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Halloween proper was muted and full of studying. Not a bad day at all, and I got confirmation from Kelly that Luke is not freaked the fuck out that I figured out they know each other. I'm beyond pleased to find out how well he's doing in life; learning that perhaps my single favorite person from those crazy years is doing what he always wanted to do and that he found a wonderful person to marry completely made my week.

Overall... my life may be kind of fucked up at the moment—a little hectic, a tad crazed—but I'm strangely comfortable with it tonight.


I can't honestly remember the last time I went to a costume party for Halloween and dressed up. Admittedly, I was out of the country last year, but even before then, I feel like it's not been something I've done in a very very very long time. But tonight we're all heading out to Greg's, and Kelly and I are going to dress up as each other. Heh. Dunno how well it'll work out, but we figured it'd be worth a try. It's been a quite decent Saturday, overall... woke up blindingly awake at 9:30 am and got a few things done and done, had delicious Dixie's for lunch with Jim and Tobias (and oh how I'd missed Tobias... he's my hands-down favorite of Jim's friends), and got in a nice afternoon nap in the sunshine after falling asleep with my book on my tummy. Really, what more can you ask for in a Saturday? Reasonably, I mean.

(speechless) I load up Amazon, and this is what it tells me. Thank you very much, you bastards.

(laughing) Kelly and I had fun being each other, and in general, Halloween at Greg's was pretty fun. I gotta approve. Because really, any picture of me and Jacob like this one means that shit was fun. Best quote of the night, however, belongs to Benton: "You're just dressed normal, Jen! But my compliments to your breasts."


Well, after how pissed off and upset I was last night and this morning, I thank my lucky stars for my day. Lingering guilt about the 2000 election was assuaged, Japanese went well, I entertained myself enough to not fall asleep in Info Design, and the evening spent getting tasty food and seeing Hero again and generally being cheered up definitely helped. Except for the fact that I'm exhausted and need to be up in about sevenish hours from now (and a couple other minor details, I suppose, but there's really nothing to be done about them), today was lovely. Hey, I take lovely when I can get it, damnit.


(dragging myself into house) I'm cold, tired, and hungry. I was on campus for twelve hours, which means that once you calculate in commute time, I've had a long damn day. At least my strigent ignoring of all things baseball for the last week or two paid off; if I'd come home to this empty house to see that the Sox had choked, I don't know if I could have kept myself together.

Bits to offer up before I go to try to read some Japanese (I'll likely fail, but I'll give it the good old college try):

The Internet has made us all partisan wackos.

A great (partially paraphrased) bit from a reading for class, "Discourse Communities, Sacred Texts, and Institutional Norms": "Like a sacred text it [a company handbook] contains commandments: 'The manager in charge of each engagement shall prepare at its conclusion a brief report.' Not everyone has read the manual and many that have don't refer to it often, but it functions as part of a rite of passage, ending not in membership in the Church but into the corporate body."

And now, Japanese for me. If I can.

Nope, not happening. Too fucking upset. I'll do it tomorrow morning, I suppose (hopelessly exhausted look). Thirty minutes, or I don't think that sharp objects should be anywhere near me.


(snarl) How much of a Monday can a Monday be? I don't want to enumerate the many ways in which today blew, considering that it'd just contribute to my whiny bitch persona for the day, but I do wish to carp severely about Metro and their fax system. Brian, the sweetie, went down to get my phone from the lost and found (when the fuck do I have time during the day to do something like that?), but they refused to give it to him w/out my written authorization. Said authorization was faxed to them (at least to the number they claim as their fax number) and recieved (or at least so said the fax system). But apparently they claimed to have never gotten it, and thus Bri's time was wasted and I am lacking in phonage still. ARGH. I wouldn't mind not having the phone except that it's my de facto watch... I now have no sense of time. If they don't accept my handwritten note that I handed to the next person to go downtown on errands (aka Kelly), I'm going to scream muchly.

BLAH! Blah blah BLAH on my life right now. I'mma go read my damn Japanese.

