I think that was about the best of my life. How sweet.
Groan... I have to go to school the day after tomorrow. That is seriously uncool. I mean, on one hand, it'll be nice to have a routine and all that, but on the other hand, well, it's school. I knew exactly something I wanted to say earlier, but as usual, it was gone by the time I got to sit down and write. I don't particularly mind, as I was perfectly happy with not getting up at that moment. I watched the new Star Trek spinoff tonight (Jim had taped it); I've decided if they removed all the sexual connotations to that damn Vulcan woman and changed the opening song, I'd be relatively happy with it. I'll see if I still like it next week, I suppose. Except that now that I think about it, unless it's on really late at night (and I don't think it is), I won't be able to watch it. Hrm. Maybe it's time to buy some blank tapes—I've actually never used my VCR, in the three or four years I've owned it, to record something. It may be time to learn.
I've been a pansy about writing anything the last couple days; I plead sleepiness in all cases. Having to get up and be in on campus by 8:30 at the latest all this week has not been happy in the slightest. Keenly aware of the injustices of the world, mildly disgruntled, distinctly miffed... those have been good phrases for my attitude about this whole getting up in the morning thing. Particularly when my classes this quarter start so late! I mean, it's good to get in the habit of not sleeping in until the afternoon before school starts, but I really do feel as if I've overshot any sort of useful preparation. This is the last weekend of freedom before school starts; I'm incredibly nervous about the whole teaching thing. We'll have grad students along with us, it's been decided. I'm not sure if I like that or not, but hopefully it'll all go well. I really did mean to brush up on my basic chem this last month (along with writing letters to several friends from the summer, and putting up my Christmas lights, and getting more furniture, and several more things I could list but won't), but it's just not really happened. I'm worried about Japanese 440, seeing as it's "recommended" that you have taken a intro linguistics course and the book seems dreadfully boring. As much as I prefer the linguistics track of the major, it's really because I can take all the sociolinguistics classes and combine my interest in psychology and society with Japanese. Phonology and morphology suck nuts.
I am not going to write anything.
I am sooooo tired. But seeing Rammstein live, even for a short set, was so worth the exhaustion. He lit himself on fucking fire. Sweet.
Pain. Pain and lots more pain. I can't sit, I can't walk, I can't lie down. Standing is bearable... in some positions. It has been 66 days since I injured my back. That's about nine and a half weeks. Which is about three and a half weeks longer than the time in which back injuries usually get better. I don't care if I'm not going to be paralyzed, or whatever... I'm rather keenly interested right now in the fact that 750 mg ibuprofen along with two extra strength Tylenol aren't doing much more than vaguely dulling the ache. My dad's snide doctor, while telling me I wasn't going to die, also told me that basically there wasn't anything I could do... "everyone has back problems. If you want to be bored at a party, ask people about their backs." Well, if I'm going to have to stick out this injury for another couple months, I want some better fucking drugs.
A ray of light—after four years of complaining that I couldn't find it, mp3s have become prevalent enough so that I was able to track down Etta James' lovely At Last. It doesn't take the pain away, but music's pretty adept at rocking my mind gently away, regardless.
I have a TV. I have a rice cooker. Jim's coming back to Seattle in the next day or two. I don't have to be at school until 9 tomorrow (as compared to 7:30 today). I got to watch the Mariners whup the Rangers. I had a good dinner out with Patrick and I got Mario at the Roma for the first time since I got back from Japan. I drank lots of water. I discovered I have a few Japanese neighbors with small children, who I will be angling to talk to over the next several weeks. I got out for a walk. I had a satisfying conversation with at least one new hire at orientation. I learned how to use Illustrator. It's been a damn fine day; nothing earth-shattering... just all the little nice things stacking up in just the right way. You gotta love those sorts of days.
I was going to buy a TV today... and then I came back to Best Buy and a lady right ahead of me got the last one of the ones I wanted. Argh! I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow; I desperately want a TV. The apartment just doesn't feel finished without one. Of course, a TV stand and posters and Christmas lights would all help, too. I'm dragging my feet on decorating, and I'm not sure why. I don't like having a bare apartment, but...
