. And came in second in the other one. Perusing, I'm totally inspired to dig up all my old books about Man o' War and Secretariat and War Admiral... I forget how many others I had. Horse racing and harness racing and all manner of horsey things. Silly little girl me.

And in closing, I haven't mentioned the big fucking news. Beth, a.k.a. my TC 505 prof from days of yore, jumped me in the hall today and asked me to be her TA for TC 100. ! ! ! I've been subtly smoldering that I couldn't be a TC 231 TA for two years now, so having my second favorite prof in the department offer me a TAship is frigging fantastic. It'd be a 10 hour a week TA appointment, loaded on top of my current 20 hour GA appointment through work, which equals roughly half again more money each pay period. It's not as intensive as being a 231 TA and sounds twice as fun; I don't have to teach any of the lectures unless I want to, for example. It's really comparable to the Chem 120 TAship I had a year or two ago, minus the incredibly frustrating lab reports, heh. Glorified babysitting and cheerleading, to put it in a rather negative light, but if it works out, it'll be an awesome opportunity and great experience.

Of course, this throws a huge wrench in the works for my already quite ambitious plan for fall quarter. I'm currently planning on trying for everything, which boggles the mind (Jeff has already laid down that he refuses me any sympathy if I begin going nuts). In a pinch, Japanese 431, the localization certificate class, and TC 510 are all expendable... but I think I can do it. Oh, of course, I will go insane. But I think I can get it all done. The question is, what will be left once the dust settles? I've plotted out time commitments and figure I can still roleplay on Tuesdays and devote 5 pm Friday until Sunday morning to free time, as long as I knuckle down and work the rest of the time.

I always get this way in September; after my relatively light summers, I become convinced of my invincibility. Heh.

I console myself by thinking how much of a fucking badASS I will feel if I can pull it off. It will be an accomplishment right up there with "The Year of Organic Chemistry, Japanese, and Physics," "The Quarter of Japanese, Japanese Literature, Differential Equations, and C," or "The Quarter of Japanese, Quantum Mechanics, Linear Algebra, and C++." And lord knows I love bragging about those.


Back to being the poor once again. Funny, it seems to happen about once a month. I'm really hoping that I'll stop being so poor when I graduate, but the current outlook is less than encouraging, based on calibrations of my friends. Sigh.

In clear defiance of a mandate that I vaguely remember setting down at some point, I've decided that I'm going to try to kill myself again this school year. How nice of me. If I can worm my way into an add code for one class and through the application process for another, I'll be facing two graduate TC classes, one Japanese class, and a localization certificate course. And work. And research. What can I say... I think I finally realized that this could be my last year at the UW (for horror); I need to stuff some more classes down my pants while I still can.


Backdate courtesy Sayuri. All hail the overwhelming nerdiness that has me writing stuff on my handheld while in the car... It's not the most comprehensible, but hey, it was written after midnight and in the goddamn car.

My CD collection is nowhere near as cool as it once was, and it's pissing me off. At some point in the last four years, I decided that I didn't really want Jim's and my CDs to overlap. This wouldn't be an issue except that we happen to have quite similar tastes, and so the question of who shall buy what comes up quite often. Although Jim has historically agreed with me on the overlap issue, he has some sort of "thing" against borrowing my CDs to put in his car no matter how often I insist that he should (I rip my CDs and use the mp3s, so it's not like I need the physical media for more than a placeholder), and so I've often just shrugged and sighed and had him buy ones that we both want. But that's not the real problem—at least then I've been involved in the process. No, what really bugs me is that sometime recently, he developed the habit of going CD shopping on his way home from work (that would be without me) and not telling me he's gone until I notice new CDs in his car and ask. Pretty much invariably, there's been something in the batch that I really wanted; not only am I no longer able to buy the album for myself (albeit by my own stupid rules), but I didn't even get told that he had it! Coupled with the fact that he's not got around to ripping his CDs and I don't want to step on his toes by ripping his stuff to my drive (as opposed to being on his machine and shared out), I'm getting quite distinctly miffed. Boo.


Hrm. A mere day after deciding I no longer felt like crap emotionally, I'm right back to it. What can I say, I love sticking it to myself. I'd elaborate, but it's 2:40 am and I'm getting up relatively soon (sigh... someday in here I'll have a weekend in town to goof off).