Jesus christ on a crutch, no wonder my shit was slow today. The normal twice-as-many-as-any-other-day deluge of Monday Googles (people must be bored at work, that's all I can guess), but also about a billion (okay, like 30) d/ls of I Hate Scotland. Stupid getting linked in LJ communities... the I Hate Scotland pulls are gonna drive my logs nuts. Heh. And no more Japanese reading for me, despite the fact that the book FINALLY got interesting; time to crawl in bed and let OMGBORING Info Design crap lull me to sleepybies.


(shuddering) I don't know if I'd mentioned that I was back in one of my dreaming phases, but I am... I just spent two straight hours violently tossing and turning in the throes of a horrible anxiety dream. I'm not entirely certain why my subconscious chose the train system of Japan to fixate on, but fuck, it was certainly effective (rubbing eyes). The kicker to these sort of mornings is that I invariably wake up several times and dive right back to the dream in an irrational attempt to fix whatever problem my brain is tormenting me with.

(scowl) Well, I certainly feel prepared to face my day now.

Damn, damn, and thrice be damned. I appear to have lost my phone, probably on the bus or somewhere between the bus stop and my house. Let me radiate some annoyance at the world: ((annoyance)). Other than that, a quite productive day. Japanese reading, paper grading, and (some) test revision were all done, Rob came by to chat about Japanese, and Kelly and I were able to rant a nice bit about our respective readings. Tasty dinner thrown in, and really, my only complaint is that time felt like it flew far too freaking fast today. For a Sunday, I woke up astonishingly early, and I was out studying for hours, but the day still seemed to pass by unreasonably quickly (pout).


I was a consumer whore today, and then I got to go see Shaun of the Dead. All in all, not a bad day. Tomorrow will be slightly the suck of studying, but I feel better mentally prepped for it than I did coming into this day.

And now I'm the one that's got Devil's Dance Floor stuck in my head.


Karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma karma

Well, fuck. I don't know how I could have handled that better, so perhaps I shouldn't stress, but godDAMNit. It's exactly this sort of shit that made me give up, so long ago. See, boys are easy... they don't tend to outright lie to my face about how they're feeling and I tend to be able to see something on their faces when they are. But noooooooooooooooo. Us, we have to be all secretly upset until a point at which no one can do a goddamn thing about it other than feel like SHIT. Fuck.


As a techie, I think there's few more obnoxious things than coming home to a network outage, especially when you're pretty damn sure that you have mail needing to be read. (stress) I was tempted to go over to Craig's and beg some modem time (I didn't, although mentioning it to David this morning did make him laugh pretty good). I can't help but remember the day, so many years ago, when McMahon's network went out on the night of a big Quake match for WA. The boys were climbing the walls (literally, in Chuck's case), ranting and raving about not having internet access, actually having to use the phone... it was really rather hilarious, although I was worried that someone was gonna get beaten. Heh.

Between the HUB and MGH this morning, I finally remembered what I'd been dreaming so restlessly between 6:45 and 8 am... It was a running dream, a wonderful, wonderful running dream. No wonder I didn't want to wake up fully; why wake when in my dreams I can run like that, in a long, loping, ground-eating stride, without gasping for breath through a defective pulmonary system. Jeff's right... I need a fucking lung transplant.

(vague irritation) I need to keep better track of time. Slacking off on my responsibilities is fine for the weekend, but really, I've still got a day to go, damnit.


(shaking) Tonight was fucking awesome, but no more going out to concerts sans inhaler. Towards the tail end of the show, it became a choice between singing along or dancing... towards the very end, it was a choice between breathing and doing just about anything else at all. Boo on my defective lungs! But jesus christ, was the Flogging Molly show motherfucking sweet!!! The crowd was fucking pumped, the band rocked the fucking house, and I danced and sang and rocked the fuck out until my clothes dripped and my breath came in shallow gasps of near nothingness. I can feel salt residue all over my skin... gross, but damn, still a sign that I had a good time.

(exhausted flop back) For once, no insomnia, me bets.