Ugh. It's early enough so that it almost should count as me writing this yesterday. It's 6:30 am and I have to catch a bus in 35 minutes over to campus. I'm trying to decide whether or not I'm going to puke; I hate waking up early. Well, it isn't really the earliness that's causing the nausea—it's the short hours. I'd feel about as gross if I was waking up at noon after going to bed at 6. Not quite as bad, but right up there, I'm sure. The thing I hate most about not-enough-sleep nausea is that it's made exponentially worse by heat. Seeing as I'm not going to take a cold shower, and I have very little interest in puking in the shower (been there, done that, it's not fun), I guess today is a ponytail and lots of deodorant kind of day. Ugh.
Well, the day is over now, and I'm CPR certified. I don't really feel any different, but I suppose the knowledge that I have now makes me more comfortable being a lab TA next quarter than I was. That's right, knowing that the Good Samaritan laws of Washington State protect me if I screw up or decide to do nothing more than call 911 is very comforting. As long as I don't try to administer CPR to someone while they're face down in a puddle or something. They've got a thing about gross negligence. Sheesh.
I didn't go to sleep until 4:30 am yesterday (sigh). I'm a bad kid. Another nothing, boring-to-report day; I did, however, buy a couple CDs—Staind and The Magnetic Fields (heh). It just makes my day when I can go up to a clerk with combinations like that and watch their eyebrows go up. I figure, I don't stand out much in life; I'm not exceptionally pretty or ugly, exceptionally skinny or overweight, exceptionally tall or small. Without the distinguishing features of the sorts of people that get noticed, any petty thing I can do to make my passage through incidental contacts create a slightly larger wake has the capacity to bring a smile to my face.
It is my intention to go to sleep before 3 today. I figure if I try to scale things back an hour at a time, I might be in some sort of decent shape by the time orientation has my ass out of bed at 6 am next week. It was Kate's birthday today and going out was a lot of fun. I felt a little bad about not drinking with her, but come on, because I've now gotten drunk once does not mean that I want to do it again; certainly not anytime soon. I heard back from Peter—he said he'll get me another copy of Malcolm McLaren when he gets back into Seattle next month. That is so utterly cool, even if he still probably has no idea who I am. A post of no consequence today... but eh, whatever.
It was incredibly depressing for me to listen to the radio while I was in Japan. For some reason, the only (and I mean only) English song that was getting played on the two radio stations (I'm almost not kidding about the scarcity of stations) was Sugar Ray's When It's Over. I'm sure that it can be understood why that song really depressed me. I'm so glad life is better now (heh). And because I never got around to doing it before, here's the lyrics to Miss America, the song that made my day once in Japan.
For some reason, at 2 am, I found myself remembering the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to me. The sad irony is that while the comment is crystal clear in my mind, I've forgotten who it was who said it. It was a boy I could not or would not date, I think; perhaps it was Brian, across the country in Connecticut, or perhaps it was Chris, after I'd found my only choice in Jim... or perhaps it was some other person whose circumstances have been forgotten. But whoever he was, he paid me the best compliment I've ever been given. "Jen," he said, "the world needs more people like you. Every geek should have a Jen by his side, reminding him that he's a worthwhile person that can be loved, and showing him that no matter how low he feels, there's always light in the world." There's no better feeling in the world to be told that you're thought of in that way, and while I may not remember who he was, that boy's statement will always be somewhere in my mind, waiting to be dug up in times of extreme depression, or just to be randomly stumbled over in the middle of the night.
I'm tired! Okay, so I'll write a little something else, but only a little... I just finished catching up on the paper for yesterday and today... and I can't believe the news of how hateful some people are being in the world. I suppose I can believe it, but I wish I didn't have to.
I'm writing this because this is a momentous (spelled wrong, I think) occasion—I am drunk. Fucking drunk as in light headed secret spilling giggling drunk. I've had a Kahlua and cream, an amaretto and creme, two hard lemonades, and three shots of tequila. Not a whole lot, perhaps, but a whole fucking lot more than I've had before. And I'm doing it with the only two people I'd ever trust to do it with—Jim and Brandon. If Kate was around, I might have done it with her, too, but who knows. Anyway, being drunk and swaying is an intresting, not being able to spell experience, which is quite interesting, but hey, Brandon and Jim are around to keep me in line, so it's all good. Hehe—how rambling is that?
