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(distressed look) I'm writing this from CMU 120, a building I've never had a class in before, in my class for idiots. And sure enough, theyh look mostly to be idiots. I'm not sure whether to feel superior due to my (BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) massive brain or terrified of their overwhelming numbers. Okay, so 30 isn't really a "vast majority," but it's enough. Some of my less idiotic fellow TC graduate students are here, but the vast majority are sunkissed and vapid-looking. Amusingly, the course (Educational Psychology 490, "Basic Educational Statistics," aka "Stats for Idiots that Jen is Taking to Boost Credits and Get Easy Stats Practice") is taught by one of my mother's fellow choir members, a man I've known vaguely since I was a child. I'm not sure if I think that's cool or not, really, but it's somewhat worth mentioning. At least as much as any of the rest of this was.


I'm feeling grandly unmotivated to do any work today. I suppose I did get Kiwi and Tang (servers) fixed up, which is something. But finding out that Greg was out today means that I've got zero motivation to clear software and manuals off the floor of his office, I'm having the hardest time concentrating on the editing that I'm supposed to be doing (maybe because the source material is SO DAMN BAD) for work, and the idea of looking at the grant right now gives me a positive panic attack. So instead I find myself doing silly things like filling out my Corporate Time... oh, sorry, "OCal" calendar for the next quarter, and fixing typos in lyrics pages. Bleh. Jim's not the only one feeling so overwhelmed as to just shut down lately...

I washed out Rowlf last night.

Rowlf was an unknown of mine in Chem 242, the first time I took it in the spring of 1999; I was sick for a full week and missed two labs, and generally wasn't in the right frame of mind to take the class at the time, and ended up retaking it the following fall and 4.0'ing it, heh. Anyway, I was pretty despondent at the time about dropping the class (one of only two classes I've ever withdrawn from), and to cheer myself up about it, I thieved (laughing). I took my unknown (that which smelled exactly like a brown Mr. Sketch marker... it's some ester, I forget what exactly), which my TA had named Rowlf, home with me. For years it's been on my desk, lending a faint smell to my room that I've never much paid attention to... in some ways, despite how funny it may have smelled, I identified it as being the smell of my room and of my stuff.

As I was unpacking last night, I found the box that had all my chemical samples (I have many, of the pretty kind and the glowing kind) and began unwrapping them (I still don't know where they'll go; for now they're on the bookshelf upstairs). The entire box smelled pretty Rowlf-y... I suppose it didn't do any good to keep it in a closed environment for nine months, heh. Jim wandered up right around that time and made a face. "Do we have to keep the one that smells like brown in our room?" he asked, a pained look pulling his eyebrows close together.

I'd never really thought about the fact that the odd smell that I was so used to might have annoyed someone. Sure enough, for four years Jim has thought that it stank and hated it. Sigh. I thought a bit about just keeping it upstairs, away from our room, but I was feeling more than a little ashamed about the whole thing and just decided to toss it. It's not as if I've not got many more pretty, odorless, things (Rowlf was a clear liquid) to remind me of my years as a chemistry student, after all. And I was rather offended by Jim saying that he'd never mentioned anything about it because I was "so proud of it," as if he were patronizing a mother hoarding an ugly clay penholder just because her child had made it.

But today, as I sit and type, the faint chemical smell is still on my hands from rinsing out the vial last night, and I'm sad. Nothing brings me back to the chemistry labs as much as smell; one whiff of acetone and I'm nostalgic for hours. I was never meant to be a chemistry student, something now well known; but I can still look back on that time fondly, and having rinsed a portion of my past down the drain with plenty of water last night is twinging more than I had thought it would.

(smiling) Craig said I'm one of the smartest people he knows. Go me!


Exhausted again. But the living room is mostly done. Mostly. Still completely lacking my shelves and my desk in my room, so all of my stuff is still in bags and boxes. Unhappiness.


I've decided that I will never move again. Or I will marry someone rich and we will pay for movers to move my stuff. Or I will set fire to all my stuff, move to a new place, and buy all new stuff with my insurance money. There's a plan.


OMG with the tiredness. But a tool review for a grant is mostly done (to the point where it can be passed off for other people to look at, yay), by this time tomorrow Brandon will be home and 99% of my stuff will be in the house (more got moved today), and... uh... well, work still sucks but I'm taking Tuesday off to move and will strongly consider going in late on Wednesday. Oh, to sleep in, although I did it so recently as yesterday, already seems so sweet. I think that no weekend in recent memory will feel as well-deserved as this upcoming one.


