(stretch) My shoulder muscle is killing me; I don't know what I could have done to pain it, but damn. Been a lazy Saturday so far, watching 24 with Brandon and... uh... watching more 24. Finished up the second season handily in a six-episode blowout this afternoon, heh. Brandon was supposed to be going to California this weekend, if there's a better way to salve the disappointment of not going on vacation than spending hours in the dark watching TV, I can't think of one. Really. Honest. It's been a very moving-image-oriented weekend so far; last night I went to see Napoleon Dynamite (perhaps the strangest movie I've seen in the theaters for a long time, albeit with one of the funniest finales) and then watched The Bourne Identity with Jim after I came home (scrubbing eyes). Hours of 24 this afternoon, and off to see The Village in a few hours... my limbs will positively atrophy.
I had the reading melancholy this evening. I drove across the lake, flaming sunset windows twinkling from the west-facing side of the east hills, neon sun setting in my sideview mirror, stared into a rose-violet sky... and I was sad. No particular reason, of course, and I've spoken of the reading melancholy before, but I continue to find it an interesting state of mind, even so many years after I first noticed it.
Jeff and I are back to running in the mornings, now that he's back from Europe. Greenlake is lovely at 7:15 am; shadowed and misty when we begin our run and sunny and bright when we end it. I did think I saw Rob, which threw me for a moment and caused me to stare intently as we ran past, but the mohawk on the boy I saw was too short and the number of piercings considerably reduced. Other than those details, however, the guy was a remarkable likeness. Yet another Greenlake doppleganger of many chalked up on my mental board; I suppose it's inevitable to see them, considering the number of people who congregate in that park... but Jeff doesn't see them. Or perhaps he just doesn't mention it, although I doubt he'd not, given that our primary amusement as we run is to comment on those around us. Like the extremely overweight woman this morning in the pink velour pants (shudder). The eyes, if only they could be cleansed.
Tonight was fun—A-Dawg had a party for the departing Outlook interns and so I spent the evening in Bellevue. Garret was there, and I hadn't seen him in about five months, and it turned out that Andrew the Intern from Cornell knows Thacker (he had to—he was wearing a Cornell anime club t-shirt, which meant that if Thacker was still there, Andrew knew him). Caroline from Ireland was a delight to listen to, and A-Dawg and Derek were fun to chat and joke with, as always. I'm quite pleased at how well I can get along at events with Jim's work friends; most other spouses/*friends are very clearly that: spouses or girlfriends or boyfriends (a good exception being Tyler and Kathy, but both of them are full time Microsoft, so they don't count). But I seem to be able to hold my own, to have my part in the group not be defined by a hip-height invisible chain to Jim, and I value that sense of belonging very highly.
Anyway, off, off to read my book some more, and slide once more down into that muzzy melancholy that I oddly crave. I rather feel some of my best thinking gets done in those moods, despite my inability to relate anything about it later.
(disbelief) I actually did it. I changed the front page. I'm going to go to bed quick, before I change my mind.
Did anyone notice? No? Only a little? Good.
Itch... Itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch...
Itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch...
A day spent on errands and Stargate... not badly spent. Short and sweet: every time I'm asked why I love Stargate so much, I point out that it was the first sci-fi movie I remember watching that featured a linguist and an academic as the protagonist; that Daniel Jackson was kept on as a major character in the TV series sealed my love. Plus, I've always been a sucker for Richard Dean Anderson.
A relatively good day, excessively spoiled by someone who's either an idiot or completely incompetent with the English language (either one makes work messy for a bit). Blah. Did get to go to lunch with Brandon for the first time in months, which was definitely the high point of the day, and watch more 24 with him tonight. But I had to go and check my email, and ruin my good mood... sigh. I've just got this feeling that this week is going to be crap, despite me taking at least tomorrow and probably another day off. DOUBLE BLAH.
(scrubbing eyes) Up with too little sleep, long disorienting nap in the afternoon, and it's hot... translation, I feel gross like no gross has been felt in recent memory. Anyway, I'ts 3:30 am and I want to go to sleep, so I simply offer this: I'm testing a version of the site that uses CSS to lay things out. Haven't tested it on a Mac, but it works pretty well on Mozilla and IE on my WinXP box, so I'm reasonably pleased with it. I spent most of this evening working things out so I could transfer mostly transparently if I decided to go with the CSS version... the only thing that's being stubborn is a blockquote definiton that's needed in the new design, but if I add it straight-up to the main CSS for the site, all blockquotes in the current version break. Which really just isn't very cool. Anyway, please, ch-ch-check it out and lemme know if it's totally broken? Would appreciate it.