I thought it was the 16th and that I'd missed this day... oh, the silliness of looking at the date on a computer past midnight. I didn't do much today—didn't end up roleplaying, but I did get to watch Memento. That was a DAMN good film. I'm extremely impressed with any movie that makes me want to watch it over again right then, just to be able to pick up clues or process facts correctly. The Usual Suspects was another one of those, and I like it better... but Memento was still incredibly good. I was shocked—for some reason, I'd gotten it into my head that it was some stupid romantic movie. Don't ask me why; I'm sure I just got it confused at some point with some other movie and never got told different. People would tell me to watch it and that I'd like it, and I was like "what the hell are you talking about, it sounds like crap." Silly me. Went to a laser show at the Science Center for the first time since NIN in high school. Wasn't all that great, but it entertained me, and I got to have a good giggle at "inside my shell I want to CRY!!!!" I could have watched the smoke patterns all night. But I was fucking freezing, so I was kinda glad when it was over and I could huddle in Jim's stolen car with the heat up.
It's funny how all the reading I've been doing in the last couple days has, on one hand, made me feel very much like sitting down and writing something (which I really should be doing for the rpg I'm diving back into tomorrow... Faye was always skimpy on background, and a twopointfive month break in playing her won't have done me any good), and on the other, wiped me out so completely that the very thought of composing anything makes me want to just curl up and fall asleep. I've finished three books in the last three days and am partway through two others... and have another one sitting in my backpack. I haven't read this much since... I don't even know. I didn't read this much last summer, I know that much. I love to read, to sink into someone else's creation, to wonder and worry and exult along with characters that don't exist outside the pages that slowly smudge my fingers. And then there's the nostalgia of returning to old, dearly loved books—I was amazed to open up Dragonsong the day before yesterday and find "Jen Barrick HR 110" scribbled inside the front cover. That was my homeroom in the sixth grade, an astounding ELEVEN years ago. It's creepy to be able to talk about things in the past in terms of decades. I'm not sure where I meant to go with this, so I think I'll just kind of let it peter out.
I haven't had one of these posts in a while, so to celebrate me having mentioned it to Zach at dinner—this is one of those "I'm too tired, I'm not going to write anything" ones. I read a lot today. I had yummy pizza for dinner. I had more cookie dough than I should have at 1 am. Life turns over as always.
Fuck me. It's an hour and 15 minutes into my birthday and I can't sleep a fucking wink, driven to frustrated tears thinking about the blasted woman upstairs, and I can't even sob properly for fear she's going to come knocking. I know I'm letting myself get more worked up about this than I really should, but I just can't help it. I need to know that whether I want to have a late-night laugh or a sobbing fit in my room, I can do it without a hassling neighbor. And I just can't see any good in this situation—there's no way that the manager is going to tell us that it's okay for us to make noise, because obviously, we ARE bothering her. I just want to be able to go to sleep at this point, but all that I end up doing is lying on my bed with my eyes closed imagining how to try to not sound like a punk kid when I go to the office tomorrow. I just feel like I have no ground to stand on, and it's terribly fucking distressing and no way to go into being 22. It's a pity I'm no good at crying myself to sleep (even when I can manage it, I wake up feeling worse than is at worth it)—I can't even excuse my sniveling on that score.