The verdict on the evening's activities (unfurling flame-retardant umbrella): bluntly, I thought Rent sucked. Perhaps the worst musical I've seen since Ziegfeld Follies, when my father and I decided that the reason they didn't have an intermission was because they didn't want people to leave during it. I know it's supposed to be Important and all that crap—I felt rather like I was watching the brussel sprouts of the musical world—but my sense of patience apparently does not extend to watching plays because they're good for me. Among many other annoyances, it felt, frankly, dated. This from a girl who adores 1950s musicals! I will allow that I liked the second half much more than the first half, seeing as whatever problem was causing me to not be able to distinguish most of the lyrics spontaneously cleared up, but it's still hanging out pretty damn low on my enjoyable theater experience list. Short verdict: overhyped. So far as modern musicals go, I'd take, oh, Hedwig, for example, any day of the week. I'd say bah humbug, but I'm too busy stabbing myself in the eye at the memory of that horrible Over the Moon song.


Weee. Two nights in a row, I fell asleep before 1 am, bone tired. I felt almost like a normal person... and then I figured out I was getting sick. Hah. So I'm at home today, finally catching up on... being at home, I guess.

Craig Kovatch accused me the other day of revealing my age when he saw me using two spaces after a period. I'd never really thought about it, although Karalee does make me search-replace double spaces with singles before I turn documents in to her. The whole thing made me think about when I was first learning to use WordPerfect when I was, oh... ten or eleven, maybe, and I had to train myself to stop putting carriage returns in at the end of lines. And then I felt old. Which is funny, because I'm not, particularly (although I'm disturbingly close to being a decade older than that Craig, but he's an EEPer, so there's extenuating circumstances in me knowing him).

I'm somewhat at a loss as to what to do. I could do something productive, I suppose, but I don't have a lot of energy... and I won't be in town for a second weekend in a row, so enjoying my Saturday and Sunday are going to be right out. Ah well. At least I'm not worrying about Jim for the first day in a long while.

Productivity, achieved. Kitchen and stairs and living room vacuumed, load of dishes done, two loads of laundry done, bedroom cleaned and vacuumed and tidied: w00t for me. Now if I only had a set of dressers to put my clothes in so that I could finally (how many months have I been living here?) unpack books and things onto shelves... I'm so very close to being able to being able to turn around and grab one of my nerd books off of the shelf behind me, I can almost taste it.


Hrm: awake, but not running (we fears the rain, oh yes we do). I'm almost tempted to just stay up, seeing as my eyes are open and seemingly okay with staying so... on the other hand, I don't really want to go to work at 7 am (which would be approximately now), and don't really feel like puttering around here for an hour or two. Dilemma.

The shitty days just continue to not get better. Random bits that I can't muster the energy to write about in detail: I wish I could rotate into other people's bodies temporarily. I'm excellent at mustering myself up and submerging my ego to get what needs to be done done, regardless of how stupid or demeaning it is, regardless of how much I don't want to do it, as long as it's something absolutely necessary, you see. It's not a very good skill, really... in fact, it makes me feel like crap and my god will I complain... but I'll do it. And sometimes that's just what needs to be done. Argh. And in other news, one of the things I miss most about being 17 is having Angela and Amelia to talk to. For various reasons mostly due to how my brain exploded post-Angelanuke, I've felt constrained for years now to not talk to female friends the way I used to talk to that pair (not that I have that many anyway), and for completely different reasons, I don't have those discussions with most of my male friends. John and Brandon come close, but my ability to type things frequently fails for John (and I often don't feel up to the teasing), Brandon's frequently not around... and really, they're guy friends and therefore intrinsically not quite right for it in the first damn place. For annoyance and talking to myself in the car on long drives to Olympia times.

Holy shitcakes, am I insomniackimated. And of course, this means that when I start surplusing in about five hours, I'll be exhausted. So I shall hop myself up on caffeine. And thus things will continue on their brutal way. Lordie, am I a dumbass.


Raining raining and more raining. One would be tempted to think it was October rather than August. Things are not good on the evening front... bleh. Just... bleh.