Blah. Mondays wipe me out mentally. I've been home for about an hour and have yet to completely shake my mind into a useful gear. This probably has to do with the fact that I left home at 8:20 am and walked back in the door at about 8:20 pm (give or take a few minutes). Whee! The day wasn't bad, even when you throw in a piss-poor showing in Japanese and a general morning malaise. I'm not particularly looking forward to grading freshman papers this week, but I don't need to look at that until later this week; I don't really want to write my TC 501 response paper tonight or read more Japanese, but I probably will anyway (at least after dinner, omg starving). I think I'm just feeling rather "bleh," but given how much worse any given day this quarter could be, I think I'm down with the "bleh." It's a Monday! It deserves to be "bleh!"

Besides, tomorrow is Flogging Molly. Every other day this week can be "bleh," fine by me.

I promised Bri another guest post some time back; he has collected on the favor:

You know... in retrospect tonight wasn't really "bleh"... it was actually more WELL ROUNDED. It might have started "bleh" when she prematurely wrote this entry earlier this evening, but I do declare that she was HEAVING with laughter towards the end. It's amazing what a good friend and some rowdy conversation will do to make the emotional PEAKS of life seem even higher. And to think it was all started with a chat from a person (whom-she-never-IMs- and-ignores-constantly- because-she-enjoys- having-selective-amnesia) from the other side of the GLOBE... s.

So smile for a change please? Can we get some chipperness around here? Eh?


PS- Next time, no Christmas lights. For the love of god.

Yes yes yes. I was with the laughing, and so were you. Mood better. YAY!


Hrm. Just... hrm. At least our Mission was Accomplished... we totally won.


Excellent, excellent, fun and wonderful evening spent chilling with my posse last night. My friends kick ass. Tonight is the Outing In Defense of Kelly, and it shall be a good evening, even if not quite as good as I might want it to be.


My last entry notwithstanding, I went to bed completely distraught last night. Bleh. Things got slightly better, but I found it to be desirable to oversleep this morning and not go in to school until I have to TA (I'll catch a bus in about 30 minutes). Bleh indeed.


(rubbing face) Being at school for over twelve hours two days in a row has taken its toll, I think. I feel more than a little wiped. But the last four hours or so of being at school were hanging out in Kelly's office and chatting, so it could have been much worse (I could have been working, for example... gawd). Things are coming back together, and that is good... but I'm exhausted and will go down for the count now, thank you very much.


An excellent day in which everything fell into alignment and worked. I am well pleased by the movie that I chilled and watched to top off the evening, and delighted that when I just wandered outside, the stars were as clear as crystal. Given my schedule this day of the week, I don't think that I really could have had a better Wednesday.


I feel as if my brain has sped up this quarter... I'm thinking more, and better, than I have in a really long time. I don't know what's caused it, exactly (although I do have some suspicions), but it's wonderful. I may still be unable to do everything (my god, I'm so busy), but gears are cranking and electrochemical pulses are flying and ideas are whirling and I love it. I want to wriggle around inside my skull, drape myself in color-swirling thought, and shriek: YES!


On my way home today, I feel as if I settled one piece of chaos into place... at least one of the balls reeling from the break seems to have fallen into a pocket, and for that I am grateful. But now I need to turn my attention to that fucking mandatory forum post I have to make for info design (gripe gripe gripe).


I went in search of Depeche Mode on my way home today... The baristas at Solstice had been playing Music for the Masses. After three attempts resulting in three closed stores, I found Violator at Best Buy, but not MftM. Buying Civilization substituted, however... perhaps it's even a better choice for the mood. I think I need a nice several hours of ripping music and sorting files; that always helps.

Seeing as I scribbled notes on Sayuri today and so have them digitized already, I offer these up in lieu of anything else, for the moment. Make of them (written between 2:45 pm and 6:30 pm) what you will.

Mary giving us annotated readings as an attempt to modify the mock reader??

Never forget Amy's quote: "we come here today not to worship at the altar of Noam Chomsky"

"These gradations of admissible ignorance vary from one level of scholarly writing to another"

Things I have that belong to other people:

  • Invader Zim DVD (Seth)
  • Alias box set (Jason)
  • Homicide DVD (Greg)
  • Iron Council (Seth)
  • Turkle book (Beth)

When did "hack and slay" become "hack and slash?"

