(warning: particularly old content) I don't ask for it to make sense RSS feed


In under seven hours, the moment I have been dreading for three months will be over. There shall be plenty of suck after that, of course, including my 516 presentation and my two finals, but the terrible Japanese presentation will be finished. Thank. Fucking. God.

Incidentally, I think I shall be a bit put out if the LJ feed for /tht/ ever overtakes laeren.zoggins proper in Google. Damn them and commercial-abilities!


I spent most of yesterday reading the 3rd, 4th, and most of the 5th Harry Potter books in a desperate attempt to not do homework. I think I'll finish reading the 5th one this afternoon, just to continue the trend. Definitely not books I'll re-read, but not bad for a Saturday's entertainment. I don't quite know people get so nutty about them, though.


Blessedly down in Winlock for the weekend; as long as we can avoid political discussions with Jim's father, we're all good. I probably won't update over the next day or two... but then again, maybe I will. We'll see how much inspiration relaxation can produce.


You know, one might think that after this week of staying up late and paying the price, that I would have learned to not do it any more. But no. I would talk about Jim finally coming home after three days of work, (re)meeting my great uncle and aunt, or one of the random interesting tidbits that floated through the detrius of my brain today, but frankly, one of the prices I pay for staying up way too late is the inability to put coherent sentences together after a certain point. That I'm already past.


Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear FOOOLLLLLL, happy birthday to you! And when you finally figure your shiz out, I'll be 32 (face in my hands). Nooooooooo!

I have a huge smile on my face right now, despite it being past midnight and still having an hour or so of work to do on my Japanese paper due tomorrow. The reason? I finally tonight managed to find one of the songs that I got addicted to in Japan last year. I still have about fifteen to find, but finding the one is something of a minor victory, not to mention a nostalgia trip. If I didn't say several months ago that sooner or later I'd be wanting to go back to that godforsaken country, I should have; it's like freaking crack over there.


I'm exhausted, stressed out, pessimistic about my future, and generally in a funk. Not a depressive funk per se, but a funk nonetheless. Jim's spending the night at work, so I can't turn to him for a hug; it was nice to hang out with him and Tobias for (delicious) dinner at Tobias's house, but damnit, I didn't need a hug then and I do now. Blah.


Huh. Well, I seem to have just totally fucked up my sleep schedule. It's nearing 5 am and I'm just now getting to bed after having gotten totally caught up in my fake data analysis for TC 516 (Jan the Awesome's class) for the past five hours. My fault for not having gotten started on it until so late, but damn, I totally didn't notice what time it was getting to be. Maybe I understand a little bit now how people can get totally absorbed by statistics. A little.


I'm in a completely rotten mood. I made a poor decision to accompany Jim to dinner for his friend Cindy's birthday. I'm feeling complained out about it, but the upshot is that as far as I'm concerned, her friends are a bunch of assholes. I knew that before I went, and so I should have just not gone. Blah. I feel pretty fucking wrung out. It's a damn good thing that Lars is so goddamn cute, or I'd be just about crying, I'm so upset. Hooray for the soothing powers of cats.


Went out to see Shrek 2 tonight... good, but in my personal opinion, not as good as the first one. A bit too many references to things for my taste; I can't tell if there were actually more, or if my patience for them has slightly diminished. But my god, the references were paid their weight in gold by the frigging water effects. Eric tried to claim on the way out that there was nothing that looked plastic-y, which is bullshit, but I gotta say, there were some damn fine moments. If I was an animator I'd have been just about shitting myself.

And now for something completely different: The Mean Machine soundtrack is overall excellent, but there are few songs in the world that make me as consistently happy as Dreadzone's "Captain Dread." I wonder if they've done any more... WAIT A SECOND! I don't have to wonder at these things!

That's what this whole Internet thing is FOR, after all.


(rubbing tired eyes) I know! I know! The best way to recover from a near-all-nighter! Stay up until 3 am the next day playing video games! Four of them, counting console games!

Did I not say I was awesome? "Of a fashion" meaning "in a totally retarded way."


Dear Ty: Dude, you're freaking me out, and you're not online much to berate. Beware, for the beating stick has thus far been shielded from you.

In other news, I'm going to stay up all night tonight, for I am awesome. Of a fashion.


Earlier today, I thought merely that I had had one of my most vivid dreams in recent memory. The longer that I thought about it though, the more I realized that I'd moved well beyond vivid and into a lucid dream. The details aren't important, other than the fact that I was utterly convinced that my own self had walked in while I was sleeping, sat on the bed, and was talking to me (the lighting, coloring, everything was spot on) and simultaneously became aware that I had to be dreaming. What's funny is that a standard of lusic dreams, I hear, is that your brain tries to shut you you out of the dream any way that it can. Sure enough, as soon as I became aware that I was dreaming, I started feeling incredibly tired, completely unable to keep my eyes open (in the dream, I was still lying in bed and very sleepy, after all). Perfectly reasonable thing to have happen if someone walked in while you were sound asleep and woke you up, by the way, which continued to freak me out a little bit after I woke up, given that everything had been so realistic save for the fact, you know, that I was TALKING TO MYSELF. Anyway, that part of the dream faded out and normal dreams continued (I had another lucid segment a bit later, right before I woke up), and now I'm super pissed that I didn't take control of the whole thing and see what I could do with my dream self. Maybe next time—surely something like that won't happen only once in a lifetime. Next time, I'll be prepared.