Just past one am on Saturday, balancing Jim's tablet on my knee and vaguely watching Olympic table-tennis with his mom as it continues to rain outside. While I was in something of a writing mood (I finally finished a character history I'd been meaning to get to for the last two months), I figured I should go ahead and recap the last several days. So go-go quickie recap action:

Wednesday was the day I went shopping with Kathy after work. The story of the shopping should be prefaced by relaying the phone call I got that afternoon:

Jim: Hey honey, Tobias is here and wants to ask you a question.
Me: What?
Tobias (dimly, on speakerphone): Jen, I need to ask you, what are you wearing today?
Me (dimly, as in confused): Huh?
Tobias: I ask because KATHY got ALL dressed up just to go to the Bellevue Mall with you today. Are YOU getting dressed up to go to the mall?
Kathy (in distance): HEY! I'm not that dressed up!

The girl has no sense of reality, I tell you. Let's get something straight: I adore Kathy. She has not a vicious bone in her body, and I can't really think of anyone else that I would have rather been dragged shopping by (note that I asked her to drag me). But she's also practically an archetype of Adorable Asian Girl. Case in point: while looking for a "cute, preppy top" for her, I found a blue and white striped shirt; she refused to buy it because, and I quote, "there's no pink in it! I never wear anything that doesn't have pink!" She exaggerates... but not by much.

Honestly, I had a fantastic time. I'm usually a horrible person to go shopping with, but when shopping with Kathy, even I couldn't help being infected by her enthusiasm. Not to mention the encouragement—nine-tenths of the problem of shopping with me is my lack of self-esteem; I can never find anything I feel would look decent on me. With Kathy along to race around the store and pick out things she thought would work for me, I could turn off my mental critic and go along with her ride. Admittedly, it's pretty funny that her ride involved Jen being along on a four-hour pass through Bell Square that Kathy disappointedly declared "not nearly enough time—four hours wasn't enough to do more than browse even half the stores!"

Wednesday's mission was accomplished handily, although we weren't able to buy me shoes or do much of the extraneous non-wedding shopping that Kathy had hoped to do (she was aghast that I don't own a little black dress nor have any clue as to what I'll be wearing to the Office Christmas party, never mind that's four months away). She's extracted a promise to go out again some time, so hopefully that time I'll be better able to sum up sooner so as to better portray the Kathy experience.

On Thursday night, Jim and I headed down to Winlock. We left later than originally planned, as the tuxedo rental place in Longview had screwed up several of the tuxedo orders and Jim's wasn't to be ready until the morning. The house down here is in a serious state of flux; Jim's parents are planning on selling the place, and are in the middle of some pretty serious renovations. Overall the house is looking great. The kitchen, however, is... well... very... um... very yellow. Can't say a whole lot more than that. Anyway, they're looking to find property up nearer to Olympia and build a house there, which will be a lot closer to where Pat works and to us. I'll miss this place... I hope their new property has blackberries, heh.

Friday was spent in a hunt through Olympia for shoes. Now, prior to Friday, I owned four pairs of shoes, two dedicated to each of the Pacific Northwest's two seasons, a pair of tennis shoes for running, and a pair of vaguely niceish black shoes I could wear with slacks to look... well, vaguely niceish. Untutored in the way of shoes, I was bemused to discover that apparently you can't just go into a store at any time of the year and find white sandals. Who knew? Okay, apparently every other girl in the world knew, but I didn't. There's seasons or some shit that makes no sense to me... anyway, after about three hours, I found not one, but two pairs of shoes I liked in Centralia's outlet mall. Prodded by Jim's mom, I bought both. It was a moment of weakness that increased the number of pairs of shoes I own by half again. Heh. Jim was positively flabbergasted.

Today was Dan and Jennifer's wedding. Jim and I were over at Dan's parents' house by 10:30; as one of the groomsmen, Jim had to be on hand for pictures (final negotiations for who would be best man went down the night before, and the honor went to Dan's 15 year old brother). I, on the other hand, had nothing I was supposed to do. For several hours. I was assigned at various times to be baby-holder, two-year-old minder, and runner of random errands, but overall I was seriously bored. I know Dan and Jennifer, but basically none of the rest of their families or the wedding party, and I wasn't overtly a part of the ramp-up. Remind me, next time that I'm going to be sitting on the sidelines of a wedding preparation for four hours, to bring a book. I was terribly thankful when Cindy showed up a bit before the ceremony started, so that I could stop trying to avoid making small talk with strangers. Ian and Laura slipped in just after the ceremony started (I later gave him an offside penalty for sneaking into the seats on the bride's side rather than the groom's), and so I was able to hang out with them for much of the rest of the afternoon. Whew.