Emotional depth of games as a function of the emotional interconnectedness of the players... My characters have gotten more subdued as time goes on... Inverse relationship to my own personality

"modem" as a verb in 1994... how quaint

I feel as if I have labored for months to build a jet only to have someone else settle into the pilot's seat and soar into the blueblack edges of the world

Oh, and...


Well. That was quite an evening.

It's official Rot Our Brains day; I need to tidy up the house and then collect my peeps.

Sigh. It's a good thing I went to see the midnight showing of The Dark Crystal with Kelly and Patrick tonight, for if I hadn't, I would have been nearing Canada. The only reason I'm not is because I was so tired after the movie that I could barely drive straight, and common sense drove me home instead of north on I5. I had music selected since early afternoon... but it's probably better that I don't go, for the sake of no car accidents if nothing else. I still have to think, however... try to figure out how to handle the stable three that has become instable four. Equations have to be rebalanced somehow, and I haven't an idea how to do it (that's a lie; I have plenty of ideas on how to do it, but I don't like any of those solutions). Sigh.


I'm being a lab TA where my students are goofing off online and it's what they're SUPPOSED TO BE DOING! I should have been able to take this class as a freshman! Damn. It's actually pretty entertaining to watch the babes explore crazy online communities and get pissed off. One of them just muttered that he wished he was doing math homework right now (rolling eyes). They have no idea how good they have it. T-minus thirty minutes and counting until I rope them together to Discuss Things...


Today was much better than yesterday, or Tuesday, or Monday. I believe that the beer that I consumed with Brian and Craig this evening was instrumental to this result. Summary: more beer is needed, every day of the week, obviously.

At least tomorrow.

And I mean, fuck, as long as no day soon is like yesterday, I think I'll be okay. Ignoring the fact that "soon" means next Wednesday. Yes.


I was assimilated into the Borg that is LJ this morning. A nifty thing about the passive tense is that you can elide the actor, thus obscuring a measure of information about a sentence. The one referring to assimilation, sadly, really should read "I assimilated myself into the Borg that is LJ this morning." I could only hold out for so long before the twin prongs of Brian and Kelly tipped me over (there were others involved in the prodding, but I mostly blame them for causing the proverbial timer to go ding). So there, happy all? For those of you who post seeeeekrit things, and for those of you (including the laeren syn, hehe) who had disabled anonymous commenting...

I have the great honor and pleasure to present to you Jaelith
The alter-ego of Laeren, the LJ for the next milennium
This is a revolution for your blogging sensibilities

And bonus points to anyone who recognizes the lyric adaption without looking it up.

I feel as if a lot of this quarter is going to be frustrating in the sense that I will hear or talk about something fascinating in class but have neither the time nor energy to elaborate on things here as I'd like to. Hoping that they will serve as cues to my memory, however, I offer up transcriptions from my notes again. These are fragments, half-formed ideas... but shit, what else is a journal for? I'm going to try to resist the temptation to clean up spelling or grammar... inserts into the text that I accomplished in my notebook via carots I replace below with parenthetical bits. The following come out of TC 510, Information Design:

"document" as a(n archivable) persistent artifact (created) with intent to communicate a message; Farkas: "a frozen conversation"

"interactivity of print is so low": long delay inbetween new print data bursts profoundly affected sense of time??

"documents are inherently social" meaningngless until message is recieved (not necessarily decoded) by something with the capacity to appreciate it as a document (Shroedinger's cat!!!)

Railroads in Civ III as the Web: all squares' roads interlock correctly but each puts out its own random feelers; result: chaos!!

Maybe my own ability to create is being stunted by the positive efflorescence of creativity and ideas being shoved into my brain in the last day or two...

It is as if he pushes through a tension that has settled on the world, breaks it and pours out into time like water breaching its meniscus and others come with him, and there is Ann-Hari running forward and the Remade intervening to hold back the nightsticks and whips of the gendarmes, and Judah himself is running now and wrapping his work-hardened arms around the throat of a uniformed man.

The flow of this sentence stopped me cold in my reading, and I read and reread it as the misted windows of the bus cocooned me safely away from the evening passing outside. The vocabulary is clumsy (I think he does it on purpose), but the sentence builds in such a glorious way that I almost felt as if I could have stopped reading the book then, never gone on with the story, and been content with having read that one passage.