What the fuck with the SPIDERS?!?? Craig predicted they'd be the plague of the summer, but STILL. One ran over my hand as I was using my mouse earlier, and as I was reading in bed just now, one skittered towards my arm and recieved a sharp smack with a book in return (I really hope it was at least the same one, but I didn't get a good look at it).

(shudder) I fucking HATE spiders.


I am so goddamn fucked for classes this quarter. I've not mismanaged my time this badly since... ever.


The distraction of the last few minutes was figuring out how to A) properly include a php snippet in an shtml file, and B) to get that php snippet to pick up on some particular shtml variables I often have set. Harder than you'd think (I'm still a bit flabbergasted about why my stuff finally showed up in $_SERVER, of all places), but doable. Not that I'm going to leave it as a standard thing in /tht/ (until I change my mind, hah), but as a compromise, this will update in this page until I break it. ;) And wow, is that dark red hard to read. Heh.

Someday, when I am rich, I will go in and clear out my Amazon wishlist. That is all.


I spent some time just now playing with Google. Watching the Google rankings for the term "laeren" became boring years ago. I don't think my site's been out of the top three for at least as many years, although for the first time in a while, there's only a few links to my stuff in the first couple pages overall. That's mostly a "whatever" sort of result (although the fact that the LJ feed is up there on the second page is kind of funny). What's more interesting (and has been historically) is the fluctuation in what you get when you search for my actual name. A good number of things on the first page are related to me when you search for it using "Jen" (literally... Grandmama Marilyn's creds are currently second from the bottom. "Related"—get it? I kill me), but none actually point to me. As of when I was just playing around now, there's at least one thing related to me on the second, third, fifth, and seventh pages (I got bored of looking at around ten), but nothing, again, getting to me directly. The fact that using "Jennifer" fares better cracks me up a good bit (gets a link to zoggins on the first page, currently), considering I can't think of anyone besides my parents and some other relatives who call me that. I occasionally wonder if Ishould put some effort into making my name grab zoggins directly up, but then again, perhaps it's a good thing to be somewhat obscure. It takes some minor modicum of effort to Google me, damnit. Okay, less effort than it would for many people in the world, given the fact that many people don't exist much of anywhere online, but whatever—some days, I'm about three pages in.

You know, I swear I had a point going into that. But I think I'll have to be content with the fact that I'm in the mood to write anything down at all.

And in other news, I couldn't help but take pictures of Lars and Liam again tonight. Mostly because Lars, the little bastard, makes it so hard for me to work (if I've got my keyboard in my lap, he needs to be in my lap; if it's on top of my desk, he has to be on top of my desk; I finally gave up and hid it in the tray, and he resigned himself to failure). I tried taking some of his brother, but damnit, Liam just isn't photogenic (with some awfully cute exceptions). Lars, on the other hand, is pure, concentrated, cuteness.


I was about to say "oh, fuck recapping, I'm going to bed," but damnit, I should get something done today. Other than finally finding (and configging) a Winamp plug-in to work like the XMMS gizzy that Patrick handed me a couple years ago (and might I say that I fixed it up muchly) to show what I'm listening to. I should dump that output to /tht/... then I'd feel REALLY livejournal-ly. Heh. Anyway, I'm gonna work on recap action and THEN go to bed. Not like anything that interesting happened in Baltimore... shouldn't take too long.

I completely changed my mind, mostly because I thought up another wee bitty web programming project I want to do before sleep. So instead of a real recap, I'll offer only the highlights (in a list that is extremely non-parallel, bad me):

  • Being on the same flight Chicago-Baltimore with Jan was amusing; her trying to come back to talk to us twice and getting yelled at (seatbelt sign was on) was even more so.
  • The guy who brought us our room service the first night we were there asked us where we'd flown in from. The amazement in his voice as he exclaimed "Seattle?!? WOW... that's a long way," was beyond entertaining. I occasionally forget that for people on the other coast, we might as well be on the moon. Kind of like Ryan is.
  • Wandering around the Inner Harbor all afternoon Sunday with Jim, being silly tourists was worth the entire week's crap.
  • Watching at least one episode of Law & Order a night, if not as many as three, was also particularly bonus.
  • Perhaps the best part: going to sessions with Brandon and making fun of idiots. Getting to spend quality time with Brandon at all was awfully nice. I love that boy to death.
  • I couldn't keep from grinning all the way through a usability session led by a former programmer lady who tore into the usability wonks like that was the entire point of her session.
  • Still can't shake the feeling of seeing my name in print in the conference proceedings as a paper author for the first time.
  • Jim, Brandon, Mary, and another former student of Jan's made up a decent cheering squad as Jan was presented with a teaching award... that woman is beyond awesome. We were not nearly as loud as the Dallas STC chapter, however, which seemed to take up something like a quarter of that hugeass ballroom.
  • Having about three times as many people show up to our 8:30 am, third-day-of-the-conference, session was pretty ego boosting.
  • Realizing that people thought what we'd done was cool was even more so.
  • I scribbled giggly notes to Brandon during the Moment cutie's talk (which was actually interesting, but made better by the fact he was cute—it'd been days of old fat white ladies at that point).
  • A lady from Texas Christian University pressed her business card into my hand as she told me that hearing me talk about our research methods had been the highlight of her conference experience.
  • It felt really good giving Jim an excuse to take a vacation and go to Washington DC (not just Washington, damnit), even if he did suddenly get busy at work (finally) lately.
  • The horrible flight problems on Wednesday would be an entry all of their own... I'm just glad that Jim didn't strangle me.