Depressed, but at least I'm relatively it's just due to stress. I have resolved to take at least one day off next week (worked too much again this week) to get some of the stuff hanging over my head to be unhanging over my head. It certainly won't happen this weekend, nor next... Next weekend, I have asked Kathy to go clothes shopping with me—I need a dress for Dan and Jennifer's wedding. Kathy (the only female dev in Outlook that's in Jim's circle of friends) is excitable and very very Asian-girl. She's definitely overjoyed enough for the both of us about going shopping; I just ask that she help me find something that doesn't look like crap. Hah.
But I have some work to do before I sleep and get picked up by my bro in 8 hours, so off and off and off I will go...
Brian: sorry sorry sorry sorry about the 520 traffic. I totally spaced until you'd driven away that I could have asked Jim to spec out some surface roads that would have gotten you back to 405 better. Thanks so much for the ride.
Yesterday, I went out to dinner with my friend Zach. Funny compliment that it may be, he's the one of my not seen very often friends that I wish I saw more... the most. Heh. Untangle that grammar, I dare you. We compared observational notes on Japan, joked around, ate delicious pizza, and I generally had a lovely time. If only he didn't live across the water, which is nearly to the moon in Brian-units... he's driven to this side enough for me, though; I think it's high time for me to get a car and offer to make the trek in his stead, hah.
Seriously, though... just like talking to Amelia the other week, it was really really nice to talk about Japan with someone who'd been there—laughed at the same ridiculous things—and generally understands what's so simultaneously endearing and retarded about the place.
Tonight, I went out to grab food after dinner with Kate, which made it official "talk to people I haven't talked to in a long time" week (starting from last Thursday). Catching up and all that jazz was done, and people were watched out the windows of Costas. It was a gorgeous day today, not a cloud in the sky, and really, compared to my last summer, not all that warm or muggy. I should point out for those who are not in Seattle: it's light out until well towards 10 pm during the summer. I can't quite convey how much I love the late light here; no excellent summer weather I've been in throughout the world matches the glee which fills me as I walk home at 8 pm in near-full sunlight. It's body-wriggling, skipping, humming-delightedly wonderful.
Hrm. Not exactly a "oh holy crap," but a definite wince. Time to erect those mental safeguards I've been considering for a few weeks. (scolding self) I warned you.
I should go to sleep. As always. But Jim's out at work again all night and I just don't feel like it. So I'm listening to country and watching Lars loll around on the floor after having had a nice conversation with Brian for a while. I promised him another guest entry... we'll see how that goes, hah. In other random bits, ex-boyfriend Mike (from when I was fifteen, my god) emailed me last week. It was... well, I said it was a random bit, and lo, it was indeed random. I hadn't talked to him in a good six years. Grad school in CSE, natch. I knew how to pick 'em from the get-go.
(shaking self firmly) Okay, I can get undrunk ANY MINUTE NOW, thank you very much. On the other hand, it was two full weeks without alcohol followed by the muchness. There you go; I guess we had to make up for me being "down for the count" for a couple weeks and Craig being gone soon. I feel rather bad, seeing as I forgot to remind Jim I'd be out drinking much... oops. :( In our own little ways, we had things straight - I figured if I didn't feel OK to walk home by 2:30ish it'd be call-boyfriend time, and he figured if I didn't call by a half hour past last call it'd be call-police time. Works out well that I made it home around 2? Again with the heh? Seriously, though: nothing done at work today other than timewasting, and plans to not go to work tomorrow... and who would really notice, other than maybe Brian and Craig because I wouldn't log in to IRC? Sigh.
Let me ask you: what's your skin regime?
My regime? The regime from which the radicals are trying to get free? Are we selling face cream or staging a coup?
Ah, Janeane Garofalo, I love you so. Why couldn't you have been me, and spared me all the shit?