I'm so happy I'm almost crying—I just enjoyed doing my reading for Japanese for the first time in over a year, perhaps close to two years. I could have read longer, but I was so ecstatic about having flown through several pages without wanting to stab myself in the eye that I couldn't contain myself and had to run and jump through the house. I can't really describe how horrible the last two quarters of Japanese were... they were similar to thermo, the class that would have driven me out of the chem department if I hadn't been so stubborn. They were the sort of classes that made me hate my field of study (respectively), causing serious and nearly unbearable crises of faith about my future. Not to mention the fits of anger that had me throwing objects around my house (which is not good, in case you were wondering). I'm so fucking thrilled; it's... the cliche that pops into my mind is that it's like having been given a new lease on life, but that's not quite right.

So let's leave it that I'm really fucking happy.

I was exposed to a completely insane idea in TC 501 today, but I'm too tired to lay it out coherently like I so wanted to earlier today, so I'll transcribe some of the notes I took, leading up to the thing that blew my mind (emphasis added later), instead:

Affective fallacy (of "old criticism"): that the reader's feelings matter; intentional fallacy: that the writer's intent matters

Salman Rushdie: "We inhale the world and exhale meaning."

Positivism: language as a windowpane or conduit, purely existing to relay a theoretical objective truth; logical conclusion is that nothing in language should draw attention to itself (eww)

Miller wanted to discard the idea that language is solely a conduit for information and have the TC community embrace its writing as rhetoric and understand all the implications thereof

Rhetoric of science?? To convince everyone that your theory is correct, you use the scientific method as a rhetorical tool... WOW

Directly under that last one, I wrote "I disagree quite a bit, but it's a fascinating idea." Damn me and my being tired and unable to explore it tonight!

Although on a quickie note, I find it very humorous that I TA'd, went to an undergraduate Japanese class, and participated in a high-theory graduate class, all in my first day back at school. A jack of all trades is me!


Well, today would be slightly better if I hadn't been out all day from 3 pm instead of getting homework done, but considering that it was a damn good day, I don't feel inclined to worry overmuch about that part. It feels so very good to be back in Seattle; I love Jim and Brandon, but seeing them and only them out of my social circle for five days straight was a little... cramped. The fact that we were all sharing a hotel room for the whole time certainly didn't help with that. But today I got to hang out with the work peeps, and so I am feeling... caught up, I guess.

Admittedly, there is the whole part about how it's nearing one and I didn't really get the Japanese reading done. Here's crossing my fingers for some slack, seeing as crossing them for getting shit done didn't exactly work. At least my Sundays aren't usually like today.

It occurs to me that although I've told several people in person, I've not written here that my presentation went absofuckinglutely fantastic on Thursday. This, coming from the Jen who usually moans for days after presentations. People were engaged and interested and I got tons of questions and comments (including a couple people urging me to patent my stuff, hehe) and generally felt like a badass. Jan, my graduate advisor, and my department chair all being there and complimenting me afterwards wasn't half ungood either. (do a little dance)


Horror, as we drove home from the airport tonight, grooving to the classic rock station... and Welcome to the Jungle came on. (face in hands) I said I was turning old a few weeks ago, and here's my fucking proof! Heh. Seriously, it was disconcerting as all hell. I'm happy happy happy to be home; I got to romp with my kitties and sit at my own computer for the first time in nearly a week. The conference was great (and my own presentation went fanfuckingtastic, wooooo me!), but I thought I'd stab someone if I had to stay in Minneapolis any longer. Pretty town, but I think my brain started to melt from lack of diversity, not to mention all the terrible music being played everywhere. I knew I was happily home when the driver of the shuttle to the car from the airport was listening to some funky acid jazz instead of something with the words "praise" and "God" or "Lord" every lyric. Yay Seattle!

And tomorrow, the prep-up for school really begins. Crossing my fingers for myself, I be.


I'm ready to be home, blah. Not getting in until late evening tomorrow, so I'm all sorts of... out of sorts.