(exhausted) Today my little brother and I mostly moved me into Jim's (my) house. There's still furniture to be moved, but 95% of what could be put in boxes has been put in boxes and moved over here. I can't describe how happy it makes me to have most of my stuff in the same house as me, even boxed up. I've not felt like I lived anywhere for nine months now, which believe you me, is a damn unsettling feeling. I broke down in tears on Thursday night because I was so upset about living out of laundry baskets and having none of my things around... how much better I felt last week after moving just my spices over was ridiculous. So yes, I'm happy. I was dancing around the kitchen tonight (my Bose stereo's new home is in the kitchen, which helped), making dinner for Jim and Bryce, and I think I haven't been this happy since the day I got home from Japan.

It was also just generally really really nice to spend all day with my brother. I do so love spending time with him, but we often go months without seeing each other at all. Today, he picked me up around 1:30, we filled Ridiculous (my name for Mom's Baja) with stuff from my parents' house, had lunch, unpacked boxes in the house, went to my apartment and packed more boxes, loaded those boxes into Ridiculous, came back to the house and unloaded them... all in all, we busted our asses. And there's few people better to have around when busting your ass than Bryce; be assured that he'll at least keep you laughing for the whole time. Anyway, definite high points were Bryce bitching about how much tea was in our cupboards ("(reaching into cupboards and pulling out more) OH LOOK! GUESS WHAT! MORE... WAIT FOR IT... YOU'LL NEVER GUESS... NO... BUT YES!!! TEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Why don't you teach that boy to actually drink some of this damn stuff so I'll never have to move it again?!?") and riding Brandon's silly no-gear foot-braking bike over to Jim's in the evening air with a few wind-swept drops of rain spattering my face and a gorgeous sunset behind me. Coming home to Jim mowing the lawn and walking over to QFC in the dark with Bryce, talking about nothing (and everything, all at once... hehe), and unpacking my favorite bowls and mugs into the cupboards here... sure, I may be exhausted, but it was still a damn good day.


Heh, I forgot to relate the best part about yestereday: David referring to the COSTCO frozen chicken patties that he heated up for dinner as "delicious chicken squishies."

I want to relate a very sweet moment with my cat, a moment that is, admittedly, somewhat weird because it happened on the toilet.

People who know my cats may generally think of Lars as the one that would be more likely to be cuddly, given that he's cute and fat and naps a lot. Liam, being rangy and prone to running all over the place, wouldn't immediately strike someone as a cat who would snuggle. However, Liam does occasionally get into a mood where nothing will do but for him to be in your lap. Today, he followed me into the bathroom, and I finally let him jump up on my lap while I was reading (yes, I wish this story did not take place on the toilet, but really, who DOESN'T ever read on the toilet?) after he continually stretched his paws up at me like a dog begging for food at the dinner table. He settled into a curl, hindpaws braced against my left arm, wrapped his forepaws around my upper left arm, and proceeded to push his forehead into my arm and purr while hugging my arm. I read, he purred, and we'll just pretend for a moment that the best part of my day didn't happen while I was using the bathroom.


(exhausted) I'd feel better about staying at work from 10:30 am today until 1:30 am if I felt like I'd been more indispensible than I was. Sigh. And now, the weekend for grant writing! I don't know why I put an exclamation point on that, I'm definitely too damn tired to be using exclamation points.


I didn't do anything spectacularly interesting for St. Paddy's day (other than insist that Ryan tell a particular story in a brogue), so ah well for not writing anything yesterday. I did have a pretty vivid dream to relate, but I'm tired and I've been crying out of frustration all night (my life, which was supposed to become un-shits once my paper was turned in on Wednesday, instead became MORE so, and will continue to be so until Tuesday or Wednesday next week). I can't help it, crying makes me sleepy.


My bank, which has always been a bunch of idiot monkeys, have committed a cardinal sin in their online system upgrade. To use the new system to pay your credit card bill, it is absolutely necessary to have read some documentation that they mailed out physically to people. Now, that in itself is annoying, but not terrible. What is so horrible is that until you screw something up, it's completely unobvious that there was any documentation-reading necessary. Actually, I take that back. I only figured out that I'd screwed up because I'm so damn smart (mail to me has been mysteriously going astray—I think there's some sort of forwarding problem at the moment—I certainly never got any paper documentation). The problem? The ambiguous use of the phrase "account number." What account number is that? My general account number? A specific sub-account number? If I put in the wrong account number, why am I not warned in any way that it's wrong? I suppose I may log in tomorrow to find a nasty blinking message facing me, but having to wait until the next business day to find out if I've done something wrong rather defeats the purpose of online home banking, if you ask me. A simple fix would make everything better: when they ask for my account number, they should ask for my "7-digit account number," at which point it would become obvious that they don't want my general account but a specific sub-account (all of which have 7 digit codes, as opposed to the 9-digit general account ones). If a number is entered that is longer than 7 digits (like my account number proper), it should beep at me and say "That is an invalid number. Please re-enter your 7-digit account number." At which point, I think even a completely retarded user could start figuring the whole thing out.