Oh, fuck you, insomnia... you go to hell. You go to hell and you die. Entertaining (somewhat) myself by reading past thoughts and mind dribble. Isn't it rather amazing, how things change but really just stay the same?
Mind dribble indeed. My oh my, can I be the angsty one when I wish to be. I sometimes wonder where all that angsty energy went... I figure it kind of melted out my ears and ended up somewhere in north Seattle, dabbing the street with faint glittering of red and blue and yellow and noncolor. And I now promise I'll go to bed. Probably not sleep, but hey... who needs sleep when you've got insomnia?
Tonight, Jim and I went out to get a few beers with Dan and Jennifer. Dan, Jim's old roommate, is marrying Jennifer at the end of August. It kind of blows my mind, seeing as they started dating after (a good two years after, even) Jim and I did. On the other hand... Jim and I aren't Christian. Heh? They've bought a house and are thinking about name changing and joint tax filings. It boggles.
The last days have not been good. Rationally, I know that I'm suffering from a chemical imbalance that will pass soon (the long-stretch ones come on slower than this one), but irrationally, I'm rotting. Rotting away inside, mildew eating me away and leaving cobwebby slime behind.
Things wouldn't be so bad if it were just me, but it's not. I'm worried about Jim. It's not really my story to tell, so I won't, but I'm still worried. Tonight, with Brandon and friend upstairs watching TV and Nathan and friends playing Halo downstairs, it was important to get him out of the house, distracted. So other plans for the evening were tossed in favor of heading out to see King Arthur. Mission accomplished—not a very good movie, but he's now happily ensconced looking up British history (I can't produce a magic wand, but I do what I can with the tools at my disposal).
See, distraction... distraction is the key. One of the fundamental things I've learned about being depressed is that it completely inhibits my desire to interact with the world—it's just me and my brain, scouring over and over whatever horrible thing it wants to focus on, internally. I become incapable of distracting myself from that godawful internal roil of self-hatred and self-pity and guilt. I've never learned how to break myself out of it effectively other than guilting myself out, using my guilt as a lever, albeit a lever of shit. But other people can pull me out, make me concentrate on something else besides my own distorted narcissism.
It's probably not a good thing, this reliance that I've come to have on others to bail me out. Fuck the probably, I know it's not good. But the times in my life where I've not had someone to haul me out of my black hole are the times that I've ended up wielding my guilt like a weapon, shredding my mental self to bloody ribbons in desperate self-preservation.
So despite the problem of Jim not doing well, in a way, it's a relief to need to concentrate on him instead of the dusty cracking away of my own mind. It's all about distraction... and hopefully I'll distract myself right past this damnable mood into a place where I can better help him.
Unrelated to the above, the nerd in me needs to say that we (as in me, Jim, and the usual Outlook crew) went to see Howard Shore conducting the Seattle Symphony doing the music to Lord of the Rings on Friday night. And lo, it was good. Rob was so excited... it was like watching a child with Santa Claus.
Mood-regulating with strawberry Haagen Daaz ice cream tonight, for some super Japan-nostalgia action. Extraordinarily bad moods call for extraordinary measures, I suppose, although I actually headed for the store in search of chocolate. Strangely (or perhaps I should have expected it), strawberry Haagen Daaz ice cream has a slightly different flavor here than it does Over There. I wonder if the dairy content of stuff imported to Japan is altered as compared to what we get here... I think I like theirs better; it's more strawberry and less ice cream.
Anyway, I need to find something to distract me (that's not long discussions of the merits of ice cream), desperately. I've been this depressed many a time, but that doesn't mean it's not a little bit on the suck side to deal with it. Plus, as I was trying to explain to Jim at dinner, usually when I get depressed, it's a slow degenerative process (usually about a week or two) followed by a few weeks of deep depression before sliding upwards again. In a weird way, I have time to get used to the whole thing. Today, I was in a fine mood this morning, and then bam nearly weeping by about 2 pm (at work mind you). I came home at four and just laid on my bed with tears running down my cheeks until I exhausted myself and fell asleep. And all for what? A run-of-the-mill bad day that any other day would have had me cranky but today had me (and I'm not being melodramatic) positively suicidal on the way home.
You know, I could really do without mood swings.