I'll feel somewhat bad if I ignore the ghastly events of the day that had me glued to the television at my parents' place for hours, but I think I'll leave out the general expression of grief, frustration, and anger. You feel it, I feel it, the people down the street feel it, enough said. My particular contribution is to simply say that I about had a fucking heart attack when I got in my car this morning and turned on the radio. I'd come in in the middle of a local broadcast, and it wasn't for three minutes after I tuned into the broadcast—after they'd mentioned Sea-Tac being closed and four planes being hijacked—that it was clarified that this had happened on the East Coast, and it was -not- Seattle outbound planes that had been hijacked... John was supposed to be flying out from Sea-Tac this morning, you see. However, not to be callous, because I do know and understand that this was a terrible fucking tragedy, but I'm still really upset about my upstairs neighbor, and I'd much rather bitch about that. It'll do me a lot more personal good. So she's complained to us three times now, as of yesterday, about us being too loud. That's three times in three weeks. We have not been loud; we've been speaking at normal volume, and after the first complaint, have kept music at a level that is best described by the fact that when we are speaking at normal volume, it is almost entirely drowned out. I have it down even quieter tonight... I really should just turn it off, since I basically can't hear it, and it's just reminding me of how tense I've been made to feel about our noise level. Oh, I don't doubt that she can hear us up there, because otherwise she wouldn't be complaining, but what the hell are we supposed to do, whisper and tiptoe in our own fucking apartment? And after I get a TV... if she's going to bitch about us talking to each other, then it's a sure thing that she'll complain about me watching ER or a movie. She left us a guilt-trippy note as the last complaint, asking "could you turn off/down music and lower voices at nighttime?" It's all so unfair it makes me want to cry. Brandon and I checked the lease tonight, and it says "musical instruments, radios, television sets, record players, etc. shall be played only during reasonable hours, normally 8:00 am to 10:00 pm and at a reasonable volume." Which certainly makes it seem that that blasted woman has call to yell at me for watching the 10 pm news... that's just ridiculous. But all TV issues aside, I can't believe that she's complaining about the amount of noise that we've been making. I checked tonight : if my stereo is on 15, playing a relatively loudly recorded mp3, with the door closed and me standing approximately 9 feet on the other side of the wall, then I can barely detect a drumbeat if I'm absolutely silent. I have to assume that the insulation in the ceiling is greater than that of the wall between me and the living room, not to mention a carpet being in the way. That's the level I've been listening to my stereo since I got back from Texas last week; in contrast, I normally listened to my stereo at 25 in my last apartment. I hate being made into the bad guy, and I know Brandon feels the same way. As I said, I have no doubt that she is hearing something... but fuck, I can hear her walking around up there and you don't hear me complaining. There's a certain level of noise that comes along with living in an apartment. It's a fucking apartment, where you live a wall away from other people, not a self-contained unit like a house. But she's made me feel guilty, so she's already halfway won the battle. She's made it so that I'll never be comfortable engaging in my favorite occupation of listening to music; she's made it so that talking to Brandon over the sounds of cooking or the sink is uncomfortable for fear that she's going to come knocking any moment. It's just so beastly unfair. I'm going to go speak to the management tomorrow, but that phrase in the lease has me totally disheartened. There's a possiblity we could move to a different unit in the complex, but as Brandon pointed out, what if it turns out that the whole place really is a super-quiet complex? Augh. Jen is a seriously unhappy camper, despite her knowledge that stressing about it does no good.
Some time last year, I was sitting at the table at Jim's parents house, idly petting Jackie and poking through scattered magazines and mail. I picked up a copy of Cook's Illustrated and began flipping through it; I didn't put it down until I'd read the entire thing. I'd never really looked at a cookbook before, much less a cooking magazine, but I found myself fascinated by their Consumer Report's style approach to recipes and the wealth of information, chemistry-lab-report style, that they wrote about so engagingly. Since then I've picked up several cookbooks (and generosity of mother depending, will be getting some for my birthday this week—hehe), and have discovered that my enjoyment of eating food extends into reading about preparing food... which extends, naturally, into trying out what I read. Funny to think about that in the context of a girl who, a scant two years ago, would have been hard-pressed to feed herself without the aid of a microwave. I'm no great cook by any means (I'll be bowing to the throne of Pat Guerber till the end of my days), but it's been an enjoyable surprise to find out that I can handle myself in the kitchen. I wish I'd found it out earlier, but I suppose better late than never. I'm proud, really, that given my upbringing, I'm able to cook anything at all.
It's only 12:46, but I feel as if it's much later. I've spent far too much time working on my page today... I'm feeling supremely unwilling to even write this. Seeing Jim tomorrow has me very nervous, and letters from Bryson made my day yesterday and this morning. A crazy old Chinese lady at the bus stop today scolded me for going to school for five years—"You're going to waste your parents' money!" I'm writing this with my eyes closed and streaks of lamp-afterimage across my sight and CCR is on the stereo.
Mmmm, Ocean Spray Cran-Apple. Screw 100% juice.