The weather held just long enough to finish up the ceremony (it was held in a gorgeously decked out backyard—such a shame that it was overcast), albeit with a rainshower just as the bride and groom said their vows. We were mostly sheltered by a huge oak tree, but I don't think they would have cared if they'd been out in the pasture knee deep in mud. It was so strange to see Dan up in front in a tux, standing next to Jennifer in her gorgeous dress, and realize that he was actually getting married. Ty and Chris already went for it out of my friends, of course, but I wasn't actually there to see it, and so those two rather didn't count in my mind. Watching Dan say "I do" in the rain... I can't even put into words what I was feeling at the time. I've been staring at this paragraph for four minutes now, and I think I'll let it lie.


Didn't write anything down last night because I was over at Microsoft with Jim until around 1:30 am after shopping with Kathy all evening... overall, not very conducive to having energy left over. And now I'm off to Winlock until at least Saturday evening and possibly through Sunday, meaning I may or may not write in the next few days. It's rather a shame, as the story of Shopping With Kathy certainly deserves its moment in the spotlight. Hopefully I'll get it down before the details fade. I offer this single teaser mental image, however: Jen and Kathy in matching pink eskimo hooker boots. I shit you not.


Oso very crushingly tired. I'm not sure where it came from, but the wave of sleepiness swelled over my head while I was still at Jase and Seth's, and that was two hours ago. Why oh why did I decide to actually go inside Mom and Dad's and start talking to Dad?!? I should have (yawn) known so much better. Although I do have plane tickets for Minneapolis and health insurance now, so it's not as if it wasn't a productive two hours spent yawning with Dad's laptop heating my knees.

The rest of the week is shaping up to be not so bad, for which I am extremely grateful. Taking Friday off so that Jim and I can go to Winlock for Dan's wedding rehearsal means that tomorrow is Thursday by proxy. Hooray!


In my infinite wisdom, I decided that a perfect relaxing Monday night activity would be refreshing myself on C++ and Visual Studio (the VS part is for work, the C++ part for me). I've not used Visual Studio since my C/C++ classes of... oh... four years ago. I'm sure (heh?) I'll slowly remember that it's awesome somehow, but right now I'm really missing things like how Emacs' syntax highlighting alerts me to missing semi-colons. I'd never realized how much I'd been depending on stuff like that, although I'm able to spot them immediately when VS bitches about build errors. Huh. Anyway, it's kind of coming back in a practical sense; it's not like I've not programmed at all in the last four years, after all... I've just been coding in PHP and bash and Excel VBA (I still cringe at admitting the last one) and not a quote-unquote real programming language.

Staring at VS's interface, I see my dorm desks in Terry and Mercer, smell the Oreos that were my CSE 142/143 fuel of choice, and feel a four-year younger self settle around my shoulders like a heavy, grey mantle. From a frigging software interface! Memories and memory triggers are insane, I tell you, insane. The fact that Winamp decided at this moment to play Every Little Thing, who I listened to quite a bit while eating Oreos and working on C++ homework in Mercer while I waited for Jim to come by to bring me blueberry muffins at 1:30 am, is just one of the reasons I'm convinced that the damn thing is empathic.


Oh my fucking god. I am furious. I am BEYOND furious. I can barely speak. Some lowlife, some idiot, some fucking asshole has seen fit to motherfucking steal my goddamn site!!!! I understand that this is a little bit of a pot and kettle issue, considering that the majority of the content involved is copyrighted, but I've at least consistently posted my source and have been prepared for years to remove the Reference the moment that AEG contacted me and complained. What I can't understand is how someone could have the unmitigated gall to steal my code, my graphic, my articles, and post it on their own site having stripped off my info (almost all—the L5R article I wrote for Jinzoo still has my name in part of it). They didn't even remove the "[ L a e r e n ]" footer from most of it!! ARGH!