Argh. I wouldn't mind so much if the woman at member services that I called (once I spontaneously guessed that a problem had occurred) hadn't been such an exemplary example of her idiot monkey breed. I swear, interacting with my bank in any fashion beyond getting and depositing money is enough to make me want to stab a pen in my eye.

Alright, back to the paper writing. Sigh.


Things that have and could be thought will be left unsaid in favor of at least getting a slightly decent night's sleep before my Japanese final, even if I'm apparently not going to study for it at all. And then there's the paper; but I'll work on that tomorrow night. Ah, finals week. I love you so not.


(rubbing eyes) I spent the entire morning, from perhaps nine thirty until I finally dragged myself out of bed at one thirty, gripped in the throes of a horrible anxiety dream about being in Japan and having to move out/make my plane/all that stuff again. I kept waking up, being totally unclear as to where I was, and shoving myself back into the dream because I was terrified that I was going to miss my plane if I didn't hurry. Less than restful, for all the fact that I slept so long; I should have gotten up when Jim did around nine (grumble). I was even awake! But I figured I'd sneak another hour or so... I suppose I got what I deserved.


I decided the last couple days to abuse the fact that "stuff" isn't due until Tuesday, and treated myself to some goddamn R&R. I'm not sure if it was really a good thing to get drunk and play games with Jeff, Jim, and Nate last night after going out for dinner with Eric and Dave, or if I should have played Civ III basically... uh... all today (it's 2:42 am on Sunday morning now and I started playing at about noon), but you know what? "Good things" are quite interpretable dependent on situation. I've got to get to bed so that I can work on thing tomorrow, so I won't babble too much, but I do want to note that getting drunk with friends here is much different than getting drunk with people in Japan. Partially because I'm not pounding five beers in an hour or whatever, but beyond that, there's just a different feel to it. Better, but different.


(do a little dance) HOORAY!!! All that's left of this godforsaken quarter now is to write my paper for Jan (I hate paper writing, but it's at least on a topic I'm passionate about: why literary criticism alone cannot suffice for evaluation of translations) and study (hah) for my Japanese final. Okay, so both of those will be turned in/taken on the same day, but whatever. TC 502, the bane of my sorry existence for the past three months, is done with, and my dreaded presentations in all classes are (singing) done done done! I don't think I've ever been quite so happy to have a quarter be done with... well, except for all those other quarters that sucked.


Only two days until sanity recommences...

(laughing) Adam Carrolla on America: "We're like a pinata... filled with crap. Crap from all over the world."


It's not at all related to my topic, but MAN do I want to read this article:

Title: Pseudo-Science in the Chinese Linguistics Circle: A Brief Summary of the Ongoing Academic Dispute between Xu Dejiang and Wu Tieping
Abstract Eight claims regarding language made by Xu Dejiang, editor of the journal Chinese Character Culture, are reviewed & refuted in light of Beijing (China) Normal University linguist Wu Tieping's (1995) accusation of academic fraud against Xu & the Beijing Haidian District People's Court's 1998 dismissal of Xu's subsequent defamation suit against Wu, which has had the effect of permitting Xu to continue to publish. Xu contends that (1) the Chinese writing system is more scientific than alphabetic systems, (2) its characters are easier to learn than letters, (3) children's IQ can be raised by learning characters, (4) Western languages have characters, & (5) every syllable has at least one consonant; Xu advocates (6) the adoption of Chinese characters as a universal script, (7) the superiority of written language over spoken language, & (8) the overall superiority of Chinese characters to alphabetic systems. Mirroring early Western characterizations of Chinese, Xu starts from an assumed superiority of Chinese culture & language; he appears not to understand the linguistic theories he criticizes & presents wild claims as outright fact or attempts to support them with speculations, personal observations, & citations out of context.


I got five hours of reading done today, and I'm still screwed. Ah well, at least I got 14 hours of sleep last night. That's gotta be good for something.


Today, I learned how to be destructive. Heh. I learned a couple weeks ago how to really truly kill data off of a PC hard drive (hooray for UW-written software: Autoclave is cool), but it took me until today to figure out how to obliterate a Mac drive. Sure, perhaps if I were all Mac savvy, or had remembered clearly what David and Ryan had told me, it wouldn't have taken me this long. I knew it was something about having an install CD, but beyond that... well, memory failed me. Now, there's probably lots of places (apple.com?) that have this information, but this random page that happened to be the first relevant result on my Google search for the topic just totally made my day.


I offer a random soundbyte from the house tonight: "In Idaho, the parties last all night. And there's probably lots of chocolate." Sigh. So tired. And stressed. And needing time. Life. With the sucking.


I didn't write anything yesterday because, you guessed it, I was still sick. And up until 4 am on a crap piece of a speech that I have to redo on Thursday because the freaking mike wasn't on!!!! I swear, I just want to cry right now. Certainly not do work, but I think instead of crying, I'll take a nap. Or maybe I'll cry and then take a nap. Either or.