It's been one of those uberproductive webpage nights. I've still not decided what to do about the backtext problem... despite the fact that I may be about the only person who it actually inconveniences, I A) dislike breaking a part of my page so that I can't view it and B) dislike being a hypocrite about NS compliancy. I really needed a distraction from being more depressed than I really had any reason to be, so I was glad that a guy from Pakistan emailed me to tell me that a bunch of my internal links were broken. So now my knees are stiff from being curled under me for the last several hours, the schedule pages are all spiffed up, the 404 cgi now actually has my email address (it was missing the @ for some reason... I don't even want to know how that one happened), and incorrect references to various index pages throughout the 238 pages of this silly site (I can't believe I actually checked how many there were... there's 894 images, too). It's really bizarre to contemplate how much time I've spent on this thing since the first days in 1998; it's kept me up more late nights than I can count and distracted me from finals studying at least once a quarter. And I still don't have a satisfactory explanation, three years to the day later, why I keep it up. Vanity, of course, but that's not really satisfactory. Anyway... it's Brandon's birthday, too, and were I not so tired (as he says that I say I am an estimated 80% of the entries that I post here) to write something coherent about that, I might try. Don't take it as a slight, dear, the fact that it's 2:40 am and I'm sleepy has nothing to do with you in the grand scheme of things (heh).
Oh christ in heaven I KNEW I shouldn't have done all that junk to my page while away from my own computer. Thoughts is so totally broken in Netscape under Linux that I want to cry. It actually crashes on load. I want to die. I wonder if it crashes all Netscapes... goddamn my friends and family for all only having IE! AUGH! I am SO FUCKING EMBARRASSED! This has driven all other topics of possible conversation out of my head. Life is no good tonight. Well, it turns out that it's something in the css that was positioning the backtext, so I commented it out until I can get some sort of dual testing thing up tomorrow. Maybe I should just lose the backtext.... that doesn't make me happy. I could have it be like this, with the advantage of ultra conformity and slightly quicker load time... but that'd be giving up a fundamental part of my original vision for this page three years ago.
It's funny to think that not once, not twice, but at least three times that I can think of off the top of my head, I've had a male friend undergo an above-average amount of stress resulting from a psychotic or irrational significant other. Far beyond any normal heartache or unrest that my other friends have ever experienced, I marvel at how Gabe, Chris, and Bryson are or were able to cope with their respective nutters. I wonder if everyone secretly has one of those crazy experiences, or whether knowing three puts me ahead in the count of friends with extra-troubled love lives. I feel as if it's a lot... I wonder if there's a high incidence of it among us computer folk. I wouldn't be surprised; we're all a little more stunted in our social development than the average bear, and while "socially inept geek" usually brings to mind a pimply faced boy, the women among us and the women attracted to us are just as slightly off as the men. That's not to say that all of us and our boyfriends and girlfriends are fundamentally screwed up, of course—I know several geeks in relationships who are not being driven stark raving insane. Although that thought leads me to wonder : perhaps it's not so much that these crazy boyfriends and girlfriends are really so awful, but rather that with our diminished social aptitude, we find ourselves unable to handle what might in fact be only normally screwed up people? While our friends and family might surge to our defense, saying that no, it really is the other's fault, it's possible that their knowledge of the other, often based largely on information filtered through the poor beset geek's perceptions, is fundamentally flawed. I don't really believe that; I may never have met Gabe, Chris, or Bryson's respective hassles, yet based on my own closet's shelf of obnoxious experiences added to independent court confirmation in one case, I think that my first thought has more credence to it. It takes a certain type of person to date a geek; whether a geek themselves or not, that certain type of person's temperament and background, I think, leads more often than we'd like to being a complete nutcase. I myself, as both a geek and "a serial dater of geeks," to quote John, am no exception—dating me is no walk in the park. I suppose my saving grace may eventually turn out to be the simple fact that I am aware of it. I always complain that knowledge does not lead to action, especially where my behavior is concerned, but perhaps that spark of self-awareness will do some good in the long run after all (I hope). And may my friends stop running into the fruitcakes. Amen or something.