(shaking with anger) I only found out because a hapless user noticed some of the links weren't working and emailed me (he'd used the proper zoggins one before); he thought that the lostinavalon thing was mine, and was confused about links and layout breaking. I feel bad; he's not very Web savvy, and so it took a while to unpack what he was saying before I understood that he was not the owner of the site. In that while, I got very angry at him. Whoops (embarrassed).

The person who registered the domain has been contacted. This better be cleared up and right fucking now.

Well, okay, now that I've had a chance to calm down a little, I guess I should talk a bit about what I did this weekend. My cousin, Britney Spears... uh... I mean, Caitlin, and her boyfriend were in town, and so I was hanging out with them for most of Saturday and Sunday. We did the whole tourist gig—Seattle Center and Pike Place on Saturday, and the ferry to Bainbridge on Sunday. The weather was gorgeous today (75 and breezy), so all in all, I can't really think of anything that would have been much better than getting to go out on the water and finally get some pictures of my beloved cranes. I'm not sure when I fell in love with those things, but they've been my favorite part of the waterfront for as long as I can remember (and you will remember that the ones in Kobe gave me much comfort last year).

Hanging out with the cousin was odd; she's so very a Beautiful People (Jim and I joked that her boyfriend looked exactly as we'd expect the boyfriend of a girl who looked like her to look), and we have basically nothing in common, not to mention that she's been a brat most of her life, but she's still the cousin that I'm perhaps closest to. Her parents (my dad's younger sister and her husband) live near my grandparents, so it's definitely the branch of the family I see the most often; I'd missed seeing her the last time that I was out there.

Plus it was just nice to remind Jim that I actually have relatives, heh.

Hrm, it appears that RSS is freaking out. I wonder why?


Huh. I came home at around 9 from being out and about, and settled down to read my book. Next thing I knew, it's 1:41 and I'm wide fucking awake. That was less than good planning on my part; how the hell am I supposed to get normal sleep now? And considering that my cousin is in town, I really shouldn't do the sleep-all-through Saturday thing. Zoggins is all toasted with DNS badness, so working on Web stuff would be kind of silly, and I don't feel much like reading after the napsleep... maybe it'll be a Photoshop night.

Spent the evening with Brian and Rob, chatting and crossing fingers on behalf of Bri's family in Florida (and Rob's, but they apparently weren't quite so much right in the path of the hurricane). They're all right, thank goodness (minus a tree but not minus a house), but I had nasty shades of freaking out during wildfire season in Colorado. Stupid nature, trying its best to wipe us out whenever it can.

Inexplicably, I'm in a distinctly Ungod mood at the moment.

Damnitall—I had the brilliant idea of devoting this unexpected wee-hours time to watching Stargate... until I stepped into the den and remembered that Jim's little brother was sleeping on the couch. I'm sure I could delve into Archibald from in here to retrieve the episodes, but that's so much more work than TV should be at 3:53 am. I considered programming once the Photoshop urge had fled; after all, I need to brush up on my mad C++ skillz for that work qualification, but I'm not sure where the Visual Studio discs are and so was thwarted. Chin on the desk dilemma: how on earth to amuse myself at this time of the night when I'm denied TV, don't feel like reading, and have exhausted my desire to do anything with my computer?

Once upon a time, I would have taken a drive or a walk (how very many times did I wander into a particular Denny's at 4 am and get a chocolate milkshake?). I have no car, don't want to borrow Jim's, and don't at the moment relish the mood that a walk would gather around me. I dearly wish Jim were awake; I'm in the mood for long rambling conversation and have no one to indulge with.

I'm at a loss, staring at a wall and listening to Amon Tobin.


All I really ask is that this super-strength cortizone stuff knocks out my nasty nasty case of excema. After that, everything else is gravy. The itching has been driving me nuts now for nearly a year, which, in case you're not down with what's awesome and what's not, is definitively not awesome.

Not sure why I'm thinking of this now, but I was musing on small worldness (perhaps because I was discussing Melissa the other day?), so here we go with the bizarro coincidence of the recent time period: checking the link roommate Nathan gave me of his weekend at Lake Chelan a while ago, hosted on his friend Jay's livejournal, puttering through Jay's site because I was bored, and seeing that Jay has moved in with Robin, a friend of Brian's.