I was going to try to be in bed, not necessarily asleep, but in bed with the lights off by midnight tonight. And then the Web bug hit me, as it so often does when I've got the house to myself... I wonder if I use the same part of my brain to work on my pages and interact with Jim, because I seem to have a really hard time doing those things at the same time (playing video games, in contrast, is easy shmeezy). I had an awesome thing to say about the sky this morning... but I forgot it, and fuck it, I'm tired and not a little out of sorts.
Okay, I lied, I didn't go to bed. But I did find this, finally: a page (Seth found it first) that shows the most recent 30 images posted to Livejournal at any given time. It's kind of morbidly fascinating.
I got to teach HTML at work today and take a nice walk out to lunch with Greg and Craig. Other than that, I was pretty not happy about my day between about 10 am and 5 pm. Blah. And tomorrow I need to be at work at 8 am to cover a shift, so I'll part with the most depressing of things: Dan and Jen's wedding invitation came today.
Today, I sucked all my courage up and started looking at jobs. Tomorrow, I'll start looking into the JET stuff, but tonight was devoted to dipping my toe into Microsoft jobs and the TC jobs database. I think I've done nothing so frightening in months (shudder). I'm not sure if applying for jobs or the idea that I might actually get an interview horrifies me more.
Jim and I just got home from visiting Brian on the moon. The real purpose of the visit was to lend some of my hard-earned Japan wisdom to a friend of Brian's who leaves in a few weeks to be a JET in Osaka for at least the next year. Coincidentally, she's posted to the high school in Toyonaka (the torch will now have to pass to her to randomly find someone else that's going to live in that area in the two years after she lives there, as Erin passed the torch to me). Maps were drawn and directions given; she won't remember a lot of what I told her, but it was good to let Japan memories flow for a while.
Heh. Brian was a little shocked at how much a motormouth I can be. When I get going... I go.
I only vaguely knew the rest of the people there, but really, with the possible exception of Rob and his girlfriend, they're pretty much what I expected.
(laughing) Jim and I had a big discussion on the way home, culminating in this conversation as we set food away in the fridge and I headed down to work on my log parsing scripts and he headed straight for Halo:
Me: "See honey, this is what makes me laugh... I mean, we are such geeks."
Him: "Yes, honey... but we aren't nerds, remember."
I leave what the discussion centered on as an exercise to the reader.
I was very glad I brought Jim along; he's not really well known to Brian and no one else there had ever met him... but he had a purpose to serve and he served it perfectly. What can I say... I called it.
Walking home in the quiet, I felt a small prickle go down my back. I've walked down so very many quiet, dark streets in Seattle in my life, and somehow every single nighttime walk I've ever taken rippled across me between Craig's apartment and our house. I've got a hankering to go back out and wander in the neighborhood... but I think it wouldn't do much good.
Today was Andrew Mathes's last day of work. I'm more sorry to see him go than anyone I can think of who's left lately. Perhaps ever, really, considering those I was fond of who have left have invariably stuck around in some capacity, before him. But no, off he goes... and so we bid him goodbye with copious amounts of beer. Not that I got to do any drinking, sigh (medication for another week, damn damn damn). Entertainment was still had, although I would have preferred to not have been guilted into focusing solely on the other non-drinker, and all in all the evening gets a thumbs up. Hanging out at Craig's with Monika and Brian and Patrick to watch Stargate afterwards... well that was icing. That Patrick was willing to play Stargate Explainer so that Craig or I didn't have to was like the little roses that sit on top of icing.
I overheard Monika saying something to Brian tonight, something about how she doesn't journal online anymore partially because she doesn't want to have things all out in public the way she did when she was 20. I'd argue that there's plenty of reasons to have a journal, online or not, but still, the viewpoint, prosaic as it was, caught me off guard. Perhaps I have grown up a little, these many years.
Sitting on the couch talking to Jim just now, I realized that I'm incredibly angry at work. Not so... emphatically angry as I have been in the past, but rather harboring a ugly, smoldering sort of resentment. I feel like I'm rotting, all of my self-confidence withering and curling away from the edges. What if it turns out that I'm really good for no more than the pap they've got me on these days? What if whatever potential I had to be... awesome?... just gives up and feathers out into thin air without anything to challenge or even vaguely interest it? The brief Web programming project with Brandon was a reprieve in many ways; perhaps I'm noticing the (gut-clenching throat-tightening teeth-grinding) frustration more now because I was reminded with a too brief taste that I could have been doing something different. But I've had my chances to go the route I wanted to go, and I either passed them up or was passed over (no, I'm not talking about HD lead), which is perhaps the most depressing thing of all, all told. And rather than stay at the desk, which I loved so much, I ended up in the place I very least want to be... uselessness and triteness. I wish we could fire all of our desk staff and just have me work the damn place over the summer; at least I feel like I do some good there.