I just got "home" from dropping Bryson off at his apartment. I so hope his life turns out okay—seeing the sparkle in his eyes while playing with Em's friend's 3 month old was priceless. Earlier this week I was wondering if it might not almost be better if Melanie was lying about the pregnancy or if she miscarried, but now I think that as hard as it'll be for him, he'll make a good dad and do us all proud. Plus, I don't know if I could bear it if he was disappointed.; I feel bad enough that Mom and his mom and I couldn't keep him with us, happy and smiling, for longer. His face just transforms when he laughs—I wish him a million more laughs. Surprised me to see how much his handwriting is like Jim's when he wrote me the directions back to the hotel; I wonder if it's a pre-req for their type of computer geek. Glad to be going home tomorrow. It's funny that I almost felt more out of touch this week than I did all summer. I guess during the summer I knew that if I really felt I needed to, I could always check back on home business. That's not really an option when on vacation with Mom. I really shouldn't have started thinking about that (sigh). Fret fret but I'll be home tomorrow afternoon. I wonder if my car's fixed (the transmission died while I was driving up the hill on 35th past Nathan Hale... I was just lucky I had enough momentum to turn onto a side street before I rolled backwards into the car behind me).
I got reprimanded by my mother today and I'm angry about it. Not that it was an actual scolding, of course—Mom and Dad's tastes don't usually run to that. Nope, tonight was a good old fashioned Barrick humiliating statement to someone else but in my hearing designed to embarrass and shame. And people wonder why I'm so passive-aggressive! She was annoyed that Bryson and I spent most of the drive home from the movie talking geek talk about computers and Hitchhikers's Guide. Apparently, I was supposed to try to carry on a conversation with my cousins, a pretty impossible task when they won't fucking talk back. I'm angry because while I feel somewhat justified in my action (I tried several times to talk to both Melinda and Em tonight about got nowhere, so I just kinda gave up eventually), she excellently tapped into my guilt and managed to beautifully ruin all the fun I was having. I'm sure she didn't mean it to sting as much as it did, seeing as she deigned to only land a single blow rather than keeping it going as both she and Dad (especially Dad) are prone to do, so I know I'm supposed to let it slide, but damnit, I can't. Fucking guilt. But to drop that in a transparent effort to "not think about it," we went to see The Others tonight. A good spooky ghost story, but I didn't find it really frightening at all (and could have done without the several women and girls who screamed really loudly at one point). I'd never really thought until tonight that I made a distinction between "spooky" and "scary," but there really is one. The Sixth Sense and The Others are spooky, while things like Alien are scary. At least to my way of thinking. Of course, it was during Jurassic Park, nine long years ago, that I screamed so loudly and clenched Amelia's hand so hard at the raptors that she claimed ear damage and bruises afterwards. I don't think I've really screamed at a movie since (and can't really recall a before, for that matter). Funny thing—books have given me nightmares, but a movie never has.
The lights in the B&B are really cool. Well, to be specific, the lamps in our bedroom look rather like someone created them while on psychedelics. Really neat, but not quite your run-of-the-mill light fixtures. We watched Almost Famous tonight in lieu of going out to see a movie (it was pouring rain again, and apparently after my cousin Emily wrapped her car around a tree last year in a rainstorm, she's been a little flighty about driving in the rain—I understand), which I was glad about. I figure any movie that Famously Fussy John gives multiple enthusiastic praises about was one I needed to see, Bryson hadn't seen it either, and and Melinda and Em weren't voicing a lot of opinion. I thanked Mom and Aunt Janet again in my head today for inviting Bryson along; Melinda's nice but she's quiet quiet quiet answer the question and that's it quiet, while Em is so fashionable, tanned, and blond-ed (as well as being even quieter than Melinda) that I about thought I'd die. She giggles, too. How much she looks like my mother is absolutely amazing. Aunt Janet says that she looks incredibly like Grandma Adelaide, and that's why, but I figure that it's that she was supposed to be Mom's child. I dunno whose child I was supposed to be, but Melinda was definitely supposed to be Mom's. Pre-coasters. Getting served at breakfast was nice, but 9 am is an hour before optimum getting up time (I've always said that 10 am is perfect—morning enough to get things done, but double digits so that you feel like you're sleeping in). Flighty mind because I didn't do a lot today other than banter with Bryson, poke around old stores with Aunt Janet (antiques, yuck), and eat a couple times. Vacation is good, I like vacation, but I miss even the once-ever-four-days-or-so email I had in Japan (heh). I've thought of a million and one things I can't control that could be lying in wait for me when I next check my mail (god, I hope Brandon got that check), which has been driving me batty at night. The insomnia continues. I'm just hoping that when I get settled back into a home and a routine, I'll settle my sleep down a bit. Tossing for two or more hours before being able to finally doze off on a nightly basis is not good.