(cue "It's a small world after all")

The fact that Brian is such a locus for people that I know is insane. Okay, it's not insane, it's just that I'd managed to pull myself out of a particular loop of people over the past few years, and he's got my toe, tugging me back in. Time was I could walk in to any gaming or comic book store in the city (and several on the Eastside), for example, and see someone I knew; if I didn't see someone I knew, two minutes of talking usually was enough to find out who I knew that the stranger did as well. But approximately at the Time of the Busy (aka sophomore year—looking back, I don't know what I was thinking, taking ochem and physics and Japanese all at the same time), I lost touch with what I affectionately refer to as the extended geek subculture in Seattle. I withdrew into just my work friends and Jase and Seth's group; I wonder, looking back, if it wasn't a sort of attempt to control the input I was receiving from the world. By the next year (good lord, that of the Time of the Extra Busy—note to self: we will not ever take Japanese, CSE, differential equations, and socio-linguistics all at the same time, or any similar courseload, ever again, capiche?) it'd developed into a strong habit.

And I'm nothing if not a creature of habit.

It got to the point where I felt positively uncomfortable upon being overly reminded of that vast network in which I still have so many acquaintances. Really, what is this past tense bullshit? I still feel that way. It's part of why I react weirdly around Brian sometimes; he feels a bit like the visible whirlpool above a churning maelstrom. A good analogy, really, given that the years during which I was part of that eddy were by far the most chaotic of my life.

At the same time, I find myself fascinated by the long-lost connections; each new dangling thread could be tracked back to a life so much more emotionally dynamic than now (don't get me wrong, I've got plenty of drama and head-tripping to spare, but it's hard to measure up against your own eighteen-year-old self). And of course, beyond my nostalnarcissismgia, the people that reside in that swirl tend to be themselves fascinating aside from their interconnectedness. The whole thing is frankly hypnotic when I let myself think about it much at all.

It's natural, I suppose, to wonder if I've made the right decisions about where to direct my life and my energy... it's just hard to think about it coherently at all when the other path storms so heavily with emotion and illogic and memories. I tend to get caught up in whirls of wondering where various people of various times are now and what they're doing and whether they think of me and sweet jesus did I act like that and wow he was awesome to talk to and my god I haven't thought of them in years and I bet he's just the same as ever and my god that makes me not want to dip my toes back in but just imagine if we were to speak just remember the conversations the three of us had and what if I had a chance to talk to him and apologize and I wonder whatever happened to her and oh how she made me cry and cry and cry as if my heart had been shredded and how can I remember so clearly what the grass of Magnuson Park feels like on my bare feet at 3 am?

See? I do it no justice.


I've started on working the great revamp into the Reference, a rather scary proposition given that approximately 30% of the ~600 hits I get on any given day are to that thing (amusingly, at least half are usually people looking for the lyrics to At Last; who knew that that many people want those lyrics?). I'm finding myself confronted with PHP that I wrote around two years ago. I can't decide if I want to be pleased with myself for having written such understandable code, or be annoyed with myself for not having written more functions to do my dirty work. A little of both, I guess.

Gods, is it really only Wednesday night? I feel as if I won't survive the week.


(red face in hands) I actually had fun playing Vampire tonight. I'll admit it... reluctantly. We weren't LARPing, of course, but it was still Vampire, which usually rather makes me want to puke and then scrape out my mouth with a metal object. Anyway, despite not liking very much the character I was playing (we're testing a one-shot, and Chad assigned us pre-made characters to run: he gave me the overweight, balding, lazy, computer nerd. I can't quite decide if I shall be wroth), I managed to unexpectedly enjoy myself somehow. No one is more surprised about this than me. Part of it is that having made newly embraced characters, we're not supposed to be holding on to Clan bullshit angst. Thank god.

In other news, I apparently write as if I were a guy. The Gender Genie takes writing samples and analyzes writing patterns. Seth said he'd not seen it fooled yet (and to be fair, it correctly pegged him, Jason, and Chad), but presented with /tht/ entries (it has a specific algorithm for "blog entries," haha), it pegged me as a guy for 8/09, slighly feminine for 8/01, and masculine overall. We all thought it vaguely hilarious (and oso true) that it rates me and Chad at approximately the same level of mild masculinity. Andrew now has some proof to back up his claims that I've been secretly hiding my true gender all these years, hah.