Perhaps no day in recent memory have I been so asleep through the course of my activities. Sure, I was talking, joking on occasion, but I really just wasn't... there. So what did I do? Watch a bunch of TV to finish pushing the dregs of my brain out of my ears. Yeah, baby.
The no-one-gets-it-but-me joke of the evening is this: tomorrow is nepotism day! Once I explain it, it's not funny, but whatever, it's still making me giggle whenever the phrase floats through my head. Both my little brother and Jim's little brother have lab consultant interviews tomorrow. I'll be really really proud of them if they get it, for all that 'tis a silly job... particularly I'll be proud about Bryce. I'm not sure that I've mentioned that my little brother finally made it in to the UW (not for not for lack of trying, if you track the double negative; translation: he's been lazy and slipshod) and started this summer. Back when I first started working for the labs, I didn't believe he'd ever make it here at all; that he's not only made it but is trying for my old job has me positively misty.
(sniffle) So happy nepotism day, damnit.
It's been kind of an odd day. Up early to run, time spent in the morning watching Naked Chef, and an alltogether strangely vibed five hours at work, followed by roleplaying. I've got this feeling like maybe I did something totally exhausting today, or maybe I was totally bored, but I'm not sure which one.
Part of the strangeness was the overwhelming sense of deja vu that I had since crossing over I5 at 8:20 am on the way home. Something about the quality of the cloud-dimmed light set it off, but it never fully kicked in enough to identify what the related memory might have been. The sense clung to me for hours, trailing around like the shadow that the sun couldn't generate in the mist.
I'm tired, however, and so things go banally into the night... despite my weird desire to work on Web stuff at 1 am, which is somehow wrapped up in the deja vu. Odd, odd, odd.
We went over to a friend of Jim's for dinner and fireworks tonight. Josh's place has a beautiful view of Lake Union, so it was pretty damn money for the fireworks show. On the other hand, I felt a little weird to be not with my friends on the 4th. Admittedly, last year I wasn't with anyone at all on the 4th, so things are improving.
Wow. What the FUCK was I talking about? I'm surprised I made any sense at all talking to Jim last night, although I seem to remember having a perfectly decent conversation.
Jim confirms that I seemed to be making sense when I talked to him last night (he didn't think I was all that drunk). So I have no idea what I was on about (shrug). Ah well.
The last couple nights were a little wonky. Ah well. In lieu of anything else at this moment, I provide you with a personality quiz that amused me last night:
You are an SEDF—Sober Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you an evil genius. You are extremely focused and difficult to distract from your tasks. With luck, you have learned to channel your energies into improving your intellect, rather than destroying the weak and unsuspecting.
Your friends may find you remote and a hard nut to crack. Few of your peers know you very well—even those you have known a long time—because you have expert control of the face you put forth to the world. You prefer to observe, calculate, discern and decide. Your decisions are final, and your desire to be right is impenetrable.
You are not to be messed with. You may explode.
I really don't know what to say, on a day when I called everything as well as I called it. Admittedly, it would have been much more amusing had I called it verbally beforehand, but I still called it with uncanny accuracy. In other news, I need, desperately, to find X for Craig. I'm not sure what X is, but it needs to be found. He deserves it, whatever it is... It's certainly more than I've been able to communicate to him ever. I often wish I could be or generate X, just because if anyone I knows deserves to be happy, it's him. He claims that one good instance was his due for the foreseeable future; I strongly disagree. And if I were less drunk or more full of protein, I bet that would make sense. I bet Greg had a decent time, at least, and with that I will not write anymore, probably for the better. Best, even.
Wow. Incoherence, while mildly interesting, is something I promise from here on out NOT to aspire to.
I still called it.
And PS, I like to think that while my standards may be exacting as Monika's, they're not exacting in the lethal way.