Made it back from Baltimore in one piece, albeit slightly sunburned. If I finish my Japanese homework tonight, I'll reward myself by sitting down and doing a recap; otherwise, it'll have to wait until tomorrow sometime. Given that it's already 10:30, I'm not real hopeful.

No such recap luck, but I did get my pictures up, in chronological order.


How neat; Brian went ahead and grabbed the /tht/ RSS feed and set it up as a Livejournal one. A couple people had been using it through other RSS readers, but I can feel vaguely officially... uh... Livejournally... now. Yes. And now, back to the regularly scheduled business of really really not feeling like working. I think I'm going to go home on the spot of five and finally get some pictures up that I've been meaning to albumify.

Hopefully I'll remember to write something in the morning, but if not, well, I'll be gone in Baltimore until Wednesday night, so deal, hah. To entertain the truly bored in my (I kill me) horrible absence, I offer a couple galleries of pictures: my neighborhood and yard the last month or two and my cats at various stages (I just took the last set of pictures of Lars last night... I need to find more pictures from the whole middle two and a half years of the boys' lives).


Delicious serendipity, to have Monika suddenly want to go out on a Thursday night of a week when I am unable to go out on Friday. The definition by which I formalize "delicious" shall remain unto me, but suffice to say that I'm in a fine mood and ever so pleased that I don't have classes tomorrow. People with their "I miss college" crap piss me off—they don't appreciate what it is to be able to come home to no more than a cat's expectation of feeding. For now, though, I suppose I should be content with the Thursday night that I do get.


The first slashdot sig that's made me giggle in a while: Jesus saves. The others take 2d20 crushing damage.

You know, I'd been feeling all self-congratulatory lately, thinking about how awesome I was for kicking the latest depression bug in the nuts and getting my ass cheered up. But now I'm not so sure. It has now occured to me that sure, my mood may be better, but my motivation to do anything has stayed just as bad, if not worse, for example. I rather wonder if the depression just morphed, this go-round. I certainly haven't not wanted to be in school this much EVER, which is a rather disconcerting feeling.


7:06 AM and I feel like shit. Admittedly, circumstances prevented me from going to Japanese all last week, so I'm a bit out of practice, but being up until past 3 AM was likely not helpful. Ugh.

Still feeling all crapified, and still haven't really been feeling prepared for the "oral progress report" I'm supposed to give tomorrow. Blah. I think I'm going to crawl my sleepy ass in bed and read Japanese until I fall asleep (probably sooner rather than later, really, but oh well).


Wow... my spam of the day is definitely above the normal cut. First message:

Subject: Turkle's view of objects and their relations is highly influenced by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980).[41] Piaget formulated theories about the importance of objects for children in their childhood
Message text: [IMG] mind and society. With the emergence of electronic toys and computational objects

Amusing enough, but the next one down was this:

Subject: What Turkle is afraid of is that people become fluent users of applications but not fluent thinkers. The playfulness too easily seduces
Message text: [IMG] this has a great deal to do with the hacker ideals about spreading their collective and keeping it open to everyone as can be seen by the popularity of the free and open-source operative system Linux.[35]

Now THAT is some quality spam. I find that I have no curiousity about what those images were, fancy that.

Disasterous mistake, to accompany Jim over to MS today blithely sure that I'd have no problem accessing my Dante account, or UW restricted library databases via a proxy, from his laptop. Understandable, considering I've always been fine before, but on a night when it was rather critical to have access to those resources, I should have known better than to take a chance in his new building. Of course, once we were over there, I felt like I couldn't ask to go home, and so four hours or so were wasted diddling around trying to manage without all my tools. Sigh. And now I'm just fucking exhausted; lucky I didn't crash the BMW on the way home, and unlucky Jim, to be spending the night in his couchless office. Blah.


Not much can be said for a day where I volunteered (for the second day mind you) very tiredly at the College of Engineering Open House and then took a four hour nap. My day, such as it was, has been short and rather stupid, really. And I'm being all responsible and opening the IPL tomorrow... may it lead to homework being done, please, god, please. There's only so much delaying and fucking off that I can pull off without it backfiring.