I would like to take this opportunity to pimp Rufus Cubed Productions, home of random and entertaining shorts, many starring my friend Ty. I would particularly recommend A Secret Weapon, Countdown to the Abomination, and ELTD, but that's just me.

A crappy day made extremely much better by lunch, a coffee break, and everything after work. It didn't start out bad, mind you—running this morning was gorgeous, and spending the pre-work hours idly watching Rufus Cubed stuff (I don't know how I missed Shelf Life before) was great. Somewhere around 65th and 35th, however, my mood soured, and hard. There's nothing like the prospect of spending hours in a dank basement, boxing up computer shit, to put me in an awesome mood, no sirree.

And my god, was much computer shit boxed. Final count of what I'm channeling out to surplus on behalf of the department? Five G3s, six assorted laptops, twenty-four monitors, twenty-eight PCs, and a partridge in a pear treeeeeeeeee! Oh, and let's not forget the five giant boxes of "MISC COMPUTER PARTS" including keyboards, mice, slide scanners, cables many and assorted, fans, and a few kitchen sinks for the heck of it. I really wouldn't mind it all if I hadn't had to wipe all of the machines' brains. Because believe you me, as much fun as it is to run four machines at a time through Autoclave (woo! It's 62.54% done on the second binary overwrite! AWESOME!), I'm just the taddest bit (can I use the English language that way?) frustrated that I had to do it. Emphasis on the I. Hi, my name's Jen, and I'm the bitch of the department. Nice to meet you!

Grumble. But hey, it's done, and I had beer for lunch and beer for dinner and good conversations and laughs today... when I wasn't stuck in a windowless HOLE.

I almost forgot that I felt compelled to share my amusement:

Finally, if you can't let go of your extremely-beautiful-pretend-dead-woman fantasy, and if paying for it is a turn-off, check out the local goth scene in your area, as some of those girls might not be too spooked by your fantasy. But there's always a catch: I've never actually seen an extremely beautiful goth girl myself--most of them seem to have weight problems, which has always struck me as strangely contradictory. From the neck up, the look cultivated by goth girls seems to say, "Oh, we despair of this world and long for the sweet embrace of death!" From the neck down, their look seems to say, "I'll take the bacon cheeseburger, two orders of fries, and a Diet Coke, please."

Ah, Dan Savage, thou art hilarious.


Hrm. Laundry, bills, lunch, floor washing, and dinner: accomplished. Zoggins page revamping: partially accomplished. Not too shabby for a Sunday afternoon, I'd say. But goddamn does my back hurt. As it was a very prosiac day, I think I'll leave it with that thought.


How on earth does it get to be 4 am so quickly? My brain has ceased to be able to concentrate even on playing with Photoshop, and so I'm thinking it'll be the better part of valor to crawl in bed now as opposed to, say, 6 am.


All in all, a hyperactive day that I'm not sure I entirely enjoyed. Too much adrenaline spoils the soup? I have no idea, but I'm left feeling rather blah and wrung out now that all is said and done. Seeing Patrick and Monika and Brian and Craig after work was almost enough to put my mood to rights, but events being as they were, mission was not exactly accomplished. Sigh. At least I was cheered up by watching Stargate, but would that I hadn't needed to be cheered up in the first place!

Completely unrelated to anything that happened today but something I've been meaning to admit for a bit: I actually considered snagging a LiveJournal account the other day. Not to actually use it, mind you, but to be able to use to comment and things. But o dismay, for "laeren" is forever dedicated as a syndicated account and can't be used for aught else (and no, I don't know why I'm in funny speech pattern mood, by the way); I even double-checked with them despite the FAQ being pretty clear on the subject. I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of getting one with a different nick, although there is a precedent in my throw-away yahoo account (even... god... seven years ago, laeren@yahoo wasn't available... boo). On the other hand, the logical division between the Jen-stuff from laeren.zoggins and a Jen-commenting account does appeal somewhat. I'll have to muse on it some more.

Heh. Now if only I could work in the words "paucity" and "twee," I'd be feeling pretty good. It's not that often that I can swing "aught else," though, so perhaps I'll just be content with that.


My tummy is all full of roasted chicken and pasta and grilled onions, and I'm in a good mood despite having just noticed how much cat hair and fluff is embedded in my keyboard. Eww. Anyway, I figured I should say something about my yesterday, which actually begins by talking about Tuesday. On Tuesday, I was in a beyond shitty mood. There was some slight amelioration from roleplaying, but only slight, and so by the time that Jim and I headed out of town... well, I was pretty stormy. Why were we heading out of town? It's relevant to my Wednesday and also to part of why I was in a terrible mood—a month or two ago, Jim's mom asked me to speak at at her hospital's Web team monthly meeting. I couldn't think of a way to say no, so I agreed and have dreaded the day for weeks. I was to talk for an hour (shudder). Of course, me being me (particularly, I will defend, with the other stuff going on), I didn't prep for it nearly at all other than by worrying about it.

You'd really think I'd learn.

So we got down into Winlock at around 1 am and I got started prepping for my 10 am talk. Whee. I decided to not stress on the speech all night, but that doesn't mean that I was very happy about the decision. Regardless, I got up in the morning still fucking petrified. I needn't have worried, though (isn't it always the case?). I was able to talk for 45 minutes and field questions for 15, the group was interested in what I had to say and seemed really pleased to have me talking, and Jim and his mom swear up and down that I did a great job. All I know is that at 11 am yesterday, a huge chunk of stress that I'd been carrying for a few months melted away. And lo, despite there being significant issues left in my life and my honey's life, my mood pretty much immediately sunnied.

I will now determinedly pay attention to keeping myself from not wanting to stab myself in the eye concerning work.


Crap, up way too late to write anything. Am in a much better mood and a lot of stuff is all HTML strict and shiz, for what it's worth.


Well, what do I have to show for my day other than a lack of $40 in my wallet and some reddened eyes and raging depression? Nothing? Check. How awesome.

The only thing I can find in myself to explain how much this damn thing is affecting me is the fact that I never had bad acne as a teenager, so all the angst and upset that should have been released then is getting expended now. I mean, really, people who have terminal cancer or whatever are fully allowed to be emotional sobbing messes, but I find it to be really bad form in my situation.


The great frustrator of the last few days revealed: when IE 6 is rendering in "standards-compliant" mode, percentage widths in certain places are calculated from the browser width, not the surrounding block element. I have no idea why, no idea why Mozilla and Firefox and Safari and IE 5 on the Mac calculate it one way in their S modes and IE 6 in another... but that's what was causing the problems I was seeing in that browser. ARGH. Let's not even discuss how long it took testing stuff to suddenly realize that's what was going on. The divs may make more sense than the tables, but I had five freaking years experience working with tables, and they made sense to me. And now I'm stuck trying to figure out (badly, given how my brainpower was exhausted on this lately) how to fix the issue in a way that doesn't have me resorting to fixed widths. I'm hoping that it'll all be more clear if I just don't look at it for a little while.

I've still not looked at the material for my talk on Wednesday. This is ensuring that it will bomb, in every bad sense of the idiom, but I can't seem to help myself.

Shut up, I'm trying to disbelieve and need to concentrate.


(scrubbing eyes) Much has been done behind the scenes, and hopefully little has become the broke. I may not have known yesterday why my shoulder hurt, but I damn well know today. Why I suddenly got all hot and bothered about making shit work "correctly," I have no clue, but something like six hours later, I guess I have one thing to say. Ow. The shoulders. And the pain. That was more than one thing.

Totally randomly saw Brian having lunch today when Nate, Jim, and I decided to go to the Wedgwood Ale House for weekend-lunch-goodness (Jim complains that we go there just about every weekend, and, well, he's right. But I like their food and their atmosphere, so there). In a massive coincidence, right around the time we'd left the house to walk up there, Bri had messaged me telling me he was there and that I should come by. Given that I didn't get the message until our trio was satiated and on the way home, I hope I'm forgiven for acting in a way that must have seemed like I was a total bitch, as in, I barely acknowledged Bri and friend because I was so fixated on getting coffee in me. Whoops.

I don't want to go to work tomorrow, but it should be better than last week. Even with the fact that I've got a rugrat intern coming to me at 1 pm (whee). I just wish that the 4th were much further away than Wednesday (gulp).